Fiber is such an important part to a healthy diet! I wanted to share a few facts and my new favorite energy ball!
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate the body cannot digest, that helps regulate the body’s use of sugars. Food high in fiber can make you feel fuller longer, and are associated with lowering the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, lowers cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels steady. Good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries.
Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, maintains the digestive system and helps with regularity. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat products, whole grain couscous, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends 25 grams of fiber each day for women under the age of 50, and 21 grams of fiber each day for women over 50. If you want to get more specific, you can calculate the amount of fiber you need based on how much you eat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should consume about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume.
Most Americans, however, only get about 15 grams of fiber each day. So how do we alter our diets to get more? An easy switch to make is avoiding refined grains like white flour, white pasta, and white rice, and instead replace them with 100% whole grains. Another way to increase the fiber in your diet is choosing snacks with fiber to help maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day and to help curb overeating.
Some of my favorite fiber rich snacks:
- carrots with hummus- both carrots and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber
- an apple or a pear
- air popped popcorn (without butter)
- nuts, raisins, and dates
- chia seeds
Dates are a great source of fiber, containing 12g per cup! That's almost half the daily fiber necessary for women, yet dates have a stigma they can't seem to shake. My recipe for Coconut Cashew Energy Balls calls for dates, yet the result is a moist, chewy, delicious treat! Can't wait for you to give this high-fiber snack a try!
Coconut Cashew Energy Balls! (Gluten Free)
- 1 Cup Pitted Dried Dates (9-10 dates)
- 1 Cup Cashews
- ½ Cup unsweetened Coconut flakes
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
Soak the Dates in water for 10 minutes to soften. Place all ingredients into food processor or blender and process for approximately 2 minutes until everything is ground. Roll into Balls. Spread coconut flakes on plate and roll ball on flakes to cover! Makes approximately 15 tablespoon sized balls. Store in the refrigerator. Perfect easy to make treat for the entire family! Yum!
Enjoy and have a wonderful day! Caroline