Updated: Jan 4
Fiber, kind of a big deal. We've surely heard MANY times to increase our fiber. For some reason I picture someone with a container of a powdered supplement when I think of this. Anyone else get that image? It's frightening how we turn to the processed forms before asking, "how can I safely get my dose?"
Call me a snob, but I'd much rather have my fiber come from the soil rather than a plastic container, looking tan or brown or some other bland shade. Besides appearances, fiber has a profound effect on our gut health. There are precious enzymes in our bodies, as well as in whole foods (plants, specifically) that aid in digesting foods that our bodies need broken down, but do not ingest; our intestinal flora that feed off all manner of fiber (1). Examples being the skin of grapes, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans, seeds etc. These are some sources of insoluble fibers. This is why these foods may retain their shape after it has passed through your digestion. Insoluble fibers cannot be broken down in water or gastrointestinal fluids (2). So, like, is that bad?
“It's [fiber] an amazing natural cleanser that forces wastes and toxins to keep moving along so that your true beauty can shine through.”(3) Kimberly Snyder, C.N. and Deepak Chopra, M.D.
So no, it's not bad. It's actually beneficial to optimizing your beauty, quality of sleep, energy upon rising, and much more. Increasing fiber also boosts regularity and getting it in forms of whole plant foods (the only natural form of fiber), we can assure it is safe versus taking it as a supplement. As close to the source as possible is our philosophy. It aids in weight loss because it helps eliminate toxins that may cause inflammation, bloating and water retention but also because it keeps you fuller faster and longer, resulting in less overeating or binging on empty calories.
The Opposite May Be True, Though
It may seem contradicting, but increasing fiber can cause mild to severe stomach pains, cramps, bloating and gassiness as well as constipation. I'll testify to that!
This is because in order to pass through your system, fiber absorbs a lot of water... I mean, A LOT! If you think you're drinking enough water now, add more if you are increasing fiber. Or else.
Our advice to fibering your way to health:
1. Increase water by 2x more, but not with meals. Either 30 minutes before or 1 hour after.
2. Consider the amount of fat in your diet and sources. We recommend at least 3 grams at each meal (1/4 of an avocado being the #1 choice).
3. Go slowly if you're new to fruits, vegetables and other plant foods. Try adding one smoothie a day and then proceed to adding a large salad for one meal.
We will always advocate for more plant-based foods and understand that it can be overwhelming if you're new to it. Please do not hesitate to ask us for any help at our "About" page.
References: (1, 3) Kimberly Snyder, C.N., Deepak Chopra, M.D., "Radical Beauty"; (2) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319176.php