Healthy foods contain so many things that are good for your body. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants — they all make major contributions to your health.
Dietary fiber is another nutritional superstar. It plays a hugely important role in your digestive health and your overall health. In fact, one of the best things you can do for your body is to ensure you eat enough fiber.
The care providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in The Woodlands, Texas, including Dr. Ilyas Memon, want to make sure all of our patients understand why dietary fiber is important and how you can include more of it in your meals and snacks every day. Here, we share helpful information about this crucial nutrient, including five tips on how to eat more of it.
When your grandmother talked about getting enough roughage in her diet, she may have been thinking about constipation. It’s true: a fiber-rich diet can work wonders on your bowel movements, helping bulk them up and soften them so you can pass stools easily.
Fiber helps your digestive system in other ways, too. It helps reduce the risk of conditions such as hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and colorectal cancer.
But fiber does so much more than help you poop properly. Eating enough fiber can also help lower your cholesterol, help with heart health, control your blood sugar, and help with weight control.
Want to eat more fiber? Follow these five simple steps.
Not only is fruit delicious, but it’s packed with fiber. To get the most fiber, eat fruit such as apples with their skin, and choose whole, raw fruit rather than canned fruit or juice. High-fiber fruits include apples, pears, berries (especially raspberries), and oranges.
In addition to providing a huge array of vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting compounds, vegetables are a great go-to for dietary fiber. Some of the best include artichokes, broccoli, sweet potatoes with their skin, spinach, and summer squash.
Forget about white pasta, white rice, white bread, and refined cereals. When you choose whole-grain versions of these foods, you treat your body to a wealth of dietary fiber. And if you’re a fan of rice, experiment with other high-fiber grains such as quinoa, barley, bulgur, and “riced” vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
When it comes to fiber, beans, peas, and lentils give you some of the greatest bang for your fiber buck. For example, a cup of cooked pinto beans delivers nearly as much fiber as four medium apples with their skin. Add legumes to your diet by mixing them into soups, salads, and chili, or mash them up with olive oil and herbs to make delicious fresh veggie dips.
Nuts, seeds, and their butter not only provide fiber but when you eat them in place of meat — say, when you have a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat instead of roast beef on a white roll — you also protect your health in other ways, like lowering heart disease risk.
Want to learn more about dietary fiber? For a full list of fiber-rich foods and the amount of fiber they contain, click on this guide from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The care providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants want to help you take the best possible care of your digestive health. Whether you are experiencing symptoms or simply want to understand what steps you can take to protect your gastrointestinal system, our providers are here for you. Please call 281-764-9500 or book an appointment online.