Fiber is one of the main nutrients your body needs in order to function properly. It is found mainly in whole grains, fruits, legumes and veggies and provides a vast array of benefits for your health.
You should know that dietary fiber is divided into soluble and insoluble fiber. The first type dissolves in water and it is usually found in beans and fruits. As for the second type of fiber, it helps you detoxify your body, acting like a "scrub" on your gut. You can get insoluble fiber mainly from whole grains, nuts, beans and veggies.
And how do you know your diet is most likely lacking an important amount of dietary fiber? Amongst other things, you'll probably notice signs like frequent constipation, blood sugar fluctuations, tiredness and even weight gain.
Benefits of Adding Fiber to Your Diet
Once you've established that it's high time you started eating fiber-packed foods, here are some incentives: the benefits of adding fiber to your diet!
Now, what does dietary fiber do, you may ask yourself. It helps you have healthy bowels, as it normalizes your bowel movements, but also lowers your LDL cholesterol levels, keeps under control the blood sugar level, and helps you achieve or maintain your desired weight.
Easy Ways to Add Fiber to Your Diet
If you're not getting enough fiber from your food, here are some tips to add fiber to your diet!
Start your day with a fiber-rich breakfast! A bowl of whole grain cereals with yoghurt or milk, almonds and nuts and some dried fruits will ensure you get off on the right foot.
If you enjoy eating pasta, simply choose to go for whole grain pasta instead of the "usual suspects", refined white flour pasta.
Then don't forget to stock up on fruits, vegetables and legumes! If you're not used to eating plenty of those, start with baby steps: enjoy a piece of fruit as a snack at work, add veggies to your soups and stews, feast on nachos and bean salads.
Another secret of adding more fiber to your diet is eating fruits without removing the peel. More often than not, an important quantity of fiber lies in the peel, therefore you shouldn't miss out on this opportunity!
Last but not least, instead of drinking natural fruit juice, go for the whole fruit. As stated before, peels are packed with fibers, and so is the pulp of the fruit. Keep in mind that, for instance, an orange contains on average 3 grams of fiber, whereas orange juice has none.