Fiber is crucial for healthy hormone levels because it helps our body excrete estrogen, keeps our blood sugar better balanced, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It also keeps us full for a longer period of time between meals and snacks. People whose diets are high in fiber are less likely to have problems such as metabolic syndrome, which can be a precursor to diabetes.
Fiber is considered a carbohydrate that the body can’t break down so it passes through the body undigested. There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber easily dissolves in water and is broken down into a gel-like substance in the part of the gut known as the colon. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is left intact as food moves through the gastrointestinal tract. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables. Soluble fiber sources include oatmeal, barley, beans, nuts, and fruits. Both types have been linked to heart health.
Here are some examples of how to include fiber in your meals and snacks:
- Chia seeds are one of the easiest ways to boost your fiber intake. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds provides 5g of fiber. Feel free to add it to your smoothies, yogurt, salads, or even try some homemade chia pudding.
- The skin on fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber in them. Apples, carrots, and pear skin should be consumed with the fruit itself.
- Avocado is more than just a healthy fat choice, it also provides a great source of fiber. Add avocado to your salads, smoothies, or toast to get closer to your fiber goals.
- Beans are a great source of dietary fiber. You can roast beans for salads or add beans in soup to increase your fiber intake.
Improve Eating Habits
Finding ways to get more fiber and other healthy foods in your diet is a great way to improve your eating behaviors. Making sure that you eat foods you enjoy when you make changes to your diet is a great way you can develop habits that last. Dietitians at Behavioral Nutrition can help you identify bad eating habits and improve your diet so you can be happier and healthier.
If you are interested in discussing your nutrition and lifestyle goals or looking to have a healthy relationship with food that is sustainable for a long period of time, please contact the Behavioral Nutrition office to schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietitians.