Are you eating enough fiber?

This week’s health tip puts the spotlight on dietary fiber. This micronutrient promotes digestive health and regularity, balances blood sugar levels, and reduces cholesterol levels. The average American only eats about 11 grams of fiber daily, but Dr. Kristina Roberts, naturopathic physician, recommends 25-40 grams daily (even more if you have elevated cholesterol). The important thing about fiber is to be sure you drink plenty of water when increasing the fiber in your diet.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibers attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion. Soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach makes you feel full and helps control weight. Sources of soluble fiber include oats, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

Insoluble fibers are considered gut-healthy fiber because they have a laxative effect and add bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation. These fibers do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speed up the passage of food and waste through your gut. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables. Sources of insoluble fiber: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, fruit, and root vegetable skins.

Fun fact: Did you know avocados have 11 grams of fiber?

Try this recipe this week


Chia pudding

  • 3 TBSP chia seeds (11 grams fiber, 9 grams protein, 9 grams fat (5 of which are omega-3s)
  • 1 cup almond milk or full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup berries
  • Optional: walnuts, cinnamon, coconut chips, cacao powder

Directions – simply stir the ingredients together and allow to chill overnight to form pudding texture. Enjoy!

 

For more information or questions, contact Dr. Kristina Roberts, naturopathic physician at Lokahi Health Center, at 808-329-2114 or [email protected].