Fiber is essentially roughage, the non-digestible portion of carbs found in plants. Studies suggest that fiber can help people feel full, eat less, and absorb fewer calories from mixed meals.
Dietary fiber is either soluble and insoluble in water:
Soluble Fiber: Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. It is found in oats, beans, peas, fruits (such as apples, oranges, and berries), vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and broccoli), and psyllium husk.
Insoluble Fiber: Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system relatively intact. It is found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, wheat bran, and the skin of fruits and vegetables (such as tomatoes and cucumbers).
Some foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. We recommend consuming a variety of foods that contain both types of fiber as they provide different health benefits.
Benefits of eating fiber-rich meals:
Creates a healthy microbiome: Fiber acts as a prebiotic, which means that it feeds the good bacteria in the gut and helps to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut.
Prevents blood sugar spikes: Fiber can slow down the absorption of glucose, which can help to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity.
Better satiety: As fiber stays in the stomach for a longer period of time, it can stimulate the release of certain hormones, such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which help to promote feelings of fullness and reduce hunger.
Promotes weight loss: Due to its ability to promote feelings of fullness and reduce hunger, one can reduce overeating and better exercise calorie control. In addition, high-fiber foods tend to be lower in calories and have a lower energy density, which means that you can eat more of them without consuming too many calories.
Reduces the risk of heart disease: Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. They can also help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity, all of which are factors that can contribute to the development of heart disease.
How much fiber do I need?
The amount of fiber you need depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. However, in general, the recommended daily intake of fiber for adults is 25-30 grams.
Here are some of the best sources of fiber: