I just listened to a fascinating podcast by Doctor Rhonda Patrick concerning the importance of fiber in our diets. I won’t require you to listen but I do heartily recommend it. It’s a great reminder of the importance of fiber not only for weight loss but also for providing what is needed to maintain a healthy gut microbiota which assists us to have a healthy immune system. The podcast can be found at https://www.foundmyfitness.com and her interview is with the Sondenbergs.
Nutrition Diva (another of my favorite pod casters) shares four reasons that including lots of fiber in your diet are of great benefit:
Reason #1 Fiber fills you up.
If you're watching your weight, fiber is your best friend. High fiber foods fill you up with fewer calories because they are naturally bulky, which makes your stomach feel full. Fiber also slows down the digestive process so you can go longer without feeling hungry again. It even decreases the amount of fat and calories that are absorbed from the digestive tract! Trying to lose weight on a low-fiber diet is like parallel parking without power steering. Sure, it's possible, but why make things harder than they need to be?
Reason #2. Fiber prevents disease.
Fiber is your body's janitorial staff. It sweeps up digestive and cellular debris, mops up cholesterol, environmental toxins and surplus hormones, and takes out the trash. That's why a high-fiber diet reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many kinds of cancer. If you've ever been in Manhattan during a garbage strike, you know that waste management is one municipal service you don't ever want to live without. Same with your body.
Reason #3. Life is better when you're regular
The only people who find the subject of irregularity funny are those who've never suffered from it. And the two of you can just keep your chuckles to yourself! The reason so many people suffer from occasional or chronic constipation is that most people don't eat anywhere near enough fiber. 'Nuff said.
Reason #4. Fiber hangs out with a cool crowd.
You can get more fiber by taking a fiber supplement every day. But you'll be much better off if you simply eat more foods that are naturally rich in fiber. That's because fiber tends to be found in foods that are also full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans, phenols, and other good stuff. When you eat more high-fiber foods, your entire diet gets a nutritional upgrade. See how much sexier fiber is than you ever imagined?
The USDA recommends that you get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. Nutrition Diva recommends 35-40 grams. The Sondenbergs would like you to eat 50-100. For this next week of our competition you will earn the 5 bonus points every day that you eat at least 25 grams of fiber (but try to shoot for 35-40).
The easiest way to increase the fiber in your diet is to:
1. Include high fiber cereal in your diet.
3. Eat more beans and legumes and choose whole grains over refined as often as possible.
4. Other foods high in fiber are avocados, sunflower seeds, tahini (sesame butter), dried figs, green peas, sun-dried tomatoes, and popcorn.
* My apologies if fiber was the nutrient you chose to track in our past challenge. But if so you should be good at it by now !