When it comes to the tapestry of health, consider fiber an essential thread that weaves its benefits throughout your body.

Beyond being an important digestive aid, fiber plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal health, nutritionists say.

Fiber is exclusive to plant foods and is a component of a plant that is difficult for the human body to digest. As a result, it has positive benefits to the body like binding LDL cholesterol, maintaining low cholesterol levels, protects and enhances the body’s gut health and more. From nurturing gut microbiota and promoting heart health to stabilizing blood sugar levels and aiding in weight management, fiber does all of that and more.

As Jaclyn Fodor, a Boston-based registered dietitian and owner of Nutrition Counseling of New England, put it, “Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet that offers a range of benefits, especially for digestive health.”

Fodor also notes that since it’s a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest, it passes relatively intact through the digestive system. 

“There are two main types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble, each contributing to various aspects of digestion and overall well-being,” she said.

She reiterated that fiber is an important component of our diet because it promotes regular bowel movements, supports gut health, aids in weight management, stabilizes blood sugar levels and can lower cholesterol levels.

Fiber decreases inflammation, allows the body to maintain regular bowel function and bowel consistency, helps store food in the body, has a positive impact on blood sugar including balancing and avoiding imbalances and much more.

Nutritionists say fiber plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal health and works as a digestive aid.
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“Most people associate fiber with bowel movements and bowel regulation, but it impacts so much more,” Christina Palmisano, MS, MBA, RDN, told Fox News Digital. Palmisano is a functional and integrative dietitian at Being Functional Nutrition. 

She has a master’s degree in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University and other accolades and certifications.

“It’s a key component for overall health.”

Fiber plays an important role when it comes to weight maintenance and management, satiety and feeling fullness, said Palmisano; it connects to so many processes in the body.

“Your gut is the foundation for 70% of your immune system,” she said. “If your gut is out of whack, your health is likely out of whack.”

your diet regularly:

1. Raspberries

Fodor calls raspberries a “nutritious gem.” 

And they pack eight grams of dietary fiber per cup. 

They also taste great and are “packed with disease-fighting properties,” said Fodor. 

Berries of any kind are high in fiber.
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Plus, raspberries are high in fiber at eight grams per cup and are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C and plant chemicals called flavonoids, which also have antioxidant effects, said Fodor. 

“Antioxidants help the body eliminate free radicals which may result from external factors, such as pollution and unhealthful foods,” she added.

2. Any kind of berries

Along with raspberries, consider munching on blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.

“Berries are one of the best foods we can eat, period,” said Jennie Waegelein, a registered dietitian in private practice at JM Wellness based in New York City, who focuses predominantly on gut/hormone health as well as sports. 

“They contain numerous antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients to help us thrive daily.”

Blackberries and raspberries can contain up to 8 grams of dietary fiber.
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One cup of blackberries or raspberries contain eight grams of dietary fiber, “about one-third of your daily need,” Waegelein added.

Love putting blueberries on your oatmeal, in yogurt or in smoothies? 

A cup of blueberries contains about four grams of fiber.

Strawberries, meanwhile, pack three grams of fiber per cup, according to nutritionists.

3. Beans 

Along with lentils, add another member of the legume family — beans — to your diet to boost your fiber intake.  

“A mere ½ cup of cooked kidney beans will provide eight grams of fiber,” said Salge Blake. 

Beans also contain some viscous soluble fibers, she noted.

“This type of fiber can also aid in relieving constipation, as their water-attracting capability allows the stool to increase in bulk and form a gel-like soft texture, which makes it easier to pass,” she said.

“Beans are also a good source of protein, so you get ‘two for the price of one’ when you add them to your diet.”

4. Nuts and seeds

Palmisano says a high-fiber category of food that is overlooked is nuts and seeds. She recommends chia and flax seeds, which continue 8–10 grams of fiber per serving.

“We focus so much on grains when it comes to fiber, but there are other foods out there that are even better,” she said.

Additionally, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds and pistachios are a great source of fiber.

5. Oatmeal 

Salge Blake said oatmeal is also a great source of viscous soluble fiber, which can aid in constipation as mentioned above.

“A cup of cooked oatmeal will provide four grams of fiber. Have them cooked or as overnight oats, as a high fiber way to start your day,” suggested Salge Blake.

6. Non-starchy vegetables

“The best place to get fiber is non-starchy vegetables,” said Palmisano. She recommends kale, broccoli, carrots, spinach, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and peppers, which are also packed with plenty of micronutrients.

7. Kiwis

Here’s another fruit you may want to include in your high-fiber diet. 

“Kiwi fruits contain a unique mix of fibers and polyphenols, which have been shown to both support the gut bacteria via a prebiotic effect together with providing laxative benefits,” said Kara Landau, a prebiotic registered dietitian at Gut Feeling Consultancy and nutrition adviser to the Global Prebiotic Association in Chicago.

Eating the skin of an organic kiwi can add to the fiber intake.
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“Studies show that consuming two golden kiwi fruits per day can help with constipation and assist with the passing of bowel motions similarly to including psyllium husk.” 

One kiwi has approximately two grams of fiber. 

If you bought an organic kiwi, wash and then eat the kiwi with the skin to maximize your fiber consumption.

8. Lentils 

Lentils are a solid high-fiber option because this food is high in protein, said Waegelein; it adds a plant-based option for vegans and vegetarians.

“Lentils are an incredible nutrient source high in potassium, fiber and folate,” said Fodor, adding that one cup of lentils packs 16 grams of dietary fiber.

“Lentils are inexpensive, easily accessible and simple to cook, making them a powerhouse nutrient dense food.”

9. Avocados

This green fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) is a great source of fiber, which surprises a lot of people because of its creamy consistency, said Fodor. 

Avocados contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats and vitamins B, C, E and K, she said, pointing out that one medium avocado contains 10 grams of dietary fiber.

“Avocados are an excellent source of fiber,” said Palmisano. “They’re a great source of healthy fat and they contain a bunch of vitamins.”

Bonus: They are packed with carotenoids, “which have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease,” she added.

10. Whole grains

Oats, barley and quinoa are high in fiber and easily added to plenty of meals. Of the three, barley contains the most fiber per serving at six grams per one cup of cereal grain.

11. Potato and butternut squash

Potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash are all high fiber foods, too.

Source: nypost.com

Kerri Waldron

My name is Kerri Waldron and I am an avid healthy lifestyle participant who lives by proper nutrition and keeping active. One of the things I love best is to get to where I am going by walking every chance I get. If you want to feel great with renewed energy, you have to practice good nutrition and stay active.

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