Fitness gurus tend to focus on carbs, protein, and fats, but what about fiber? It’s not the most alluring topic to talk about when it comes to health and fitness information, but it’s important nonetheless. The big question is, are you getting enough fiber?
Fiber is an important part of any diet, and many Americans fall short on their daily intake. In fact, the USDA recommends that you get at least 28 grams of fiber per day, and slightly more for men. But most people are only getting about half that amount. So why is it so important to get enough fiber?
It's funny to think that fiber is so important to overall health, when your body doesn't even break it down. So, why do you need fiber, anyway?
Fiber is vital for the proper functioning of your digestive system. It helps to keep you regular, and it also aids in slowing digestion and potentially help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Plus, fiber is a key component of weight loss – it's filling and low in calories, so adding more fiber to your diet can help with weight management.
In combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, fiber could improve some cardiovascular disease markers. Additionally, studies have shown that a high-fiber diet can lower the risks of stroke and heart attack.
Getting enough fiber may help you maintain a healthy weight, especially over a period of time. This is due to the fact that fiber slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which can help prevent overeating.
Want a sweet recipe to help you get more fiber? Enjoy this Keto Strawberry Milkshake recipe.
Am I Eating Enough Fiber?
The USDA recommends eating 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men. Many people, however, struggle to reach these basic numbers.
Try adding these foods to up your fiber intake:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Chia seeds
- Psyllium husk powder
Psyllium husk is a natural source of soluble fiber that has been shown to be particularly helpful in promoting the growth of good bacteria in your gut. When used as a supplement, psyllium husk could help keep you regular and aid in digestion. Adding a little to smoothies can make it easier than ever to increase your daily fiber intake.
Some people opt to add psyllium husk to water, but the taste can be off-putting unless you mix it with something a little better.
Symptoms of Low Fiber Intake
Have you experienced any of the following symptoms?
- Bloating and gas
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
These issues can stem from a multitude of root causes, but adding fiber might be one step to resolving these issues.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, and it plays a key role in maintaining digestive health, controlling blood sugar levels, and improving heart health. Whether you're looking to lose weight or simply improve how you feel or how your body functions, increasing your fiber can help you get there.