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Why Fiber is so Important and How to Get Enough

Why Fiber is so Important and How to Get Enough

Fiber is a top priority to health that often gets overlooked. If you want to increase your energy, clear up your skin, and achieve your ideal weight, this article is for you.

A lack of fiber is much too common, and leads to constipation—a top complaint brought to physicians. And, if your body is not detoxifying properly you will feel sluggish, lack energy, have skin flare-ups, and be prone to weight gain.

Did you know that you need 25-35 grams of fiber a day ?

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This can seem like an arduous task if you’re not eating the right foods.

This article will give you an easy blueprint to ensure you get your daily fiber intake in a simple and enjoyable way.

1. Check Food Labels

It is imperative to check your food labels to discover how much fiber is in your food. Often people make poor food choices simply due to lack of awareness of the nutritional contents. Luckily, by law, all foods must be labeled, so you can empower your food choices by becoming aware of how much fiber is in the food you eat.  Check bread, rice, pasta, and all grain-products for fiber content per serving. You want to choose grains that have a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per serving, though it is often easy to find high fiber products with 5 grams per serving or more. Anything less and you know you are eating something stripped of its original nutrients. This is why white-flour based foods have no fiber, and these are the foods associated with weight gain. You need fiber to feel full and to promote healthy bowel movements. If you eat carbohydrates void of fiber, you will not feel as full as you would if the food did have fiber. Food void of fiber can lead to overeating and weight gain. Don’t let this happen to you—make an informed choice by reading labels, and choosing high fiber foods all of the time.

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2. Add Raw Fruit

Fruit is a great wholesome source of fiber and every fruit has roughly 3 grams of fiber. Aim for 3 servings of fruit a day.

3. Add Beans as a Diet Staple

Eating a diet rich in beans is imperative to receiving an adequate amount of daily fiber. One cup of beans has 15 grams of fiber! I suggest adding beans to your salads, or you can get creative with beans by turning them into a bean-burger or blending beans to make a dip such as hummus. Beans are one of the healthiest and easiest way to ensure you reach 25 grams of fiber a day.

4. Eat Your Veggies

Vegetables are also high in fiber and should be a priority to your daily diet. I recommend consuming 3-4 cups of greens a day. An easy way to do this is to make a green smoothie by blending about 2 cups of greens(such as spinach) with a banana and water. Adding a salad as a daily staple will ensure that you are getting 5-7 serving of veggies a day which is necessary to receive the fiber you need and the energy you want.

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5. Consume The Right Bread

If bread is part of your daily diet, be sure to get high-fiber bread. This is one of the easiest ways to increase your fiber intake in. Good quality high fiber breads often have added psyllium, flax and chia seeds—all which enhance the fiber count to about 5 grams of fiber per slice. If you are going to choose bread, choose wisely—aim for 5 grams of fiber per slice, and you will easily make your daily fiber quota

With these 5 tips in place, let’s look at a daily menu, and discover how easily you can get 25 grams of fiber in a day through food (no supplements required!)

Start the day with a slice of high fiber bread, an apple, and a tablespoon of pure nut butter. Right there, you have consumed 9 grams of fiber. Have a fruit for a snack ( 3 grams of fiber), add 1/2 cup of beans to your lunch (which can be soup or a salad), and you have another 10 grams of fiber just for lunch. Have a green smoothie as a late afternoon snack ( another 5 grams of fiber) and you are already at 27 grams of fiber, and we haven’t even reached dinner time! If you have a dinner with salad, a high fiber grain such as quinoa with some fish or chicken breast, you are well on your way to reaching 35 grams of fiber!

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As you can see, when you are smart about how you plan your day, it is easy and practical to reach the recommended daily fiber intake without any supplements or pills.

As you increase your fiber intake, be sure to drink plenty of water, which is important for the fiber to be absorbed and released from your system, helping with the detoxification process. When your body is fed right, and has the ability to detoxify on a daily basis, you will have more energy, clearer skin, and reach your ideal weight with ease.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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