Fiber is an essential nutrient. However, most of us are falling short of the recommended daily amount in their diets. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target 38 grams (21 and 30 grams daily for those over the age of 51).
Dietary fiber contributes to our health and wellness in a number of ways. First, it helps in providing fullness after meals, which helps promote a healthy weight. Second, it can help to lower cholesterol. Third, it helps prevent constipation and diverticulosis; fourth, an adequate amount of fiber from whole food helps keep blood sugar within a healthy range.
Here are a few whole foods that are naturally high in fiber:
· 1 large pear with skin (7 grams)
· 1 cup fresh raspberries (8 grams)
· ½ medium avocado (5 grams)
· 1 ounce almonds (3.5 grams)
· ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams)
· 3 cups air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams)
· 1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)
Remember when increasing fiber, be sure to do it gradually and with plenty of fluids.
Photoy courtesy of Linchi Kwok