Top Five Veggies for Getting Your Fiber
While fiber is often mentioned in the nutrition world, not everyone knows what exactly it does for our bodies.
Fiber come naturally in the foods we eat and helps our digestive system. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and soluble fiber sources dissolve in water. They help slow digestion, allowing your body to absorb all the wonderful nutrients it needs.
Insoluble fiber stays in its own form – it does not break down in the body. Because of that, this fiber type can help add bulk to your stools so you “stay regular.” Research is showing that insoluble fiber is also rich in the good bacteria that helps the gut do its work.
Both types of fiber are needed for proper digestion, and recommendations for fiber for are 25 grams for women each day, and about 38 grams daily for men. Many of us are not getting in the proper amount of fiber we need to maintain good digestion. So where do we start? How about with vegetables! Here are the top five vegetables to get in your diet to help increase your fiber intake.
The Cruciferous Family
All our wonderful cruciferous veggies are top on the list. Yes I said the top five veggies filled with fiber, but there are too many beautiful veggies not to share more – Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, arugula (my favorite!), bok choy, kohlrabi radishes and turnips are all great examples of cruciferous vegetables and are packed with fiber. They average about 2-5 grams of fiber per cup of raw. Couple cups of these greens and you are a quarter of the way there for the day.
One of my favorite vegetables right now is sweet potatoes. Their reputation, one where they need to be even sweeter by adding sugar or syrup, is false: they are absolutely delicious all on their own. More importantly, one sweet potato with skin gives you about 7 grams of fiber. My favorite way of preparing these are simply roasting in the oven – cut up on a pan, sprinkle a little healthy oil and some salt and pepper, and you’re set. I love them with rosemary, too. You just bake for about 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees F. They are so satisfying!
Easy to Eat
Asparagus is an easy to eat, enjoy and cook vegetable. An interesting fact about asparagus is that it can help increase the urine output, especially helpful for people who have inflammation and edema, accumulation of fluids or urinary tract infections.
Funny Looking But Lovely
Artichokes are not a vegetable we typically think about eating except for in dips. They are somewhat simple to cook though and are at the top of the list for fiber. Each medium-sized artichoke has about 7 grams of fiber. They are full of antioxidants and are also a good source of iron.
Rooting Around for Fiber
Finally, we should look to the ground and realize root vegetables also are great sources of fiber. This is a great time to think about adding in more root vegetables as they can be very grounding and warming. Vegetables such as parsnips, beets, squash and rutabaga are all great examples of root vegetables.
These vegetables are higher in complex carbohydrates and can help balance blood sugars by eating more of these and less of simple sugars and flours. They are packed with vitamins as well and can help heal our body in many ways – and they carry plenty of that all-important fiber we need.
Aren’t vegetables just great? They are, in many ways, God’s way of giving us medicine. Socrates said it best, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”