It seems like everywhere you look these days you see advertisements and messages encouraging you to eat more fiber. And why not? Fiber serves a lot of very important purposes and are crucial for overall health!
You’re probably familiar with its ability to help keep you regular and improve digestion, but did you know that consuming a variety of foods containing fiber (both soluble and insoluble) has also been shown to help lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease?[i]
Why You Need It, How to Get It
Check it out, according to the Mayo Clinic, a high-fiber diet (roughly 38 grams per day for me, 25 grams per day for women) can help:
Maintain Bowel Health and Regularity: to put it gently, insoluble fiber (the kind that doesn’t dissolve in water and bulks up in your intestine, like cauliflower, potatoes, nuts and other vegetables) helps keep things moving smoothly and the right size and shape. This helps prevent constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and other colon diseases.
Lower Cholesterol Levels: soluble fiber (the kind that dissolves into a gel-like substance and is found in foods like oatmeal, peas, citrus fruits and beans) has been shown in some studies to lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
Control Blood Sugar Levels: these studies mostly concentrate on people who suffer from diabetes, but some studies show that a healthy diet that is rich in insoluble fiber may protect against the development of type 2 diabetes. Even more, consuming soluble fiber can help slow the absorption of sugar into your blood (preventing spikes and crashes).
Reduce Blood Pressure and Inflammation: the jury is still out on this one (re: studies are still being conducted), but some research shows that consuming high-fiber foods may help reduce blood pressure, fight hypertension, and fight inflammation.[ii]
Support Weight Loss/ Healthy Weight Maintenance: again with the full-factor. Because fiber is bulky, it fills you up faster and help keep you feeling full longer, thus avoiding overeating and snacking. They also typically take longer to eat (hello, chewing!), meaning you don’t hose down your meal in minutes and go back for seconds.
They’re Powerfully Prebiotic: fiber is considered a prebiotic – food source for probiotics, or what they feed off of to remain actively working in your digestive system. Probiotics, like those found in our kefir, may help promote healthy digestion and support proper immune function.
Get Your Fiber Fix
Fiber is found naturally and abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as in whole grains, beans, legumes and nuts. From apples to peanuts, celery to cereal[iii], fiber can be found in small quantities in almost anything. Unfortunately, for as easy as it is to get, the vast majority of Americans don’t consume half of the fiber recommended on a daily basis.
For those people, and anyone who wants an extra kick of probiotics to go with their fiber, we created a line of Kefir with Oats – a complete breakfast on the go! It’s the same kefir you know and love infused with three grams of naturally derived inulin fiber to “help you go when you’re on the go.” It’s available in three delectable flavors – Blueberry Maple, Vanilla Plum, and Apple Cinnamon – it’s a great way to start your day.
Need something to chew on? Try our recipe for Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, Berry Kefir Porridge, Plum Overnight Oats or Seamus Mullen’s Power Granola. For a treat, grab one of these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (ok, two at the most).