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High Fiber Diet: Health Benefits And Whole-Day Recipes

High Fiber Diet: Health Benefits And Whole-Day Recipes

Fiber is probably the least exciting word in the field of health and nutrition. Wouldn’t you agree? It reminds us all of those chalky powders we see advertised on television, and it seems like such a boring way to add nutrition to our plates. We all know we need fiber, but what in the world does that look like on a day-to-day plate, and what are the benefits of eating a high-fiber diet?

The average woman needs anywhere from 30–35 grams a day of fiber each day and men need anywhere from 30–45 grams per day for optimal digestive, weight, and heart health. The dietary requirements for fiber set by the national government have changed over the years but have tended to range between 20 and 35 grams per day. Normally, fiber intake is usually best anywhere between 30 and 35 grams at a minimum. What does fiber actually do, though, and why is it really that important?

Fiber is one of the most crucial parts of an optimal nutrition plan because it does much more than regulate our digestive tracts. A high-fiber diet can keep you from getting sick, overweight, regulate your blood sugar, and even help you drop unwanted pounds without cutting calories!

Here’s why fiber is a nutrient you should be excited about.

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    1. It eliminates harmful cholesterol from your body via bowels and arteries so you can feel energized and healthy!
    2. It keeps you feeling squeaky clean inside so you don’t get sluggish from poor digestion. Hey, we all love that, right?
    3. It balances your blood sugar levels so you don’t get the “hangry” (hungry-angry) feeling after a meal when your blood sugar shoots up and down and then goes all over the place due to you consuming too much sugar and refined carbs.
    4. It feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract so bad bacteria doesn’t take over. Fiber is your good gut flora’s favorite food!
    5. When it comes from whole foods (versus pills), you also take in more nutrients with the fiber that help your body absorb more nutrients from your food because fiber slows down the release of food through your system so you get the most benefits.

    What about fiber and weight loss?

    You may have heard that fiber can help you lose weight, and yes, that’s very true. Here’s why: fiber is only found in plants, and therefore, in carbs. When you consume fiber-rich carbs, you benefit your blood sugar levels, stay fuller longer, and you also optimize gut flora. Low-fiber foods like processed carbs, sugar, meat, and excessive animal products can lead to digestive sluggishness and weight gain because of the lack of fiber. So, fill your plate up with plants and go for at least 2 cups at each meal if you can.

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    If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

    Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

    What types of fiber exist?

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      There are two main types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. You need both insoluble and soluble fiber to function optimally. But before we talk about why, let’s see what soluble and insoluble fiber actually are and what they do.

      Soluble fiber is like a gel: it soaks up with water in your digestive tract and moves food slowly out of the body in a gentle way. It’s very important to consume enough water when you consume soluble fiber to optimize the way this fiber works. Soluble fiber is excellent for the heart and is very gentle on the body. Common sources of soluble fiber include puréed pumpkin, applesauce, berries, banana, avocado, artichoke hearts, winter squash, potatoes, apples, pears, chia seeds, oatmeal, and other similar foods.

      Insoluble fiber is like a broom; it sweeps food quickly through the digestive tract more quickly and comes from foods like broccoli, leafy greens, corn, flax, wheat bran, coconut, most nuts, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, and other similar fibrous foods. Insoluble fiber is the most well-known for fighting constipation and can be helpful if you are suffering from sluggishness. However, soluble fiber can do the same depending on how your body works and digests fiber. Insoluble fiber can cause a bit of discomfort for people sensitive to it, but there’s no need to fear it. Start consuming insoluble sources of fiber slowly and be sure to pair them with soluble foods every time you consume them.

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      What does a day of enough fiber look like?

      Here’s an idea of what a day full of fiber looks like that won’t leave you in pain from fiber overload or leave you chugging fiber powders.

      Breakfast

      Raspberry-Multigrain-Super-Porridge-by-Heather-McClees-Vegan-plantbased-noaddedsugar

        Image Source: The Soulful Spoon

        1. Morning Green Protein Smoothie

        2 cups spinach, 1 cup frozen berries, a plain cup of Greek yogurt for protein or protein powder, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds of flax seeds, and 1/2 a frozen banana or 1/2 an apple.

        2. Creamy Fiber Oatmeal Bowl

        1/2 cup rolled oats cooked with non-dairy milk or water and served with 1/2 cup berries and 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds. Add a plain cup of yogurt on the side with more berries if you desire extra protein.

        Lunch

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          3. Fiber-Rich Protein Salad

          2 cups greens of choice, 4 ounces lean protein of choice, 1/2 a chopped cucumber, 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, 1 cup chopped and roasted squash or sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons avocado and a lemon/vinaigrette style dressing.

          4. Protein and Veggie Plate

          4 ounces your choice protein, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa or wild rice, 1 cup steamed broccoli, 1 cup roasted squash or sweet potato and your choice healthy fat (2 tablespoons avocado, 1/4 cup nuts seeds, 1 whole egg, or 1/4 cup olives).

          Dinner

          30-minute-CHICKPEA-Sweet-Potato-BUDDHA-Bowls-A-complete-meal-packed-with-protein-fiber-and-healthy-fats-with-a-STELLAR-Tahini-Lemon-Maple-Sauce-vegan-glutenfree-healthy

            Image Source: Minimalist Baker

            5. Nutrient-Dense Soup

            1/2 cup no-salt-added black beans or lentils, 1 cup chopped veggies (onions, peppers, zucchini, etc.), 1 cup low sodium veggie broth, 1 can no-salt-added tomatoes, and a little oregano and black pepper. Add 2 cups of water and cook in a slow cooker for 2 hours on high.

            6. Buddha Bowl

            1/2 cup chopped wild rice or quinoa, 4 ounces protein of choice (salmon, tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, 2 eggs, etc)., chopped cucumber or celery, and 2 cups mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are great). Top with your favorite condiments (hot sauce, salsa, mustard, etc.), and enjoy!

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            Don’t Forget

            water

              1. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day and water-rich drinks such as herbal tea. Even coffee counts, but too much (more than 2 cups) can dehydrate you, so make up for this by consuming more plain water if you consume excessive caffeine.

              2. Be sure you get some movement each day. Movement helps move fiber through your body so it can do its job. I’ve found a daily walk is perfect and does wonders!

              3. Mix up the different sources of fiber you consume so your body learns to use different types on a regular basis. This will help keep you healthy long-term and optimize gut flora function.

              4. If you have discomfort, cut back on beans, legumes, and excessive grains. Go for more fruits, vegetables, and implement 5 grams of fiber less per day to help your body adjust.

              5. Think of fiber every single time you go to make a meal. Remember, whole foods are best and real food is always better than processed sources of fiber or high-fat sources.

              For more fiber tips and ideas to include more into your day, check out these fiber-rich foods into your day. 

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              Last Updated on January 25, 2021

              What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

              What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

              It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

              If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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              What should I do today? No ideas?

              Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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              Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

              1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
              2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
              3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
              4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
              5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
              6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
              7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
              8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
              9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
              10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
              11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
              12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
              13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
              14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
              15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
              16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
              17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
              18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
              19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
              20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
              21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
              22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
              23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
              24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
              25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
              26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
              27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
              28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
              29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
              30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

              Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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