The world of dietary fiber has expanded considerably since the days of mixing a cloudy and tasteless mixture in water. Since then, experts have learned a lot about how the 300,000 fiber-rich plants on Earth help heal everything from our gut microbiome boosting immunity to our battle with the bathroom scale.
Plus, new popular food items and social media recipes for things like chia seed pudding now make consuming fiber and reaping the vast health benefits for weight loss more delicious than ever.
The benefits of fiber for weight loss
While the national daily recommendations are set at 21 to 25 grams per day for women, most experts believe we actually need extra fiber, closer to 35 grams. And new research finds that an even better indicator of grams is the variety (or diversity) of fiber that we enter our system.
Will Bulsiewicz, MD, author of Fiber powered (Buy from Amazon, $ 14.29), states, “Eating 30 different high-fiber foods per week is ideal.” The problem: “About 97% of us don’t get even the slightest bit of fiber.”
Fiber is the key to a whole body makeover: it helps stabilize insulin, suppress cravings, support digestion and eliminate fat. In fact, increasing the volume of fiber has been found to help people increase their metabolism by 30 percent and lose weight 44 percent faster!
Women’s health expert Anna Cabeca, DO, says, “Fiber works nutritional wonders. And we need it now more than ever ”. Especially since the pandemic led to an increase in the stress snacking of simple carbohydrates that were deprived of fiber in the manufacturing process.
Here are three different types of fiber we need and how they speed up weight loss …
Soluble fiber works to stabilize blood sugar.
Found in nuts, seeds, oatmeal, dried beans, apples, strawberries and peas, soluble fiber forms a gel that slows digestion to help us absorb nutrients from food.
This slowing down allows us to tune into our brain’s natural “fullness” signals to prevent senseless overeating, plus it clears cravings triggered by nutritional deficiencies. This type of fiber is also known to bind to cholesterol and remove it from the body, while improving blood sugar regulation to protect against type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, its prebiotic properties feed the “good” microbes in the gut, preventing the inflammation that fuels weight gain. Case in point: Canadian researchers found that people who consumed chia seeds high in soluble fiber daily lost 534% more weight than others.
Insoluble fiber detoxifies the liver.
Found in whole grains, as well as fruit and vegetable peels, insoluble fiber strengthens stool by drawing water into it to make it easier to pass. In the process, this roughage also collects toxins that trap fat and clog the liver. (Whole grains have also been shown to reduce people’s risk of contracting nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.)
Additionally, numerous studies have found that insoluble fiber absorbs excess estrogen from the body which, if left in circulation, could trigger metabolic disease and fat storage. And because insoluble fiber isn’t digested (and therefore doesn’t contribute to calorie counting), it’s a smart choice to add to meals when trying to lose weight.
A type of insoluble fiber, called chitin, found in lobster shells and often sold as a supplement, was shown to amplify the feeling of fullness, so study subjects ate 425 fewer calories per day!
Resistant starch increases satiety.
Hidden in foods like green bananas, sweet potatoes, reheated rice and potatoes, resistant starch delays or “resists” digestion in the small intestine, triggering the release of craving satiety hormones.
A study on the diary Nutrients found that eating resistant starch at breakfast and lunch leads to a significantly reduced appetite at dinner. And another study found that sweet potatoes keep people full for hours and reduce fat stores by up to 45 percent!
This smoothie has all 3 forms of fiber
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
- 1 unripe banana, slightly green
To produce: Blend blueberries (for soluble fiber), ground flax seeds (for insoluble fiber), and banana (for resistant starch) with 1 cup of cold water (or ice, if desired) until smooth. smooth compound. Have a good time!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for women.
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