People often talk about what really helps them to stay healthy and well. Most know that you need to eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but did you know that fiber is also an increasingly talked about ingredient?
No one likes to talk about how important fiber is because it is for old people.
Old people are the ones who need the extra fiber drinks and supplements. But this is not true. No one should have to deal with constipation, ever!
You should have regular bowel movements. For the most part, you should have a banana shaped ( and size) bowel movement, with a nice curve to it.
And bowel movement for most of us should be as many times as we eat a day. So, every meal means another fill up and dispatch! If you fill up on the right kinds of foods, a bowel movement should come pretty easy.
If not, you need some more bulk in your diet. My grandmother called it bulk, and now we call it fiber!
Fiber is in your fruits, veggies and your beans and legumes. Try some new fruits such as dates or kiwi, they have 6 grams of fiber. Honeydew has 5.
One medium banana has 4 grams of fiber.
For your veggies, try some acorn squash which has 4 grams and some corn ( a grain) which has 3 grams of fiber.
Even some plain popcorn has 1 gram of fiber per half cup.
And for your legumes ( which are beans) try some red beans for some great fiber! They have 9 grams of fiber per half cup. Lentils have 8 grams and pinto beans have 7.
The soluble and the insoluble:
The best sources of soluble fiber: apples, cranberries, peaches, peas, lentils, oat bran, beets, oranges
The best sources of insoluble fiber- cauliflower, potato skins, dried beans flaxseed popcorn, whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, and any kind of fruit skin.
And don’t forget the grains
Most have very high fiber content– there are 17 grams of fiber in Amaranth for just a 1/2 cup and barley, rye, oats, and wheat bran have 12 grams per half cup.
Another good thing about increasing your fiber can be a weight loss. People who go on a high fiber diet are fuller! Therefore, they eat less.
Taken in part from: Watson, B. ( 2007) The Fiber 35 Diet. Nature’s Weight Loss Secret. Free Press. New York, NY.
Give it a try.