Five reasons you should boost fiber in your meals

Five reasons you should boost fiber in your meals

Just eat more fiber” seems to be the answer to so many health conditions these days!

Fiber is a carbohydrate that comes from plants. Unlike other carbs (sugar and starch), fiber is not digested and absorbed in the small intestine. Instead, it passes undigested into the large bowel where it is completely or partially broken down by the bacteria that naturally live there.

For starters – the recommended daily fiber intake is about 28-30 grams for women and 35 grams for men. On average, what we actually consume is about half.

Why should you eat more fiber?

  1. Improves insulin sensitivity: Fibrous foods are low in glycaemic index (GI), which is a rating that shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when it is eaten. Soluble fiber helps control blood sugar spikes. It dissolves in water to form a gel like substance that slows the absorption of carbs in the gut. This results in a steady regulation of blood sugar, rather than a spike.

  2. Regular bowel movement: Fiber adds bulk to your stool. This increases the size of stool and softens it. Bulkier stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber could help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk, promoting bowel health.

  3. Reduces acid-reflux: High fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds & grains absorb liquids in the digestive system, which prevents the displacement of stomach acid.

  4. Promotes healthy weight management: A diet high in dietary fiber can prevent obesity as fiber promoted the feeling of fullness. Fibrous foods are nutrient & energy dense, which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food, preventing you from consuming excessive calories.

  5. Lowers cholesterol: Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol by binding to it in the small intestine. Once inside the small intestine, the fiber attaches to the cholesterol particles, preventing them from entering your bloodstream and traveling to other parts of the body. Instead, cholesterol will exit the body through the faeces.

Some of the best sources of fiber to include in your diet: Oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, broccoli, apples, avocado, brussels sprouts, pulses, celery, courgette, walnuts, almonds & kale.

Eating too much fiber too soon may make you feel uncomfortable. Increase your fiber intake by 5 grams a week and you will start to notice a difference in your digestion.

It’s also a good idea to drink more water when you start eating more fibre.