Fiber is an essential nutrient. It contributes to our health and wellness in a number of ways. Firstly, it aids in providing fullness after meals, which helps promote a healthy weight. Second, adequate fiber intake can help to lower cholesterol. Third, it helps prevent constipation. And fourth, adequate fiber from food helps blood sugar within a healthy range. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while mean should target 38 grams.
So where is fiber found? Fiber is found only in plant foods. Eating the skin or peel of fruits and vegetables provides a greater dose of fiber. Fiber is also found in beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Typically, the more refines or processed a food becomes, the lower its fiber content. For example, one medium apple with the peel contains 4.4 grams of fiber, while 1/c cup of applesauce contains 1.4 grams, and 4 ounces of apple juice contains no fiber.
Here are a few foods that are naturally high in fiber:
· 1 large pear with skin (7 grams)
· 1 cup of fresh raspberries (8 grams)
· ½ medium avocado (5 grams)
· 1 once almonds (3.5 grams)
· ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams
· 3 cups air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams
· 1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)
When increasing fiber, be sure to do it gradually and with plenty of fluids. Fiber in your diet is similar to a new sponge; it needs water to plump up. If you consume more than you’re usually intake of fiber but not enough fluid, you may experience nausea or constipation.