We all have heard of fiber and that it’s important for our health. What most people don’t know is that there are two kinds; foods with soluble fiber, which break down and dissolve in water and foods with insoluble fiber, which don’t break down or dissolve in water.

Insoluble fiber acts as the “street sweeper” of our guts, pushing waste along. Soluble fiber attracts water and forms a gel. This helps to slow down digestion and keeps you feeling full longer, so high-fiber foods are great for losing weight.

Both types of fiber are equally important for our health, digestion, and preventing conditions like constipation, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more. It’s not only good for keeping our digestive systems flowing properly,  it also plays an important role in regulating blood sugar.

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The daily recommend amount of fiber ranges from 25 grams a day for women and up to 38 grams a day for men. We can get fiber from all plant foods as well as supplements. Garden Of Life is a great example when looking for clean, raw, organic fiber supplements.

10 foods with insoluble fiber

1. Vegetables

– Turnips, okra or green peas have about 3 grams or more of insoluble fiber per 1.2 cup
– Asparagus, bets, sweet potato, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, corn, kale, and green beans all have about 1 to 2 grams of insoluble fiber per 1.2 cup
– 1 cup chopped bell peppers, a medium tomato, and about a 7 inch carrot each yields about 1 gram of insoluble fiber

2. Fruits

– Raspberries are among the top containing insoluble fiber fruits with about 2 grams per cup
– A small apple can yield about 2 grams of insoluble fiber with the skin
– 1.25 cups of strawberries, 1/2 a large pear with the skin or two figs gives you about 2 grams of insoluble fiber

3. Nuts

– 20 walnuts or 24 almonds gives you about 2 grams of insoluble fiber

foods with insoluble fiber_2

4. Sunflower Seeds

– 1/4 cup sunflower seeds gives you about 2 grams of insoluble fiber

5. Quinoa

Quinoa, technically a seed, holds about 5.2 grams of insoluble fiber per 1 cup (cooked).  Quinoa isn’t just for dinner, try these delicious quinoa breakfast recipes.

6. Amaranth

Amaranth, like quinoa, is technically a seed and yields about 5.2 grams of insoluble fiber per 1 cup

7. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds’ nutritional punch is due in part to their 10.6 grams of insoluble fiber per ounce

8. Flax Seeds

– 1 tablespoon of flax seeds yields about 2.2 grams of insoluble fiber

9. Whole grains

– A huge problem in the western diet is the processing that involves grains, which removes the bran leaving a food-like product with no fiber
– An example is cooked long-grain brown rice, which has about 1.8 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup compared to 1/2 cup cooked white rice, which has nearly 0.4 grams of fiber
– 1/2 cup of wheat bran has more than 11 grams of insoluble fiber

10. Beans and other legumes

– Kidney beans have the most insoluble fiber with nearly 6 grams per 1/2 cup
– Pinto, navy, black-eye peas, and lentils range from about 4.2 grams to 4.7 grams of insoluble fiber per 1/2 cup
– Black beans, chick peas and lima beans range from 3 grams to 3.7 grams of insoluble fiber per 1/2 cup

How to get more fiber in your diet:

1. Eat more whole fruits or make smoothies instead of juices. Especially store bought juice that is nothing more than concentrated sugar water.

2. Read labels and check for the words “whole” before any grains on the back, where you will find the ingredients list. Don’t pay attention the marketing trickery on the cover of the product and look for the amount of fiber per serving

3. Start your day with a granola based cereal and add in whole fruits, chia and flax seeds, or some other nuts and seeds.

4. Snack on fiber-rich foods like raw vegetables and hummus. There are so many flavors of hummus now, especially if you make your own, along with so many variations of vegetable to hummus that will keep you satisfied.

5. Add nuts, seeds, or legumes to salads, soups, and stews. I love adding pumpkin seeds, almond slivers, and chick peas to my salads!

6. Replace all “white” products with whole grain bread, pasta, and rice. You can even try sprouted grain bread, which I love.

Ezekiel brand makes a variety of differs flavors and can be found in the frozen section s well as on the shelfs of Whole Foods and trader Joe’s.

It’s sprouted, which means its living food and needs to be frozen, refrigerated, or eaten at room temperature in a timely manor. Just like nay other living food (Fruits and vegetables) it will spoil after being taken from the earth and stored.

7. Try a “meatless Monday” every week. This can be fun, creative, and can get the family involved. Try different meatless recipes and play around and see what you like.

My favorite I have found and made is the “Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf”, which is a mock meatloaf. It is delicious!

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/114903-highest-insoluble-fiber-content-foods/
http://gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/RAW-Digestion/RAW-Fiber.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/31/high-fibre-foods_n_4178239.html
http://www.webmd.com/diet/insoluble-soluble-fiber?page=2

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