One of the many buzz words in the world of health and fitness that will help you along your wellness journey is fiber. Fiber refers to substances in food (usually from plants) that do not break down by the digestive enzymes in your body. Since fiber does not break down, it passes through the body along with waste and other substances that can compromise your health. Fiber is known to relieve constipation, prevent diseases, and assist weight management. The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in oranges, apples, lemons, beans, oats, and barley grain. Insoluble fiber does not break down as easily in water and is found in wheat bran, nuts, whole grains, and most vegetables. Both types of fiber serve to lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and improve your overall health.
Your next question may be, “how much fiber do I need to consume for the health benefits?” The recommended consumption for the average adult over 50 years of age is 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men. For those under 50, 25 grams of fiber for females and 38 grams for men are the goal numbers.
When designing your meal plan, consider incorporating the following high fiber foods based on volume:
Raspberries (5.5 grams)
Blackberries (3.8 grams)
Apples (3.3 grams)
Pumpkin (3.5 grams)
Whole Wheat Bread (2-6 grams)
You may also try mixing 1.5 teaspoons of psyllium husks in a glass of water each night, and you will feel the difference of fiber in your healthy diet.