Adding More High Fiber Foods To Your Diet? Here Are A Few Things You Should Know
Recent studies have shown that eating more high-fiber foods can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight. That is because foods that are high in fiber—fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds—help you feel full for longer periods of time, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and even eliminate calories from the foods you eat. But just how should you go about incorporating them into your daily diet? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
When adding more fiber to your diet, it is important to consume a balanced variety of soluble and insoluble fiber foods. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can be found in many fruits, vegetables and grains. It leaves the stomach slowly, soaking up toxins and other material like a sponge as it moves through the intestinal tract. The richest sources of soluble fiber include apples, pears, prunes, plums, beans, oats, legumes and nuts. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, dried beans, whole grains and seeds. Because it does not dissolve in water, it passes through the digestive tract virtually intact, helping to “sweep” the colon free of debris by removing toxins from the intestinal wall.
If you increase your daily fiber intake too quickly, you may temporarily experience some gas or bloating. This may be particularly true if you attempt to increase the fiber in your diet from only a few food types. For example, if you increase your consumption of cereal or breads dramatically, you may experience some intestinal discomfort. It’s better to eat a variety of high-fiber foods from many natural sources. If you experience too much gas and bloating, you can reduce the amount of fiber you are eating for a few days and then gradually continue to increase your fiber intake until you achieve your goals.
Remember to drink plenty of water when you increase the amount of high-fiber foods you are eating. When people experience gas, bloating, or constipation, the typical reason is insufficient water intake. For most people—those who drink enough water—increasing their fiber intake actually relieves constipation. This is because fiber provides the bulk needed for peristalsis, the wave-like motion that moves food through your intestines. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
If you follow these tips and still experience gas or bloating, try increasing your fiber intake more gradually. Adding a digestive enzyme supplement to your diet may prove beneficial, as well as using an herbal colon cleanse formula or an all-natural laxative.
If you are taking powdered fiber supplements, be aware that they can become thick and difficult to swallow. Make sure to mix them in plenty of water or juice, and drink them soon after mixing. There are also many new fiber supplements that dissolve clearly in water. These are mostly soluble fiber powders that are easy to mix and drink. Your goal is to increase the level of fiber in your diet gradually and maintain this level for the rest of your life.
Digestive healthcare expert and naturopathic doctor Brenda Watson has been helping people restore and maintain their digestive health for more than 25 years. She is among the foremost authorities on digestive care and proper nutrition.Fiber Food
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