Understanding Fiber for Digestive Health

Posted at 11:00 - July 15th, 2019 - Megan & Jae - Education Guides

Most people think of fiber as only something to use for occasional constipation. In reality, fiber is a sub-category of the nutrient group carbohydrates. It is derived from plants and is not digestible.

 

Two Forms:

Soluble: Able to dissolve in water, readily ferments in the colon and may include nutrients and function as a viable food source for beneficial bacteria (referred to as a prebiotic) in the digestive tract.

Insoluble: Does not dissolve in water, absorbs water from the digestive tract forming added bulk and provide no nutrients.

Benefits of fiber

Blood sugar: Soluble fiber has been shown to help offset the impact of sugar hitting the blood stream. The term “net carbs” applies to subtracting the amount of fiber content from the total carbohydrates.

Example: A serving of oatmeal has 56 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber. By subtracting 8 (fiber) from 56 (total carbohydrates), the result of 46 grams indicates the actual amount of carbohydrates impacting the blood sugar.  

Heart support: Various studies have indicated a positive correlation between dietary fiber and reduction in heart disease risk.

Stroke: Research has indicated that for every 7 grams of fiber consumed on a daily basis, stroke risk is decreased by 7 to 8 percent.


Weight loss/maintenance
: Some fibers help produce gut microbes which assist in sending the “stop eating” signal. Also, fiber’s ability to absorb water and create bulk adds to the sense of fullness.

Additional benefits from adequate dietary fiber include reducing the risks of: diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones and kidney stones

Fiber Sources – Veggies are Preferable to Grains

Complex, non-starch vegetables: Adequate intake of vegetables on a daily basis provides the most natural form of both soluble and insoluble fiber. For best results, aim for 6 to 9 servings (1/2 cup per serving) per day.

Fruit: Eat fruit that offers edible skin, the part of the fruit highest in nutrients and fiber.

Grains: Contain simple, starch carbohydrates which raise insulin levels and contribute to blood sugar crashes.

Even so-called “whole grains” are stripped of outer fiber and processed resulting in higher net carbohydrates.

Fiber Amounts in Common Fruits and Vegetables

VEGETABLES

SERVING SIZE

FIBER

 

FRUIT

SERVING SIZE

FIBER

Avocado (fruit)

1 medium

11.8

 

Blackberries

1 cup

8.0

Peas, cooked

1 cup

8.8

 

Raspberries

1 cup

6.4

Kale, cooked

1 cup

7.2

 

Lemons, without peel

1 cup

6.0

Winter squash, cooked

1 cup

6.2

 

Pear with skin

1 medium

5.1

Carrot, cooked

1 cup

5.2

 

Apple with skin

1 medium

5.0

Sweet potato, cooked

1 medium

4.9

 

Strawberries

1 cup

4.4

Potato, baked w/ skin

1 medium

4.8

 

Blueberries

1 cup

4.2

Broccoli, cooked

1 cup

4.5

 

Banana

1 medium

3.9

Spinach, cooked

1 cup

4.3

 

Figs, dried

2 medium

3.7

Beet greens

1 cup

4.2

 

Orange, navel

1 medium

3.4

Cabbage, cooked

1 cup

4.2

 

Peaches, dried

3 pieces

3.2

Cole slaw (cabbage/carrots)

1 cup

4.0

 

Grapefruit

½ medium

3.1

Green beans

1 cup

4.0

 

Cherries, sweet, raw

1 cup

3.0

Swiss chard, cooked

1 cup

3.7

 

Apricots, dried

4 pieces

2.9

Brussels sprouts, cooked

1 cup

3.6

 

Peach

1 medium

2.0

Cauliflower, cooked

1 cup

3.4

 

Raisins

1.5 oz

1.6

Onions, raw

1 cup

2.9

 

Cantaloupe, cubes

1 cup

1.3

Beets, cooked

1 cup

2.8

 

Plum

1 medium

1.1

Bok choy, cooked

1 cup

2.8

 

Apricots

3 medium

1.0

Collard greens, cooked

1 cup

2.6

 

Grapes, red or green

1 cup

1.0

Peppers, sweet

1 cup

2.6

 

 

 

 

Zucchini, cooked

1 cup

2.6

 

 

 

 

Summer squash, cooked

1 cup

2.6

 

 

 

 

Celery

1 stalk

1.1

 

 

 

 

Tomato

1 medium

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

GRAINS, BEANS, NUTS & SEEDS

SERVING SIZE

FIBER

 

SERVING SIZE

FIFER

Post Bran Cereal

1 cup

24.0

Sunflower seeds, dried

1 cup

12.0

Navy beans, cooked

1 cup

19.0

Peanuts, raw

1 cup

12.0

Small White beans, cooked

1 cup

19.0

Kidney beans, cooked

1 cup

11.0

Lentils, cooked

1 cup

16.0

Walnuts, chopped

1 cup

8.0

Pinto beans, cooked

1 cup

15.0

Cashews, raw

1 cup

8.0

Black beans, cooked

1 cup

15.0

Flax seeds

3 Tbsp

6.9

Lima beans, cooked

1 cup

13.0

Oat bran, cooked

1 cup

6.0

Pistachios, raw

1 cup

13.0

Pumpkin seeds, dried

1 cup

5.0

Great Northern beans, cooked

1 cup

12.0

Quinoa, cooked

1 cup

5.0

Garbanzo beans, cooked

1 cup

12.0

Brown rice, cooked

1 cup

4.0

Almonds

1 cup

12.0

Bread, whole wheat

1 slice

2.0

Nature's Way Yucca Stalk - 100 Caps - The Eureka Market
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Healthy 'n Fit Advanced Steroidal Complex - 90 Caps - The Eureka Market
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Cococare Tea Tree Oil - 1 Fl Oz - The Eureka Market
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Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon 20 ct (Pack of 6) - The Eureka Market
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Deva Vegan Evening Primrose Oil - 90 Vcaps - The Eureka Market
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Aura Cacia Organic Cinnamon Leaf - .25 Oz - The Eureka Market
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See “Healing Constipation the Healthy Way” for more information about beneficial fiber supplements.


Sources:
Commonsensehealth.com
Mercola.com


Authors

Megan is our product curator and store visionary. Personally vetting every product that comes through the door, she evaluates thousands of items each month with a focus on quality ingredients and value. Well-schooled in the supplements department and the editor of our in-store newsletters, she still insists her main job is raising three daughters! (Wichita, Kansas)

 

2019 marks Jae’s 20th year working as a Holistic Nutritionist and Supplement Specialist in the Health Food industry. This environment has afforded the opportunity to discuss health issues and solutions with thousands of customers and clients. Along the way, she has acquired multiple certifications including biogenealogy, environmental biology, holistic nutrition and various healing modalities. She is currently studying to complete a Ph.D in Holistic Nutrition.

All Eureka Market Education Guides are intended for educational purposes only. The guides are NOT intended to substitute for professional medical consultation and as such, do not diagnose, prescribe or offer personal medical advice. Always consult with your health care professional before taking supplements with prescription medications.

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