I can’t think of an issue with more misconceptions out there when it comes to nutrition than fiber. It’s so important, and yet, so many people have it all wrong.
First and foremost, most Americans don’t get nearly enough of it. The standard recommendation is that we eat 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
I recommend at least 30 grams per day. Yet most Americans get less than half of the recommended amount!
So what do people who know they should be getting more fiber do? This is the second misconception and it’s a big problem. They take fiber supplements and eat foods with added fiber.
The truth is, there are lots of foods with fiber that you should NOT eat!
Is that surprising? Think about the foods that boast the loudest about being “high in fiber!” It’s usually sugar-filled cereals, store-bought bread, and acidic protein bars.
[My Ultimate Alkaline/Acid Food Guide classifies over 550 foods, so you know exactly where every food stands, from HIGH ALKALINE TO HIGH ACIDIC! Download it now.]
These foods just add cheap, low-quality fiber to their ingredients so they can make “high fiber” claims. That’s the case with most fiber supplements too – they use very low-quality forms of fiber like cellulose.
If you eat plenty of naturally high fiber foods like the ones listed below, you shouldn’t need fiber supplements.
What Actually, Is Fiber?
Although we hear about it all the time, most of us don’t even know what fiber is. Did you know…
- Fiber cannot be digested by humans?
- Fiber comes from carbohydrate foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables but it does not contribute to the carbs or calories we consume?
- Fiber comes from the structure of plants, similar to the chlorophyll that is so important for our nutrition?
- There are two forms of fiber, both are important, and one slows down digestion while the other speeds it up?
Fiber passes through the digestive system undigested along with food that is digested, and in doing so it performs a few important functions:
- Makes our stomachs feel full, which can help with weight loss!
- Detoxifies by sweeping away toxins that accumulate in the gut
- Clears out excess fat and cholesterol along with waste, improving our heart health
The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble, and both are essential. Many vegetables and some fruits contain both types.
Soluble fiber is found in beans, nuts, lentils, berries, and seeds. It slows the process of food breaking down, helps ensure it breaks down properly, which prevents Leaky Gut Syndrome, and makes you feel fuller longer. So this is the fiber that helps you lose weight!
Insoluble fiber is found in most vegetables and whole grains. It adds bulk to stool, speeding up the process of getting waste and toxins out the body. In other words, this is the fiber that makes you poop J.
Benefits of Plenty of Fiber
- Helps with losing weight because the stomach feels fuller longer
- Prevents Diabetes by controlling blood sugar and slowing the absorption of carbs and sugar. It also prevents fat accumulation by slowing down the release of insulin, which when stimulated, will store fat.
- Keeps the heart healthy and helps prevent heart disease by 40% and risk of stroke by 7%
- Lowers your risk of digestive issues like Diverticulitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and hemorrhoids
- Reduces the risk of kidney stones and gall stones
- Keeps skin clear
- Detoxifies the body by clearing out waste and toxins
- Prevents bloating and constipation
- Lowers the risk of certain types of cancer
So now you know why it’s so important that you eat foods that are high in fiber, and you’re probably wondering what foods to eat to get enough.
As you look down the list of the best foods for fiber, I want you to take note of a couple of things.
- See if you can spot how many acidic foods and how many alkaline foods are on the list. (Hint: You’ve got to go pretty far down to find any that are even mildly acidic. And those are the kinds of foods I encourage you to eat along with alkaline fats.)
- Notice what’s not there – bread, pasta, cereal bars, cereal, and other supposedly “high fiber” foods.
The Top 25 Food Sources of Fiber
- Navy beans (19 grams per cup)
- Split peas (16.3 grams per cup)
- Lentils (15.6 grams per cup)
- Mung beans (15 grams per cup)
- Avocados (13.4 grams each)
- Lima beans (13.2 grams per cup)
- Pumpkin (13 grams per half cup, canned)
- Artichokes (10.3 grams per cup)
- Green peas (8.8 grams per cup)
- Chickpeas (8 grams per cup)
- Coconut (7.2 grams per cup)
- Broccoli (5.1 grams per cup)
- Brussels sprouts (4.1 grams per cup)
- Chia seeds (5.5 grams per tbsp.)
- Flax seeds (3 grams per tbsp.)
- Raspberries (4 grams per half cup)
- Blackberries (3.9 grams per half cup)
- Prunes (3.9 grams per half cup)
- Apples and pears (5.5 grams each)
- Quinoa (5 grams per cup, cooked)
- Oats (4 grams per cup, cooked)
- Almonds (3.5 grams per 24 nuts)
- Walnuts and pecans (4 grams per 30 halves)
- Carrots (3.6 grams per 1 cup, grated)
- Sweet potato (3.9 grams each)
Now take a minute to think about how you can eat one or two extra foods that are high in fiber today. Eat a salad with your dinner, a green smoothie for breakfast, or a snack or dessert, add beans to your dinner – they can be added to almost any dish – or enjoy an extra side of fiber-rich vegetables.
And don’t forget to add Alkamind Daily Greens or Alkamind Organic Daily Protein to your smoothies and fresh juices for an extra boost of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll that will leave you looking and feeling fantastic.