You’ve likely heard the importance of eating whole-wheat foods and limiting intake of refined grains. Yet do many understanding the benefits in fiber-packed foods for colon health? Fiber is naturally found in whole wheat, oats, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Since fiber is not absorbed in the small intestine it promotes bulky stools aiding the passing of bowel movements. According to the Mayo Clinic a high-fiber diet helps lower the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticular disease and also decreases likelihood of constipation. 

Are there different types of fiber, and how do each benefit health?

Fiber is classified as soluble (dissolves in water) or insoluble (doesn’t dissolve in water). Soluble fiber is found in oats, barley, beans, psyllium, and other foods. WebMD comments on health benefits of soluble fiber stating, “Soluble fiber is linked to lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.” Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber found in whole-wheat products, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and other foods. Insoluble fiber promotes regular bowel movements and colon health. Fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract creating bulky stools. Therefore, it’s important to drink sufficient water when increasing fiber intake. Now that we gathered exciting fiber-facts it’s time to explore nutritious food options!

What are some nutritious fiber-rich foods?

1. Raspberries are amongst the highest fiber-rich fruits containing 8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving. Other fruits rich in fiber include bananas, oranges, figs, and raisins. Visit the Mayo Clinic for more fiber-rich fruit choices. 

2. Vegetables like artichokes, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and turnip are also high in fiber.

3. Types of fiber-rich grains include oatmeal, brown rice, barley, and whole-wheat. The Mayo Clinic points how whole-wheat cooked spaghetti contains 6.3 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving.

4. Lentils, legumes, and seeds are fiber-rich foods. As documented by the Mayo Clinic 1-cup of boiled split peas contains 16.3 grams of fiber per serving, and almonds contain 3.5 grams of fiber in a 1 oz. serving.

Fiber content varies per serving size. It’s significant to review nutrition labels for dietary fiber content found in each serving. WebMD shares the recommended daily intake of 38 grams of fiber for men and 25 grams for women under 50. For women over 51 WebMD notes 21 grams of recommended daily fiber intake and 30 grams for men over 51. The Mayo Clinic advises on fiber intake stating, “Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change.”

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.