Do you need a little something sweet after meals? Can’t get through the afternoon without a treat? Or are you struggling to feel satisfied after meals even if you ate a huge plate of food? If your sugar cravings are running the show, you might need more of this little nutrient in your diet: fiber.
You might have expected us to say vegetables or protein, but fiber might be the most critical nutrient to understand in terms of cravings. And luckily it can be quite simple to get more of it throughout the day. Today’s article will tell you how.
But first, let’s talk about what fiber is.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is simply a carbohydrate that you don’t have enzymes to digest. It passes through your digestive system, helps keep your bowels regular, and provides food to beneficial microbes in the colon. Every whole plant food contain fiber, including berries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, quinoa, and lentils.
There are more categories than we even know of fiber the two categories scientists know the most about are: insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fiber, as the name suggests, isn’t soluble in water. It helps to push food through the digestive system and keep things clean. Most vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.
On the other hand, soluble fiber absorbs water and provides bulk to the stool. This makes you feel fuller and more satisfied after meals. It plays a role in regularity and helps to nourish the microbiome. Soluble fiber is super helpful for stopping cravings in their tracks. So, if you’re finding yourself needing to eat more and you’re unsure why, first assess your fiber intake. Chances are, you’re not getting the daily recommended dose.
Why The Fuss Over Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber helps slow digestion, which is good for cravings because it helps blood sugar be more balanced. It slows the blood sugar spike experienced after a meal or snack, which translates to fewer cravings.
Another reason soluble fiber is so helpful is because it feeds the gut microbiome, which is the collection of organisms that live in the digestive system, primarily the colon. The microbiome’s health is linked to the health of every other system in the body. If you feel depressed, have allergies, or experience inflammatory symptoms, and even cravings, it may be worth giving the microbiome some love.
When the microbiome is imbalanced you might experience more cravings. Less desirable bacteria in the gut rely on you eating sugar to survive. Some say that it isn’t actually you craving sugar, but it’s actually your gut bugs! From this perspective if you want to bring balance to the gut, you help the protective, beneficial bacteria grow by feeding them soluble fiber.
Easy Ways To Increase Soluble Fiber
Some of our favorite soluble fiber-rich foods include:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Rice bran
- Acacia fiber
- Inulin (from chicory root especially)
Incorporating more of these foods throughout the day helps to increase soluble fiber and reducing cravings.
Here are some ideas:
- Add avocado to your eggs in the morning.
- Top your salad with cooked beans.
- Try chia pudding topped with fresh fruit.
- And…Snack on Scott’s Protein Balls!
Scott’s Protein Balls were designed with soluble fiber in mind. Each protein ball contains chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, rice bran, and acacia fiber. What’s more is that they also contain fat and protein from nuts, peanuts, and plant-based proteins, to keep you satisfied, with stable blood sugar and energy until your next meal. All these factors help to reduce cravings over time. It’s about finding balance and tuning in to your body’s needs. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or convenience. Try Scott’s Protein Balls today!