The word fiber might make many people cringe, however, fiber just means whole, colorful and tasty foods.
Why Fiber? And who thought it was a good friendship to make?
It began in the 1970’s when Dr. Denis Burkitt ( aka Fiber Man) and his colleagues hypothesized that fiber rich foods would prevent many diseases. Their results came from their work in Africa, where people ate a fiber rich diet, less processed foods and didn’t have the diseases that Westerners presented with ( high blood pressure, obesity, heart attacks). It is unclear on exactly how fiber helps in prevention, but Burkitt did note fiber’s positive influence on bowel movements ( high fiber diet = more bowel movements) and how that related to many diseases; people who had more bowel movements were less likely in the hospital with an illness.
The take home: eating more fiber rich – colorful whole foods – grabs the stuff the body doesn’t ( or that could contribute to disease ) and eliminates it thru the bowels.
My take home: eating fiber rich foods not only gives you much needed fiber but also an array of beneficial nutrients.
The 2 types of fiber:
1. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Foods that are fiber soluble include: beans, peas, apples, berries, vegetables.
2. Non-soluble fiber, for example; nuts, seeds, whole wheat, add bulk to your stools and aid in the movement of waste through your digestive tract.
How to add fiber to your diet?
Many people ask, “How much fiber do I need?” This is a good question but I tend to suggest for people to concentrate on eating more fiber and not worry about the number. The easiest way to do this – which kids completely understand and love – is adding color to every meal you eat.
( okay, but if you are a number person: 25 grams for women and 35 for men is a great goal)
Breakfast: Add berries, chia seeds to your morning cereal ( even add a few nuts for a good crunch).
Lunch: In your sandwich, add lettuce or any greens, tomato, red peppers, hummus, sprouts, sliced apple or pear.
Snacks: Bean dip with whole grain crackers, make a smoothie: try this green smoothie recipe.
Embrace eating more whole colorful foods in your diet and be healthier!
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