Plentiful Fiber: 5 Food Sources for fiber!

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Plentiful Fiber: 5 food sources for fiber!

Why is it that dietary fiber is so often associated with bland refined cereals, or dry cereal bars? Fiber is found in so many of our plant-based foods that rank high on the delicious spectrum, and are unabated in nutritional value. There’s no need for bland choices when flavor and variety reigns abundant, and a synch to find in your nearest produce and whole grain grocery aisles. Lets discuss specifics on fiber: its benefits, varieties and where to get it.


Why it’s Great!

Fiber is the indigestible by-product of starch and healthy carbohydrates found in fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds; legumes and whole grains, and a vitally important nutrient for a healthy body. It is the shaker and mover that supports proper digestion and elimination, supports healthy bacterial growth in your gut, and maintains the body’s wellbeing. There are two varieties of fiber, and both offer significant health benefits:

Insoluble Fiber
Insoluble fiber cannot absorb water and is essentially unchanged until it reaches the intestines. This is where the magic happens to promote your health. Insoluble fiber ferments in the intestines supporting the growth of healthy bacterial culture, an essential process for healthy digestion and assimilation/ use of your food’s nutrients.

Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is the body’s dietary janitor that absorbs water from the large intestines and softens stool to support regularity and elimination of waste. It also supports healthy cholesterol and heart health, and blood-sugar levels. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol in the diet eliminating excess, and has the ability to slow down digestion of carbohydrates, minimizing a spike and crash in blood-sugar levels.[1][2][3]

Where to get it: Delicious and Nutritious Plant-Based Fiber
Adult women should aim to eat 25 grams of fiber a day, while adult men should shoot for 38 grams.4 The reality is if you’re choosing plant-based foods that are minimally processed, you’re getting the fiber you need. Here are some of my favorite fiber-packed foods:

1.     Fruit- all fruits contain fiber, some more than others, and even more so when there is a clean and edible peel involved. My favorite fruit worth mentioning is blackberries. One cup of blackberries contains 7.6 g of fiber compared to 5.8g in 1 cup of sliced bananas, an excellent and delicious source of dietary fiber.[5]

2.      Legumes and pulses – it doesn’t matter which bean, pea or lentil you choose, you can guarantee you’re getting an impressive amount of fiber. The real question is how to incorporate these into your daily meals. Chilli, daal, soups, stews, and power bowls are a few of the ways you can use these plant-based foods. For more recipes checkout Thrive Kitchen for inspiration and an array of recipes.

3.     Nuts & Seeds – the reigning champions in this category are flax and chia. Both of these seeds contain soluble and/ or insoluble fiber; making the whole seeds an excellent addition to your diet. Use these in smoothies, baking, cereal, and pre-workout drinks or enjoy them in Vega One.

4.     Sprouted Whole Grains – Five minute rice and white bread don’t make the cut when it comes to fiber. Essentially these white and fiberless foods are quickly digested into glucose without the help of fiber for efficient digestion, or much nutrient value. Eating whole grains, like brown rice, steel cut oats, buckwheat grouts, or millet and quinoa, offer satiating and blood-sugar supporting fiber, and not to mention a whole party of essential nutrients. An ultimate favorite is brown rice used in dragon bowls.

5.      Vegetables and leafy greens – cruciferous vegetables like kale or kohlrabi, to fiber-packed root vegetables, like yams, this category is a great way to add fiber with great flavor and texture to your next meal. Baked yams with cinnamon, cayenne and coconut oil on a chilly day, or an hour before a work out? Yes, please!

If you’re curious about whether you’re getting enough fiber, make sure to choose foods from each of these categories. Plant-based meals can be easy and delicious while supporting your daily requirements of dietary fiber.


[1] Andreson, J. Baird, P. Davis Jr, R. Ferreri, S. Knudtson, M. Koraym A. Waters, V. Williams, C. (2009) Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber. Nutrition Review: International Life Science Institute. Retrieved September 27, 2013 from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/full

[2] Andreson, J. Baird, P. Davis Jr, R. Ferreri, S. Knudtson, M. Koraym A. Waters, V. Williams, C. (2009) Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber. Nutrition Review: International Life Science Institute. Retrieved September 27, 2013 from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/full

[3] Jenkins, D. Kendall, C. Vuksan, V. Vidgen, E. Parker, Tina. Faulkner, D. Mehling, C. Garsettie, M. Testolin, G. Cunnane, S. Ryan, M. Corey, P. (2002) Soluble Fiber Intake at a Dose Approved by the USDA for a claim of Health Benefits. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved September 27, 2013 from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/834.short

[4] Institute of Medicine. (2009). Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients. Accessed on 9/29/13 from http://www.iom.edu/Global/News%20Announcements/~/media/C5CD2DD7840544979A549EC47E56A02B.ashx

[5] (2013) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Agriculture Research Service USDA. Retrieved September 30, 2013 from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2239

Published on

Vega’s website, October 17, 2013