….absolutely everything? Just kidding, but actually not entirely. Fiber is the part of a plant that can’t be digested and can be found in things like fruits, veggies, oats, seeds, beans, and nuts. It’s a key component to our digestive health and has also been shown to have the ability to help control weight and reduce risk of chronic disease.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble = dissolves in water and forms a gel
Insoluble = does not dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system unchanged
Knowing the difference between the two is not as important as knowing that both forms of fiber are important and necessary.
The average person in America only eats about 10-15g of fiber per day. The recommended daily intake is more like 25-40g depending on the person. That being said, fiber intake can be too high as well so rule of thumb is for most people, it may be best to keep under 50g daily.
For those having digestive issues, an increase (or sometimes a decrease, but this is less common) in fiber may be in order. While fiber supplements do exist, the general consensus is that it’s better to prioritize whole foods higher in fiber that are less processed. Because prioritizing whole foods can lead to an increase in fiber, fiber intake levels can be an indicator of how much someone is prioritizing whole, nutrient dense foods (dependent on the fact that the fiber is not coming from a supplement). The list below gives some sources of fiber you might incorporate into your day if you’re looking to increase intake:
Oats, Quinoa, Cereal (best to check the nutrition label here), Sweet potatoes, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Black and Kidney Beans, Chickpeas (so yes…Banza pasta!), Lentils, Apples, Bananas, Avocados, Raspberries, Chia Seeds, Almonds