Fiber is extremely important in our diet. Unlike most carbohydrates, fiber cannot be broken down by the body; instead, it passes through undigested to help keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Health professionals claim that one way to achieve and maintain a healthy body is fueling it with high-fiber foods. The body needs at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily for a healthy diet.
But many people are not thrilled about this certain type of carbohydrate because it brings up images of unpalatable, unsavory vegetables, which are the some of the best and highly advertised high-fiber foods.
It’s a trend that we must face: more people are eating meat and ignoring their veggies. The good news is, when it comes to fiber, there are many good means other than your standard cabbage or broccoli.
While you can’t force yourself to like vegetables for your daily required fiber intake, you can always turn to this alternative, less-known sources:
We know that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but most of us never really bothered to ask why. One reason is that an apple contains about 5 grams of fiber, including a special fiber called pectin. This type of fiber is soluble, meaning it forms a gel in your stomach, delaying the digestion and absorption of food. Basically, pectin makes you feel full for a longer period. If snacking on apple isn’t part of your daily routine, then better make it a habit starting today.
If you’re serious about increasing your fiber intake, then air-popped popcorn is a good addition to your dietary list. Each cup of air-popped popcorn has high fiber content, calorie per calorie. But forget about adding butter, oil, cheese powder, sugar, salt, or any fatty additives, otherwise, you’ll compromise the healthy fiber/calorie ratio.
Oats have been highly promoted as one of the healthiest grain foods on the planet. Apart from being rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they contain beta-glucan, a powerful soluble fiber that helps with cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Per 100 grams of raw oats, you get 10.6 grams of fiber.
Kamote (Sweet Potatoes)
Potatoes are nowhere near as health-packed as their sweeter counterpart – the underrated kamote. The extremely filling, sweet and delicious sweet potato, which doesn’t actually belong to the same vegetable family as white potatoes, contains plenty of fiber, B-vitamins, beta-carotene and various minerals. A medium-sized boiled kamote contains about 3.8 grams of fiber.
Dark chocolate may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a great trade-off between sugar-laden, high-fat chocolate and fiber-rich antioxidants. Dark chocolate is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods with various health benefits. In a 1-ounce piece of dark chocolate, you will benefit from 3.1 grams of fiber. Just remember to go for dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa, or you could be buying its counterproductive sugar-filled alternative.