For a food that your body can’t even digest, fiber has an impressive role in your health. In fact, its ability to pass through your stomach, small intestine and colon mostly intact is part of what makes it so useful.
For starters, fiber provides bulk to your diet, helping you feel full longer (and ultimately maintain a healthy weight). Fiber is also known to help regulate your body’s use of sugar, including helping to keep your blood sugar level in check.
There are actually two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble – and you need them both for optimal health. Soluble fiber, which dissolves partially in water, helps slow your digestion, making you feel satiated (this is why soluble fiber is sometimes described as a weight loss tool). This type of fiber is also known to improve insulin sensitivity (a major bonus if you have diabetes) and help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, adds bulk to your stool, making it a great aid for relieving constipation and helping with digestion.
Most Americans Aren’t Getting Enough Fiber
Dietary guidelines suggest that children and adults need between 20 to 38 grams of fiber a day, but most Americans get only about 15 grams.[i] A recent study confirmed that while people who ate the most whole grains tended to have the highest fiber intakes, 39 percent of children and teens and 42 percent of adults consumed no whole grains at all.[ii] Only 3 percent of children and teens, and 8 percent of adults ate the recommended three servings of whole grains per day.[iii]
Of course, vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber, but many Americas are lacking in this department too. Only 27 percent of adults, and 13 percent of high school students, get the recommended three servings of vegetables a day.[iv]
The end result? Many Americans are struggling with sluggish digestion courtesy of a lack of natural fiber in their diets. But, even more than this, if you’re skimping on fiber, you’re missing out on disease-fighting benefits. As reported by Harvard School of Public Health:[v]
“Fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation.”
15 Best High-Fiber Foods
Want to get more fiber in your diet? The good news is that fiber is found in virtually every plant-based food around. So focusing your diet on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains is a simple way to significantly increase your fiber intake. Beyond that, the foods that follow are particularly good sources of beneficial fiber:[vi]
- Split peas (16.3 grams of fiber per cup … split-pea soup, anyone?)
- Lentils (15.6 grams per cup)
- Black beans (15 grams per cup)
- Artichokes (10.3 grams per medium artichoke – more fiber per serving than any other vegetable! [vii])
- Peas (8.8 grams per cup)
- Broccoli (5.1 grams per cup)
- Brussels Sprouts (4.1 grams per cup)
- Raspberries (8 grams per cup)
- Blackberries (7.6 grams per cup)
- Avocado (6.7 grams per half avocado)
- Pear (5.5 grams per medium pear)
- Chia seeds (5.5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, great for smoothies)
- Oatmeal (4 grams per cup, cooked)
- Ground flaxseed (3.8 grams of fiber per two tablespoons)
- Psyllium husk (71 grams of fiber in one-third cup!)
Psyllium Husk has More than 14 Times the Fiber as Oat Bran
Psyllium husk is easily the number-one food you need to be eating if your diet needs more fiber. Psyllium husk is the outer coating of the psyllium seed. Each tiny husk is made up of about 70 percent soluble fiber and 30 percent insoluble fiber. Psyllium husk is widely available in supplement form, which is great because you can take a serving and knock out your daily fiber requirements in one fell swoop. (If you take it in powder form, be sure to drink it with a full glass of water to prevent choking and ensure the bulk is able to pass freely through your intestines).
If your psyllium husk is ground into a powder that’s flavored and colored with artificial additives and sugar, take a pass, however. Many of the most popular brands on the market actually taint the health benefits of natural psyllium husk by adding in artificial colors, flavors and even sugar or artificial sweeteners like aspartame. When seeking a truly health-promoting product, you need pure, unadulterated psyllium that contains no additives.
For this, I recommend psyllium husk in capsule form, such as in Natural Cleanse, which combines 150 mg of pure psyllium husk per serving with other natural health-boosting ingredients like buckthorn bark, milk thistle extract, ginger, rhubarb, licorice, cloves and a specially formulated probiotic blend.
This is THE most cutting-edge solution for flushing your colon clear of toxic build-ups, soothing inflammation of your GI tract, and replenishing good bacteria to help rebalance your gut microflora. If you haven’t been eating enough fiber, there’s a very good chance your colon could use some extra attention, which is what makes the fiber in Natural Cleanse the ‘perfect’ solution.
Written By: Updated: July 30,2014