This week we’re going to focus on making sure you have enough BULK in your diet! That’s right, we’re going to make sure we get enough fiber EVERY SINGLE DAY!

There are so many great reasons to eat enough fiber, but first, let’s go over the kinds of fiber.

First, there’s soluble fiber, which dissolves in water. It forms a gel-like material that helps lower your blood cholesterol and glucose levels. It’s found legumes, oats, citrus fruits, psyllium, barley, and apples.

Next, there’s insoluble fiber, which is the kind that keeps your internal plumbing humming by helping to boost your digestive system. You can find this kind of fiber in whole wheat flour, bran, beans, nuts, vegetables like cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.

How much do you need every day? According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 25 grams of fiber daily while men need 38 grams. Most of us only get around 15 grams.

(Want to know how much fiber is in foods? Check out this Fiber-o-meter from WebMD:

Now, if you don’t eat much fiber, be careful to slowly increase the amount you get each day, so you can avoid getting gassy and feeling uncomfortable.

Also, it’s really important to make sure you drink enough water when you boost your fiber intake, because fiber absorbs water from your system.

Here are some great reasons you’ll want to make sure you get enough fiber in your diet:
● Keeps your bowels moving regularly.
● Reduces your risk of hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.
● Lowers your cholesterol.
● Controls your blood sugar levels.
● Keeps you feeling full, so you are apt to eat less.
● Provides “food” for the healthy bacteria living in your gut, promoting a healthy immune system.

Are you in for the FIBER challenge?? Let’s shoot for 25 grams (women) and 38 grams (for men) each day this week! Leave a note in the comments if you’re participating!