By Registered Dietitian Rachel

Why Is Fiber Important?

Many people know fiber in your diet can help you stay regular, but did you know fiber can have many other health benefits, too?  The table below lists other excellent reasons why you should add fiber to your healthy eating habits.1

What are the Benefits of Fiber

Fiber benefits

What Is Fiber Exactly?

Fiber is a bulky substance that comes from plants, but your body cannot digest it. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble1.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It is viscous in nature and forms a gel, as it moves through your digestive tract, which can lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Examples of soluble fiber include: oatmeal, peas, some beans, fruit, barley, and psyllium1.

Insoluble fiber increases stool bulk, which promotes movement through your digestive tract, improving regularity and helping with constipation. Examples of insoluble fiber include: whole-grain options, some beans, and some vegetables1.

How Much Fiber Should I Eat a Day?

According to the Institute of Medicine, you should be getting around 20-40 grams of fiber per day, depending on your age and sex1.

How much dietary fiber you need by age.

*Selecting packaged foods that have 5-7 grams of fiber per serving, or more than 20% of the daily value for fiber, are considered a high fiber diet choice.

How Do I Get More Fiber in My Day?

This part can be easy! Even small changes make a difference. Below are some quick and easy ways you can add fiber to your meals:

  1. Sprinkling chia seeds on your salad or vegetables in your Fresh and Lean. Just remember to count them towards your daily healthy fat servings (1 Tablespoon chia seeds = 1 Healthy Fat).
  2. Eat more high-fiber foods like green vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens, raw spinach, and Swiss chard.
  3. Eat the skin on your fruit instead of peeling them.
  4. Choose fruits such as apples, oranges, strawberries, pears, and raspberries, as these are all excellent choices for fiber.
  5. Switching out your refined white bread, pasta, or rice for whole-grain options will give you more fiber.

Ask yourself, “Have I had enough fiber today?” If your answer is “No,” which changes from the above list can you make today? Even just one change can make a difference. As you add more daily fiber, remember to drink lots of water, as well, to promote healthy digestion!

Below are some delicious Livea recipes with great sources of fiber:

Featured Recipes with Added Fiber

  1. Berry Delicious Smoothie Bowl has ½ tablespoon of chia seeds, which is about 2 grams of fiber and count as a ½ serving of Healthy Fat2. This amazing recipe also has chopped almonds as an option; almonds also contain fiber!
  2. Avocado Lime Shrimp Salad  has 1 ½ cups tomatoes and 4 ½ oz avocado. 1 cup tomatoes have more than 2 g of fiber, and each ounce of avocado yields almost 1.5 grams of fiber.3

Resources

  1. Mayoclinic.org
  2. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020
  3. USDA FoodData, ndb.nal.usda.gov