More than likely, you’ve heard for several years that you need to follow a high-fiber diet. But why? What’s so great about fiber that you need such an ample supply in the foods you eat?
Finding good sources of fiber is important. Investing in a diet rich in vegetables high in fiber in your dietary regimen can boost your health, as you’ll learn.
So, what’s the big deal about fiber? Well, you can get a lot of health benefits from having enough in your system. For example, a high-fiber diet can reduce the chances of developing certain digestive disorders.1 It can also help lower “bad,” or LDL cholesterol levels.2 Fiber also helps lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.3
When you eat foods that have a lot of fiber, that promotes a sensation of “satiety,” or fullness. That means you won’t be as likely to eat too much. Fiber slows the rate of sugar absorption, which is especially important for people with blood sugar issues.4
Age and gender have a lot to do with how much fiber you need every day. Men younger than 50 should get about 38 grams a day, while men 50 and over should shoot for 30 grams. Women 19-50 need about 25 grams, while women over 50 need 21 grams.5
Getting enough fiber is important, but you also have to avoid getting too much. This can lead to several digestive issues, including bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. Excess fiber moves food through your intestines too fast. Because of this, your body won’t be able to absorb all the nutrients it needs.
Your body needs three kinds of fiber – insoluble fiber, dietary fiber, and soluble fiber. They are all key to helping make sure you stay as healthy as possible.
Insoluble fiber – Insoluble fiber helps waste materials move through the gastrointestinal tract regularly. This helps ensure that you don’t become constipated. One good source of insoluble fiber is wheat bran, but it’s also found in beans, nuts, and potatoes.
Dietary fiber – Dietary fiber also plays a role in keeping you “regular.” It may also help reduce your risk of developing serious illness.6 There are several vegetables that are rich in this form of fiber.
Soluble fiber – Soluble fiber helps to reduce levels of bad cholesterol, as well as glucose, in the blood.7 Citrus fruits are high in soluble fiber, as are apples, peas, and carrots.
Vegetables With High Fiber Content
Incorporate these high-fiber veggies regularly into your dietary regimen:
· Artichokes –
A single artichoke will deliver 10 grams of fiber, which is impressive.
· Brussels sprouts – A lot of people don’t like the taste of Brussels sprouts, but they’re very good for you. They’re high in manganese, vitamins A and C, calcium, and potassium, and a single cup contains 4 grams of fiber.
· Cabbage – Steaming cabbage is a great way of lowering harmful cholesterol. Each serving contains 3 grams of fiber.
· Carrots – Carrots are well known for helping improve vision. But did you know they can also help regulate blood glucose levels? This is important for everyone, but it’s especially critical for people with blood sugar issues. One cup of cooked carrots has 5 grams of fiber.
· Celery – If you’ve ever had a stick of celery, you know how fibrous a stalk can be. Celery is not only rich in soluble fiber but also insoluble fiber. Eating just a few stalks can provide you with 2 grams of fiber.
· Eggplant – A single cup of eggplant is a great source of fiber, providing about 5 grams. It’s also loaded with essential nutrients, such as copper, potassium, manganese, and vitamins B and K. Copper is important for your body’s health. If you are copper deficient, your body might not produce enough red blood cells. You could become ill as a result.
· Green beans – Green beans also contain a good deal of fiber. A 100-gram serving contains about 2 grams of fiber. Green beans are also known for their antioxidant qualities. They’re also a good source of potassium, vitamin K, and iron.
· Kale – Kale is a superfood for good reason. It’s rich in a variety of nutrients, and it contains fiber, too. One cup of chopped, cooked kale provides nearly 3 grams of fiber.
Getting Enough Fiber: The Takeaway
This list just scratches the surface of the vegetables that need to be part of your high-fiber diet. Squash, cauliflower, spinach, and avocados are also rich in fiber. So you don’t have to lock yourself into eating a limited amount of vegetables to get the fiber you need. You can diversify and still get an ample supply.
It’s very important that you talk to a doctor before you jump headfirst into a high-fiber diet. Fiber provides a lot of health benefits, but you have to make sure it will be safe to make big changes in the way you eat.