By eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day, you may lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, colitis, diverticulitis, piles and constipation. Studies have found however that the national average consumed is just 11 to 13 grams a day.
Fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract making the food contents bulkier and easier to pass through the body. This decreases the amount of time the food spends inside the body and reduces the risk of infections or cell changes due to carcinogens that are produced when some foods degrade, particularly meat.
Fiber also binds to toxins, inactivated hormones and bad fats in the colon helping in their elimination from the body, so it is an important for detoxification.
Fiber is also essential for colon health as soluble fiber is food for the good bacteria in the colon. Fruit and vegetable fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood helping to maintain good energy levels. Cereal fiber is particularly good at preventing constipation and putrefaction of food which are underlying causes of many digestive complaints.
It is easy to take in the recommended amount of fiber by eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds,.lentils and beans on daily basis. If your diet is high in refined foods with lots of meat, eggs, fish and dairy products, you will undoubtedly lack fiber.
Here are some simple trade-offs you can make in your diet to increase your fiber intake:
Eat this Instead of that for a fiber boost of (gm)….
- Rice brown(1cup) Rice white (1 cup) 1
- Whole wheat bread(1 slice) White bread (1slice) 2
- Potato with skin Potato without skin 3
- Popcorn (31/2 cups) Potato chips (10) 3
- Pasta, whole wheat (1cup) Pasta, white (1cup) 4
- Oat bran muffin Plain muffin 6
Try adding these foods to your diet for a fiber boost
- Artichoke (1 mediumcooked): 10 gm
- Lentils (1/2 cup cooked): 8 gm fiber
- Avocado (1/2 medium): 6.5 gm fiber
- Kidney beans (1/2 cup cooked): 6 gm fiber
- Pears (1 medium): 5.5 gm fiber
- Pumpkin seeds (1 oz): 5 gm fiber
- Mango (1 medium): 5gm fiber
- Green peas (1/2 cup cooked): 4.5 gm fiber
- Acorn squash (1/2 cup cooked): 4.5 gm fiber
- Apple (1 medium): 4 gm fiber
- Potatoes (1 medium baked): 4 gm
- Edamame (1/2 cup cooked): 4.5 gm fiber
- Sweet potato (1/2 cup cooked): 3.5 gm fiber
- Figs (1/4 cup): 3.5 gm fiber Banana (1 medium): 3gm
- Orange (1 medium): 3 gm fiber
- Broccoli (1/2 cup cooked): 3 gm fiber
- Prunes (1/4 cup): 3 gm fiber
- Dates (1/4 cup): 3 gm fiber
- Almonds (1 oz): 3 gm fiber
- Quinoa (1/2 cup cooked): 2.5 gm fiber
- Flaxseed (1 tablespoon): 2gm fiber
- Asparagus (1/2 cup cooked): 2 gm fiber
- Walnuts (1 oz): 2 gm fiber
- Blueberries (1/2 cup) 2gm fiber
- Tomatoes (1 medium): 2gm fiber
- Oats (1/2 cup cooked): 2 gm fiber
If you need help with your health and nutrition, CALL Healthy U Turn at 416 876 4634 OR Sign up for a Clarity Session with holistic nutritionist, Dr Maha Nasr to discuss your health concerns and learn more about how we can help.