An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but it sure is a great way to snack on fiber. Getting enough roughage each day will not only keep you regular and prevent a bloated belly, but it's also a great way to reduce your risk of certain cancers such as ovarian and breast. Fiber intake has also been linked to lowering the LDL (aka bad) levels of cholesterol in your body, which can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Women should be getting at least 30 grams of fiber every day. I'm sure you've heard that there are two different kinds — insoluble and soluble fiber. Are you getting enough? Check out the chart below to find out the benefits of each one and to learn which are the best sources.
Adds bulk to your stool, has a laxative effect, and helps foods pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines
Eating enough prevents constipation
Slows down digestion and helps your body absorb vital nutrients from the foods you eat
Helps regulate blood sugar levels
Whole grains such as wheat, wheat bran, and barley
Skins from fruits and root vegetables
Fruits such as grapes, dates, avocados, figs, berries, and raisins
Veggies such as green beans, onions, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and leafy greens
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, and sunflower and sesame seeds
Whole grains such as oats and oat bran, rice, quinoa, and barley
Beans, lentils, and peas
Fruits such as dried apricots, oranges, grapefruit, mango, apples, pears, peaches, coconut, and berries
Veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini and celery
Nuts and seeds such as flax seed, chestnuts, and pistachios
Don't worry about which foods are on what list, since your body needs both. Do focus on getting a total of 30 gram a day by eating plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, and beans. Not sure you're getting your fill? Find out how to eat 25 grams of fiber in a day.