Coffee and instant coffee have been a staple in many people’s diets for a long time, but why now more people are adding fiber into their coffee?
Dietary fiber is such an important part of our health. However, more than 90% of women and 97% of men do not meet the daily recommended fiber intakes. So what is fiber exactly and how can you incorporate it into your daily coffee?
What is Fiber?
So what is fiber and why is it so important to our diet?
Fiber is a type of plant-based carbohydrate that is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. Unlike other carbohydrates, fiber is not broken down into sugars and can’t be completely broken down by our digestive system.
Although it can’t be broken down as fuel for the body, dietary fiber has various health benefits. It is an important component to overall digestion, healthy bowel health, reducing cholesterol, managing weight, and controlling blood sugar.
Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber
The term “dietary fiber” is used to represent all types of fiber found in foods. However, it can be categorized into two main types: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. While they both work together to support overall gut health, they each have their own roles.
Just as the name suggests, soluble fiber is soluble. It dissolves into a gel during digestion, which not only slows down the digestion process, but can also help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol and sugar.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber does not break down, but instead adds bulk to your stool and attracts water to help food pass easily through the stomach and intestines. By adding bulk and water, it softens stool in order to help prevent constipation. Insoluble fiber also helps maintain bowel health and helps improve blood sugar control.
How Much Fiber Should You Have Per Day?
Now that we know just how important fiber is to our health, how much should we be getting per day? According to the American Heart Association, the FDA recommends about 25 grams per day for a 2,000 calorie diet.
However, this recommended fiber intake can vary for males and females as well as for adults and children. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Daily Nutritional Goals recommends women under 50 to get 25 grams of fiber per day and men under 50 to get 31 grams per day. Additionally, children between the ages of 4 through 8 are recommended to get 17 grams of fiber per day.
Does Coffee Have Fiber?
While you can get your daily recommended amount of fiber through supplements, it is possible to get what you need solely from the foods you eat. You may think that the only options of fiber sources available are from grains, fruits, and vegetables, but that’s not true. As a matter of fact, your daily cup of coffee can be a great source of dietary fiber as well. The dietary fiber in coffee and instant coffee is a soluble fiber.
According to a study done at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid by Fulgencio Saura-Calixto, Ph.D. and colleagues, instant coffee, brewed coffee, and espresso all contain soluble dietary fiber. While it was already known that coffee beans themselves contain fiber, this was the first study that proved fiber does get transferred during the extraction process when making coffee.
So just how much fiber is in coffee and instant coffee? According to the Spanish study, instant coffee had the most fiber at 1.8 grams per cup. On the other hand, espresso contains 1.5 grams and regular brewed coffee contains 1.1 grams per cup.
Specifically, freeze-dried coffee has the most soluble fiber. This could be because the preparation process allows a large amount of soluble fiber to be extracted from the coffee beans. Moreover, the levels of dietary soluble fiber found in coffee is higher than those found in orange juice and wine.
How You Can Add Fiber to Your Coffee
If you were to get your daily fiber intake solely from instant coffee, you would need to drink at least 17 cups! While we do not recommend over consuming coffee just to meet your recommended fiber intake, you can increase the amount you get during your daily cup while still maintaining your usual healthy diet.
There are also plenty of fiber supplements and powdered fiber available you can use. Simply choose your favorite unflavored powdered fiber and mix into your cold or hot instant coffee to easily boost your fiber intake.