Fiber is a carbohydrate found in plant foods and it is indigestable when eaten. The two types of fiber found in plants are called "soluble" (dissolves in water) and "insoluble" (does not dissolve in water).
Why is something like indigestable fiber so important in our diet?
There are the obvious regularity benefits but, it also helps protect against certain kinds of cancers, most notably colon and rectal cancers.
Obtaining fiber from natural whole food sources is ideal because of the added nutrient benefits of whole foods. For those looking to obtain fiber naturally, some examples of good whole food sources that contain fiber include:
- Most fruits (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, pears, and apples)
- Dark leafy greens
- Whole-wheat foods
- Dried beans
- Many other fruits and vegetables
Both types have significant health benefits so eating a variety of these foods to get enough of both types is important.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the following for increasing fiber intake:
- Choose whole fruits more than fruit juice. Try to eat two vegetables with your evening meal.
- Keep a bowl of vegetables washed and prepared your refrigerator for quick meals and snacks.
- Make a few meals each week using dried beans or peas instead of meat.
- Choose whole grain foods.
Try taking the fiber quiz in the video to find out what foods contain the most fiber. The answer might surprise you!