You have probably heard at least a few times in your life to eat more fiber, but most people do not get the recommended levels of fiber in their daily diets. Fiber-rich foods are vital for your overall health (including your skin!). We know with a busy schedule, it’s hard to ensure you’re getting enough fiber throughout the day. Here are some tips for incorporating more fiber into your daily routine!
What is fiber?
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested or broken down by our stomach’s digestive enzymes. Most carbohydrates are broken down by our bodies to sugar molecules, but fiber, which is a plant-derived nutrient, passes through the body undigested. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is water-soluble and helps to lower cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps pass food by softening the stool.
Why is fiber important?
It might sound strange that a non-digestible food is vital for your health, but that’s where the microbiome comes into play! You have trillions of bacteria living in your large intestine (colon) that use fiber for food. These bacteria break down fiber into various nutrients and short-chain fatty acids, which help us regulate our hunger, weight, and mood, among so many other benefits and functions.
Will fiber affect my acne?
Some people report seeing their acne improve after eating a high fiber diet. Why this happens is unknown, but it’s thought to be associated with fiber’s ability to regulate blood sugar. High glycemic foods are associated with acne, and fiber-rich foods will keep you fuller for longer and reduce your cravings for carbs and sweets. Also, having a healthy gut microbiome has been associated with a decrease in systemic inflammation, which can help with inflammatory skin diseases like acne.
Easy ways to incorporate fiber into your diet
Make a smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get fiber and nutrients into your diet, and they take less than 5 minutes to make. You can freeze all of your fruits and vegetables to save you a trip to the grocery store, and keep seeds and nuts on hand to add extra protein and nutrients.
Stock up on beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are excellent sources of fiber and protein. Throw them in a crockpot to have a healthy chili to eat all week. Add some carrots and peppers for added flavor, vitamins, and nutrients, or make a quick curry with lentils and a low-sodium canned curry sauce.
Eat fiber-rich snacks
Keep fiber-rich snacks on hand to satisfy your cravings throughout the day and easily add some fiber to your diet. Popcorn is delicious, non-perishable, and is ready in under 5 minutes! It also has around 8 grams of fiber in 2 ounces. Fruits and veggies are other excellent sources of fiber. Cut up some pears or apples to dip in peanut butter, add some berries on top of a low-sugar yogurt, or dip carrots in hummus.