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The Best Sources of Natural Fiber

By Diana Gamble

Dietary fiber is vital for health of people of all ages. Fiber helps to regulate bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis. Most fast food restaurants only serve white bread and french fries, which could provide a good source of fiber if they were made from whole grains or sweet potatoes with skins.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is considered roughage that increases the bulk of stool and helps clean out your intestines by regulating movement of solid waste through to elimination. This can help with constipation and loose stool. Insoluble fiber includes foods like whole-wheat flour, nuts, vegetables. You can make foods that you enjoy like pizza with sprouted whole-grain crust, blueberry bran muffins, raw vegetables such as cabbage, beets, carrots and cauliflower. Sprouted-grain baked goods are one of the healthiest forms of fiber, because they do not contain flour and are made from grains that contain extra nutrients. Sprouted baked goods are baked for a slower, longer time period at lower temperatures than standard baking, so the grains retain more of their nutrients. Sprouted grains, however are not considered a raw food, because their temperatures are hotter than 116 degrees F. Apple skins, cherries, pineapples, grapes, prunes, oranges, berries also contain insoluble fiber.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber, as its name implies dissolves in water. MayoClinic.com states that it turns into a gel-like substance and helps to lower cholesterol and glucose levels. You can eat oatmeal and sweeten it with raw raspberries, which are one of the highest amounts of fiber that fruits offer. Other options include raw apples and orange slices. Instead of white rice, which is void of fiber, select barley. Black and pinto beans can be made into a bean burrito that is high in soluble fiber. Carrots and peas are other sources of fiber.

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Fiber Supplements

Fiber supplements are available that contain natural, whole-food ingredients, such as acacia and larch fiber. They are in a form of vitamins as well as powder that you can add to your drinks, cereal or yogurts.

Considerations of Eating More Vegetables and Fruits

You may experience temporary discomfort as your body transitions to high fiber vegetables and fruits. Buy certified organic vegetables and fruits to avoid the effects of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which raise the risk of attention deficit disorder or ADD and attention deficit hyperactive disorder or ADHD, autism, cancer and other illnesses, according to Pesticide Action Network.

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