Fiber, Fiber, Fiber!
Fiber is hands-down my favorite nutrient.
Studies have shown that a diet of fiber-rich foods, such as seeds, nuts, whole fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory afflictions, such as arthritis.
Studies have also found that eating a fiber-rich diet can help reduce fasting glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
But unfortunately, most Americans are not eating enough fiber, in fact, the FDA considers fiber a “nutrient of public health concern.”
What is fiber and why is it so important?
Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in the stomach. Soluble fiber helps slow down digestion, which helps stabilize blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol. It also helps you feel full longer.
Insoluble fiber remains close to its original form and aids in intestinal regularity. Insoluble fiber offers many benefits to intestinal health, including a reduction in constipation.
Fiber acts as an antidote to insulin peaks from carbohydrates and sugar, which is crucial to preventing type 2 diabetes.
While fiber is not digestible by humans, many of the bacteria living in our gut use these enzymes for substance. In layman’s terms, it feeds our gut-bacteria.
Eat more fiber! Virtually all plant foods contain fiber in their whole form. Eating a whole food, plant-forward diet is the key to getting more fiber.
Fiber-rich foods include:
- Beans and peas
- Whole grains, such as oats and quinoa
- Nuts and seeds
While I do not believe in counting calories, understanding nutrient intake can be beneficial to those who are not susceptible to disordered eating. The daily recommended value is 30-38 grams per day, but I would aim to get even more.
Finally, stop juicing for meal-replacement! This may be an unpopular statement, but juicing removes most, if not all, fiber from whole foods and leaves glucose spiking elements. If you want to have a juice, make sure that you are drinking it with a fiber-rich meal.