The Importance of Fiber In Your Eating Plan Cannot Be Overstated

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Monique Nelson

Founder at Choose to Cook
Monique Nelson is the founder, chief organizer and editor at Choose To Cook, and is highly motivated to help people of the world take charge of their health through simple and delicious nutritional changes.
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As a Vegan, I am constantly asked, “how do you get your protein?” and, “what about Calcium?”, and told “but you can’t get B12 from plants!”

Just as constantly, I desperately want to shout my reply,

“WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FIBER!?”

The importance of fiber is crucial for our health and weight management and most Americans only get about 15g per day, which is approximately half of the MINIMUM recommended daily intake. We are chronically deficient in fiber and fiber is one of the most important components of managing our hunger cycles (without it we just eat and eat and eat and are never satisfied), the bacteria in our gut (without it we start to suffer from things like IBS and “leaky gut syndrome”), and our bowel movements (without it we get constipated, except for that we probably also have IBS, so sometimes we have diarrhea instead). I don’t know about you, but I would personally like to avoid never-ending hunger and messed up digestive issues.

The funny thing is, fiber is REALLY easy to get naturally with our food. It’s in all sorts of things! The trick is, however, that it’s in all sorts of “real” food; natural food. Not food that is made in a lab and processed until your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it. Plant-based food.

If it's made in a lab and your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize it, it's NOT REAL FOOD. Click To Tweet

There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble (MayoClinic).

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, of which are bodies are up to 60% composed of, and helps to lower cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber does NOT dissolve and it hangs out in your body creating bulk; it weighs down waste, encouraging it to move nicely through your digestive system and out of your body. All the things that you don’t want inside of you – including toxins and any food that is leftover after your body has sucked all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs and fats out for proper metabolic functions – needs to be moved out. You don’t want compost hanging out in your gut rotting, but without fiber, that’s essentially what happens. Fiber is GOOD. To reinforce the post title, the importance of fiber really cannot be overstated!

Here are some of the highest naturally occurring sources of fiber (WebMD):

  • Fresh Fruit
    • 1 Asian Pear = 9.9 grams!
    • 1/2 cup raspberries, blueberries or blackberries = 2 – 4 grams
    • 1 Banana = 3 grams
  • Importance-of-Fiber_Vegetables_Post ImageFresh Vegetables
    • 1/2 cup Spinach = 7 grams
    • 1 medium Artichoke = 10 grams
    • 1 medium Russet Potato = 3+ grams
  • Beans/Legumes (good in so many ways, but check out this post on chickpeas and this one on hummus for more ideas!)
  • Nuts & Seeds
    • Flax – almost 3 grams per tablespoon
    • POPCORN!!!!! 4 grams of fiber per 3 cups popped corn (which would last about 2 minutes around me!)
  • Whole Grains
    • try Bulgur wheat, brown rice, wild rice, and barley as high fiber substitutes for white rice
      • PLEASE do…white rice is severely lacking in nutritional value as compared to some of those incredible alternatives. To learn more, there is a fantastic article over at the Global Healing Centre

Importance-of-Fiber_Beans_Post ImageThere is a phenomenal video that brilliantly shares some scientific breakthroughs and data, showing many arguments that support the case for the importance of fiber. From one of my absolute favorite resources, NutritonalFacts.org, let me introduce, Paleopoo: What We Can Learn From Fossilized Feces

….or we could just eat as nature intended. Thank you Dr. Michael Greger, thank you.

If you’d like to read a little bit more about the importance of fiber AND get some really tasty, high fiber snack ideas, check out this infographic:

Snack Attack: Get More From Your Snack with Fiber and Protein

From Visually.

Post Author: Monique Nelson

Monique Nelson is the founder, chief organizer and editor at Choose To Cook, and is highly motivated to help people of the world take charge of their health through simple and delicious nutritional changes.

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