Want My Daily Postings Emailed To You? Join My Yummy Diet Food Email List!

Note: I will not use your email address for anything other than sending my updates.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Importance of Fiber in the Diet

I have always been a big fan of fiber.  Fiber has many health benefits, the most obvious of which is that it can relieve constipation and help with digestion. Fiber also helps to prevent certain diseases and can be useful for anyone who is looking to watch their weight and eat a healthier diet.

Fiber works to absorb large amounts of fluid within the bowel, making your stools softer, and leads to improved bowel movements.  Research suggests that the result of improved bowel movements is a reduction of the incidence in colon cancer.  Fiber can be insoluble – such as fiber in nuts, whole grains, veggies, and wheat bran, or soluble, like the fiber in apples, oats, beans, and barley.  Soluble fiber has been shown to help keep cholesterol under control, which staves off heart disease.  Fiber can also work to regulate blood sugar levels to prevent or reduce the significance and incidence of diabetes. 

So how do we get more fiber into the diet? I've read that it is recommended that adult women under fifty years of age consume 25 grams of fiber each day and that adult men of the same age take in 38 grams.  Women over fifty need 21 grams of fiber and men over fifty need 30 grams each day.

To get more fiber, I recommend high fiber cereals (Whole Foods makes a great one that I'll be writing about soon).  They make a great breakfast or a filling snack anytime. Lima beans are an excellent source of fiber; in just ½ cup of lima beans, you’ll find 7 grams of fiber, but black beans have 7.5 grams per ½ cup.  You’ll also find fiber in apples (3.3 grams) and raspberries (1/2 cup has 5.5 grams).  

You can always take the “easy” way out by adding fiber to your diet with fiber products, but I think getting it naturally is always better. 

Yummy High Fiber Smoothie

1 cup berries – blackberries, blueberries or raspberries, or a mix of all three
1 medium banana
1 cup almond milk
2 tsp. oat bran
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

Makes two servings of about 150 calories each, and 2 weight watchers points (although it will depend on exactly what fruits you use).


No comments:

Did you like this post? Join my email list to get my all of my posts delivered directly to your inbox. And, while you are at it, please join the Yummy Diet Food Facebook Group!
Search the Yummy Diet Food Site: