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Fiber Is One of The Most Magical Nutrients You Can Eat

By May 11, 2017May 15th, 2020Nutrition Information, Recipes

A recent study from the American Dietetic Association revealed that even though two groups of individuals ate the same amount of calories, individuals who ate 30% more of one particular nutrient experienced lower levels of body fat.

What’s this magical nutrient? Well, it’s found in foods like:

Apples                       Artichokes
Pears                         Quinoa
Berries                      Peas
Beans                        Broccoli
Avocado                    Brown Rice
Sweet Potatoes        Oatmeal

And a ton of other foods…

The nutrient is fiber, and I strongly suggest getting your fair share (30-50 grams a day) because it has an incredible amount of benefits like:

  • Slowing digestion to support stable blood sugar levels and decreased insulin output (this means more fat loss)
  • Signaling the release of hunger reducing hormones allowing you to feel full
  • Easier weight control independent of calorie intake (as the ADA study revealed)
  • Scrubbing the gut of excess mucus and toxins
  • Attaching to toxin-carrying bile and escorting it to the toilet
  • Providing food for the good bugs that proliferate in the intestines

Basically, it’s one of those super nutrients that you should aim to consume with every meal.

I am going to tell you about 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. There is a third type of fiber called resistant fiber which I will save for another newsletter.

Let’s start by defining what fiber actually is.

Dietary fiber refers to nutrients in the diet that cannot be digested by gastrointestinal enzymes. It is the indigestible part of plant foods that push through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way, helping to invite peristalsis for healthy bowel function.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water (insoluble does not) and becomes a gel-like substance. It changes as it goes through the digestive tract slowing down food, which stabilizes blood sugar and weight.


  • Lowers total cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Slows blood sugar release from the gut, lowering insulin resistance and helping control weight
  • Pulls out toxins and lowers inflammation

Food Sources

Soluble fiber is found in nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, oat bran, barley and some fruits and veggies. My favorite form of soluble fiber is chia seeds which I enjoy in chia pudding or smoothies.


Too much soluble fiber can dehydrate the gut. If too much soluble fiber is taken without adequate water, it may pull water away from the gut wall, drying it out. It’s always best to drink plenty of water and soak chia seeds before eating them to prevent this.

Insoluble Fiber

Next, there’s insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water. Think of it like vegetable roughage. It moves through the gut intact, acting as bulk and scrubbing the intestinal wall. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect and feeds probiotic species.

  • Promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation
  • Moves toxic waste through the colon quickly preventing it from getting reabsorbed back into the bloodstream
  • Scrubs the villi of the intestines
  • Helps keep an optimal pH in the intestines which regulates the balance of good bacteria in the gut
  • Feeds good probiotic species

Food Sources

Insoluble fiber can be found in whole-grain foods such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, many vegetables, and fruit with skin.


If you have a sensitive or inflamed digestive system excess roughage can irritate it. Start slowly to allow your body to get use to eating more insoluble fiber.

How to Get 30-50 Grams of Fiber Per Day

Hunter-gatherers ate about 100 grams of fiber each day while the average American eats only 15-20 grams. Let’s improve that. I’ll show you how.

1. Start your day with a green smoothie (10-15 grams of fiber)

Recipe: How to make the perfect green smoothie


2. Eat a salad with ½ avocado (12-15 grams)

Recipe: Avocado Kale and Kelp Noodle Salad


3. Eat a cup of cooked greens (4-7 grams)

Sauteed Spinach and RadicchioRecipe: Sauteed Spinach and Radicchio


4. Eat one cup of another vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts (3-4 grams)

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Golden GarlicRecipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Golden Garlic


5. Add in a cup of beans (15 grams) hummus is good

Recipe: Escarole with Cannellini Beans
Buy organic canned beans, rinse and add to salad or cooked vegetables.


6. Have ½ cup of sweet potatoes (5 grams)

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes


7. Enjoy 1 cup of quinoa (8 grams) with your dinner

Recipe: Quinoa with Mushrooms

Also include lots of seasonal vegetables, moderate amounts of seasonal fruits, nuts and seeds and you can easily reach the 50 grams.

Since I’m eating a mostly paleo diet to heal my digestive system, I don’t eat beans which are super high in fiber. Instead, I eat lots of vegetables to get to 50 grams of fiber daily.

Here is a list of high fiber for you to get started:

  • Avocado is surprisingly high in fiber with 10 grams per cup.
  • Pears, 5.52 grams fiber in a medium unpeeled pear.
  • Apples, 4.4 grams fiber, in a medium unpeeled apple.
  • Raspberries win the berry fiber race at 8 grams per cup.
  • Artichokes are among the highest-fiber veggies, at 10 grams for a medium-sized artichoke.
  • Ground Flaxseeds have almost 4 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons.
  • Chia Seeds have an amazing 5.5 grams of fiber per tablespoon.
  • Kale, 1 cup cooked, 7.2 grams of fiber.
  • Peas 1 cup cooked 8.8.
  • Quinoa, 1 cup cooked, 8.4 grams of fiber.
  • Lentils, 1 cup cooked, 16 grams of fiber.
  • Navy Beans, 1 cup cooked , 19 grams of fiber.
  • Black Beans, 1 cup cooked , 15 grams of fiber.
  • Green banana, 3 grams fiber.
  • Dark-colored vegetables. In general, the darker the color of the vegetable, the higher the fiber content.

Click here for a fiber comparison chart with more information to guide you.

Don’t make yourself crazy with this just do your best to eat high fiber food.  You’ll notice how much better you feel and see your skin glowing.

Is this something you think you can do? Please let me know what you think about eating lots of fiber.


  • Laurie says:

    Ingrid, a few weeks ago you wrote about starting each day with some apple cider vinegar mixed in water. I’ve seen that promoted on the internet as well. Previously, there had been advice to start each day with some lemon juice in a glass of warm water. I’ve done both. What are the advantages to vinegar vs. lemon juice? Would it be reasonable to alternate between the two? (I like the taste of the lemon juice more than the vinegar, but it’s not too bad.)

    • Ingrid says:

      Hi Laurie, Sorry I didn’t see your question earlier. Both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar help keep your pH balanced, aid detoxification and digestion. They are both good. Each one has different properties. I like alternating between the 2 but I mostly use the lemon juice because I too like the taste better.

  • Janice says:

    I have the same question as Laurie.

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