Fiber is an essential nutrient meaning that your body requires but does not produce it. Fiber can help lower cholesterol and is a key player in helping digestion. It also helps to prevent constipation. The recommended daily intake for fiber is 20 to 35g according to the American Dietetic Association or 14g for every 1 000 calories
types of fiber
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber is associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It also helps clear the digestive tract. The best sources of insoluble fiber include whole-wheat breads wheat cereals wheat bran rye rice barley cabbage beets carrots Brussels sprouts turnips cauliflower and apple skin according to the American Dietetic Association.
Soluble fiber also helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition it slows gastric emptying which makes you feel fuller longer. Sources of soluble fiber include oat bran oatmeal beans peas rice bran barley citrus fruits strawberries and apple pulp according to the American Dietetic Association.
It is not a food special it is the best source of fiber. But food highest in fiber include black beans and lentils (8g per 1/2 cup) bran flakes (7g per cup) shredded wheat (6 G per cup) and acorn squash (5g per 1/2 cup) according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Adding Fiber to the Diet
There are easy ways to add fiber to your diet. Adding fruit to whole grain cereals can add 2 to 3 g of fiber. Using whole-wheat pasta or whole-wheat bread instead of white flour add 2 to 3 grams of fiber. It is important to drink plenty of water (eight servings per day) to help the fiber do its job in the digestive tract.