Including High Fiber Foods in your Diet
In our diets full of fast food and sugary snacks, it’s hard to find foods that are actually good for you. If you want to be healthier and feel better, then you should try adding fiber to your daily diet.
Fiber is a material produced by plants that we can’t digest. So why would we want to eat something we can’t digest? Insoluble fiber dissolves in water and gives your food a thicker consistency. This makes you absorb sugar into your blood stream more slowly. Soluble fiber absorbs water, but doesn’t dissolve it. This makes your stool moist and helps clean out your digestive tract.
The most notable benefit from eating high fiber foods is that it can help calm or even prevent certain diseases. People diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, suffer from chronic abdominal pain, along with other symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea. High fiber foods may easy these symptoms without the use of prescription drugs. Because fiber clears unwanted material out of your colon, it helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. If this isn’t enough of a benefit, a high fiber diet has also been advocated for people with high cholesterol because it has been shown to lower overall cholesterol levels.
Nowadays, people get a lot more processed and refined sugars in their diet than the body was meant to handle. When we eat simple sugars, our insulin response is triggered causing our blood sugar levels to drop. This can lead to weight gain because our body stores these sugars as fats. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the body and reduces the insulin response, keeping our blood sugar at reasonable levels instead of bouncing it up and down throughout the day. High fiber foods are recommended for people with hypoglycemia and diabetes to help steady blood sugar levels. If it can help treat their conditions, imagine what it can do for you.
In addition to making us store fat, our insulin response leaves us feeling drained, tired, ad wanting another sugar pick me up. The more sugar we have, the lower our blood sugar drops, and the faster we get hungry again. Fiber is a great way to stop this cycle in its tracks. It keeps us feeling fuller longer, so we end up eating less. Plus, what we eat is just a little healthier.
So why not add a little extra fiber to your diet? It’s not as hard as it sounds. You can find high fiber fruits (pears apples, blueberries strawberries, oranges, raisins, and dried peaches, figs, and apricots), grains (whole grain pasta and bread, bran cereal, and oatmeal), legumes (black, lima, and baked beans, lentils, and assorted nuts), and vegetables (carrots, baked potatoes, artichokes, peas, turnip greens, and Brussels sprouts) that taste great and are good for you. Just add a few of these foods to your diet and you’ll be healthier and feeling great in no time. Happy eating!