Health sources, like the American Heart Association’s Eating Plan, recommends adults have about 30 grams of fiber in their daily diet. Most of us may only consume half the suggested amount. Fiber is readily available in a variety of foods. There’s really no excuse to be leaving these fibrous foods from your diet. Some great sources of fiber may help with the bodies weight loss-promoting functions.
You may have noticed that many of your favorite packaged foods are touting how many grams of fiber are included in a serving. From cereal to granola to sliced bread, we see countless brands letting consumers know just how much filling fiber can be found in their goods. But what’s the big benefit? Unlike most carbohydrates, fiber isn’t broken down into sugar. Instead, it regulates the body’s use of sugars while balancing satiety levels. In other words, it fills you up and keeps you from feeling hungry after eating.
Known to be a super convenient super-food, almonds have about 6 grams of fiber per half cup. With vitamin E, copper, magnesium, calcium and protein in this tiny, bite-sized snack, the nuts have been indicated as lowering cholesterol and reducing risk of cancer and heart disease. At 260 calories per half-cup serving, they should be eaten with slight moderation of course. A handful may be more than you think!
Apple a Day
Apples have about 4-5 grams of fiber each. From Granny Smith to McIntosh, the sweet and sour fruit is available in wide varieties and can be stored in your fridge at home for up to two weeks on average. Be sure to eat the skin, which is where most of the fiber is found. Accordingly, applesauce and apple juice are not appropriate substitutes.
Stuff Your Artichokes
Whether you chow down on a whole artichoke or just eat the hearts, you’ll get somewhere between 7 and 10 grams of fiber per serving. One recipe calls for Stuffed Artichokes with quinoa or mushrooms, chop up the hearts to eat with pasta or steam them and dip the leaves in a mixture of Greek yogurt and lemon juice.
Black Bean Fiber
With a whopping 15 grams of fiber per cup, black beans are incredibly filling and perfect for topping salads, crostini, soups and even lasagna. They’re also packed with protein and powerful antioxidants and have been shown to lower risk of colon cancer.
One cup of lentils has about 15-16 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber. These legumes are fun to cook with a variety of seasonings as they assume the flavor of whatever they’re with. A soluble and insoluble fiber. Lentils contribute to healthy digestion and can remedy problems like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.
Old Fashion Oatmeal
The classic winter breakfast bowl of oatmeal has about 4 grams of fiber, and even the instant stuff is good for you. The soluble fiber in this food benefits your heart and your digestive system. Just be careful to read the nutritional information on the box. Some brands, especially those geared towards kids, load it with sugar, so you’ll want to steer clear of those.
Have you ever noticed how filling a cup or two of air-popped popcorn can be? With two grams of fiber, the favorite movie-time snack should be paired with water for easy digestion instead of soda or juice. And forget the kind you get at the theater. Make your own at home and top it with some herbs or a little bit of Parmesan.
Fiber from Whole Wheat Pasta
Now that most major grocery stores carry a number of brands making whole wheat pasta, we’re no longer restricted to the refined versions. One cup of cooked whole wheat pasta has about 6 grams of fiber, along with a solid amount of vitamin B and iron. The taste and texture may take some getting used to, but your health is well worth it.
By adding more fiber to your meals is a relatively simple nutritional fix that can have hugely beneficial outcomes. Including the regulation of metabolic syndrome, glucose and lipid homeostasis, inflammation and insulin levels. You should incorporate more into your diet at a slow pace so that your digestive system doesn’t experience bloating, pain, diarrhea or gas.
Have fun finding new, fiber-rich foods to enjoy and don’t be tempted to take supplements. Whole foods are a much better source of fiber and adopting new eating habits will lead to better lifelong health.
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