Most people know that we’re supposed to be eating plenty of fiber, but many of us have no idea of what fiber actually is. While there are a surprising amount of definitions, most experts agree that fiber includes lignin, polysaccharides, oligosaccharides and plant matter that isn’t digested in the small intestine.
Fiber is thought to control blood cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. It’s also a good way to keep us regular and feeling full throughout the day. The American Heart Association suggests that adult females consume at least 25 grams a day for optimum health and that men should aim for at least 38 grams. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that most Americans only eat about half of the recommended daily allowance for fiber every day.
If you’d like to increase your fiber consumption, there are some simple and delicious ways to do so. Here are some fiber sources that you may not have considered in your quest to get your fill:
- Frozen peas- Peas are an excellent source of fiber; while you won’t get the healthy results you’re looking for from canned peas, you don’t have to cook them from scratch to get their benefits. Frozen peas are a simple way to get the fiber you need without a lot of extra work.
- Onions- Many people don’t realize that onions are a decent source of fiber; however, it’s not so much the amount of fiber as the type that matters, and onions contain inulin. This water-soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and aids in regularity.
- Kiwis and berries- A kiwi has about two grams of fiber; it’s not enough to meet your daily needs, but it’s still enough to make it a healthy snack. Berries, on the other hand, have about eight grams of fiber per cup, making them a fiber powerhouse.
- Apples- An apple a day can keep your fiber cravings away. Filled with about four grams of fiber, apples are considered to be a good source of fiber. Anything over three grams is considered to be good and anything that has more than five grams is considered to be excellent.
- Bulgur- This grain is filled with healthy fiber, weighing in with about eight grams per cup. Cook some over the weekend and throw it into salads or soups during the week for a fiber boost without a lot of effort.
- Nuts- Almonds alone offer about four grams of fiber per quarter cup, making them a great choice for those who are interested in getting enough fiber. If you don’t currently chomp on nuts as a midday snack, it may be time to rethink the humble nut.
- Chia and flax seeds- Filled with both soluble and insoluble fiber, these seeds are a great way to boost your fiber intake. Toss them into salads or yogurts or add them to a morning smoothie for a healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full for hours.
If you’d like to learn more about the effects of nutrition on your health, talk to your chiropractor. He or she will be able to help you work out a dietary plan that ensures you get enough dietary fiber and the vitamins you need for a long and healthy life.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.