The nutrition in your diet describes the content of the foods you eat. There are macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, to keep your body functioning at its optimal state.
A specific type of carbohydrate called fiber plays an important role in keeping your digestive system functional, preventing hunger, and controlling your blood sugar among other benefits. Even within the category of fiber, there are multiple types that are beneficial to your health and wellness.
If you’re not sure where to start with developing a fiber-rich diet, our specialist Sohan Varma, MD, at Washington Internal Medicine in Chantilly, California, starts with an evaluation. He utilizes a variety of tests to assess the nutrition you’re getting in your current diet, such as a complete nutrition test. Using the results of the test and observations regarding your health and wellness, Dr. Varma helps you include fiber in your diet and explore its indisputable benefits.
Why you need fiber
Dietary fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate you can find in fruits and veggies. While your digestive system does a thorough job of breaking down most of the carbohydrates and other nutrients you consume, fiber passes through your stomach and intestines still in its original form.
To fully understand the depth of the benefits of eating fiber, it’s important to recognize the distinction between the two types of fiber:
The soluble variety of fiber absorbs water, which causes it to eventually dissolve into a gel-like substance inside your digestive system. Its main benefits are minimizing cholesterol in your system and regulating your blood sugar. Both of these benefits help ward off severe health issues and nutritional imbalances that threaten your well-being.
Insoluble fiber does not absorb water or dissolve in it. It retains its structure and helps bulk up your stool. It also assists foods and other substances as they go through the digestive system, which prevents constipation.
Together, both types of fiber collaborate to reduce inflammation in your gut, support cardiovascular function, and prevent metabolic conditions like type 2 diabetes.
How to include more daily fiber in your diet
If you haven’t thought about it much, you might not automatically include much fiber in your diet. You might get some since fiber is in a wide variety of foods, but making a conscious effort to include substantial daily fiber gives you increased access to the health benefits. You might be interested in learning more about nutrition and fiber because of specific health and digestion issues you have in the first place.
You can find insoluble fiber mostly in wheat and grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and legumes. If you’re looking to include more fiber in a diet that lacks it, consider trading one of the complex carbohydrates in your diet like white bread or white rice for a whole grain option. You can also find it in leafy greens like kale as well as the skin of certain fruits like pears and apples.
Soluble fiber is present in a different variety of foods. You can find it in oats, beans, peas, and nuts as well as the fleshy parts of fruits like apples and blueberries.
Ready to enhance your diet with more fiber?
A visit to Washington Internal Medicine can give you personalized insight into your diet and your nutritional needs. Find out more about fiber by scheduling an appointment over the phone or online today.