Fiber. We’ve all heard about it. We know it’s good for us. We also know we probably aren’t getting enough in our diet each day. But, do we know exactly what fiber does for our body and the best foods to eat to reap the benefits of fiber?
Before diving into the benefits of fiber, let’s answer the question posed in the title of this post. Yes, apples have fiber. In fact, a medium-size apple has 4.4 grams of dietary fiber, or 17 percent of your daily dietary fiber needs. That’s enough fiber for nutrition experts to agree that an apple is a fiber-rich food.
To really reap the benefits of fiber in apples, you must eat the whole apple. That’s because apples are particularly high in pectin, a type of soluble fiber. While pectin is found in both the skin and the flesh of an apple, its highest concentrations reside in the skin.
There are two main types of dietary fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Apples have soluble fiber, which means they attract water and will turn to gel during digestion. Soluble fiber is so beneficial to the body! It slows digestion down and can keep you feeling fuller, longer. It can help lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. That means apples is a great food to consider for keeping cholesterol levels in check and heart disease at bay, and to manage diabetes. In addition to apples, pears, oats, peas, beans and blueberries are all great sources for soluble fiber.
Now that you know the types of fiber and the benefits of fiber offers, how much should you be taking in each day? Or in other words, how many apples do you need to eat every day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, daily fiber recommendations vary on gender and age. Women under the age of 50 need 25 grams each day, while women 51 or older should consume 21 grams. Men need much more fiber in their diets. Men age 50 or younger should consume 38 grams of fiber, while men age 51 and older should aim for 30 grams daily.
Hope you found this fiber-focused post helpful. We love to hear about your favorite fiber-rich meals or foods in the comments below.