Did you know that January is Focus on Fiber Month? The purpose of this month is to spread awareness of the importance fiber for your daily nutrient consumption. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies cannot digest. It’s purpose is to help regulate our bowel movements, to keep us satisfied between meals, and to help keep our energy levels stable throughout the day. Research has shown that increased fiber can also help prevent several chronic diseases such as diabetes, diverticular diseases, colon cancers, and heart disease.
There are two types of fiber: soluble, and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, beans, oatmeal, and lentils. This can be very helpful for curbing appetite cravings and trying to maintain or lose weight. It can also help lower our cholesterol levels overtime. Insoluble fiber is found in fruits with skin, vegetables, and whole grains. Insoluble fiber helps regulate bowel motility. It is recommended that adults have 25-32 grams of fiber per day. Eating fiber and drinking plenty of water can get you on the right track to a healthy digestive system!
Did you Know?
- Constipation is the most reported gastrointestinal complaint in the U.S, and can easily be remedied by increasing fiber each day.
- The average American consumes 10-15 grams of fiber per day (only half of what is needed)!
- Just one cup of oatmeal and an apple can provide 25% of daily fiber needs.
Tips for Increasing Fiber:
- Choose brown rice over white rice.
- Choose breads with “whole grain” in the ingredient list.
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables at meals.
- Eat the skin on baked potatoes.
- Have oatmeal with fruit in the morning for breakfast.
- Add beans like kidney beans or chickpeas to tomato sauces, soups, or chili.
Sources: Harvard School of Public Health Website. LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.