If it feels like there’s a fiber cheerleading squad everywhere you look these days, there’s good reason why. Fiber bulks up meals and keeps you feeling full for longer – that too, without piling on extra calories. Just the ally you need if you want to stay fit!
Fiber is also great for everything from your heart to your gut. A high-fiber diet helps control your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels and improve your bowel health. It could even cut your risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease – a win-win situation all around!
There are two kinds of fiber you can have: soluble and insoluble. And they’re both really important, so don’t skimp on either!
- Soluble fiber keeps blood sugar levels steady, acts as a gut-friendly prebiotic, and helps lower cholesterol.
- Insoluble fiber boosts normal bowel movements and helps you avoid some digestive problems. It also lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
Are You Getting Enough Fiber?
Women should try and get in 25 gm of fiber a day. Men should gun for 38 gm. Women 51 years and over need 21 gm and men in this age group need 30 gm of fiber a day.
Most modern diets barely get us to half of the recommended daily levels. Here’s how you can introduce fiber into your diet:
- Get soluble fiber from oats, barley, dalia, beans, daals, fruits, and vegetables.
- Have insoluble fiber from dark leafy green veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
- Add high-fiber foods like nuts to your morning porridge, smoothies, and juices.
- Scatter toasted seeds over your upma and poha for a yummy crunch.
- Try snacks with added fiber like granola bars or yogurt that come labeled with fiber-rich ingredients like “inulin” or “chicory root.” Otherwise too, sneak in fresh fruits and veggies into your snacks for a dash of fiber.
With a little mindfulness to what’s on your plate, you should soon be able to up that fiber intake!