Fiber: what is it and why do we need it

We hear a lot of talk about the importance of “eat more fiber” and trust me, I heard a lot of this growing up with my chronic constipation, but what does fiber actually do and how can it help?

Fiber is the part of plants your body can’t digest and I’m here to break it down for you (hehe) but first, there are two different types of fiber:

  • soluble fiber
  • insoluble fiber

Soluble Fiber:

  • dissolves within fluids when it enters your stomach
  • softens stools by holding moisture
  • increases your feeling of fullness
  • can bind to bile potentially help lower your overall cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease

Found in: oats, apples, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables

Insoluble Fiber

  • retains its shape in the body
  • helps give your waste shape and bulk
  • can help keep you regular

Found in: brown rice, whole grains, and the seeds and skins of fruit

Other Fiber Tips:

Fiber rich foods usually have a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber, so getting in a variety of these foods will help tremendously!

Increasing your diversity of fiber is a good thing for digestion. But initially, it may cause bloating, constipation, or gas, because your stomach isn’t used to the quantity. As you choose to increase your fiber amount, make sure to also increase your water intake to aid in digestion.

Small changes can get you on track to incorporating more fiber into your diet from adding beans to your lunch or dinner meal to choosing fresh fruit with nuts and seeds as a snack.

If you’re wanting more information, join my Plant Centered Prep Facebook group or contact me!

Eating more plants can come with its challenges. There’s a lot of nutrition noise out there, everyone has an opinion, and it can be confusing to figure out what works best for YOU. Working through these challenges and learning how to easily incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet and lifestyle can be helpful. Working with a plant-based dietitian to guide you through your unique journey and surrounding yourself with other like-minded people who are on a similar journey can be monumental. When you join my nutrition coaching program, you’ll get a highly customized, one-on-one experience to help you confidently and sustainably eat foods that taste good and make you feel good. Click the button below to learn more about my approach and see what other clients have to say.