Fabulous Fiber

Dietary Fiber plays an important role in keeping our body healthy and processing the food we eat. Fiber is known to relieve constipation and hemorrhoids, help with weight loss, lower cholesterol and can lower the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, gallstones and kidney stones.

Fiber can be found in: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds.

The two main types of fiber are Soluble and Insoluble Fiber.

Soluble Fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble Fiber passes through our intestines largely intact. Both types of fiber are important to our health.

Soluble fibers are commonly found in fruits (especially pear, apple and citrus), vegetables (such as carrots)oats, barley, nuts, flax seed and legumes.

These water-soluble fibers form gels that provide beneficial effects including:

* Slow stomach emptying which contributes to fullness and decreased appetite.

* This delayed stomach emptying slows the absorption of carbohydrates which reduces

after-meal blood sugar spikes (this helps regulate blood sugar especially those who have diabetes)

* Binds to fatty acids

* Lowers LDL (bad)cholesterol
Insoluble fibers are commonly found in wheat and corn bran, whole grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds and vegetables (green beans, dark leafy greens and skins of root vegetables).

Insoluble fibers beneficial effects include:

* they promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation

* help prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances

* eases the removal of toxic waste in colon

Tips to Increase daily Fiber intake:

* Include raw fruits and vegetables in your diet.

* Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables in place of sugary or refined foods.

* Make a fresh fruit smoothie and add a tablespoon of ground flax seed.

* Include whole grains in your diet: oats, brown rice, bran, quinoa, barley and spelt.

* Substitute whole grain flour in recipes which call for white flour.

* Add ground flax seed to oatmeal or yogurt.

* Snack on unsalted/unbuttered popcorn, dehydrated vegetable crisps or whole grain crackers in place of potato chips, corn chips or pretzels.

* Add legumes to soups, stews and salads. Dip your whole grain crackers or vegetables crisps in hummus or sunflower pate.

* Avoid refined and processed foods which contain little or no fiber.
Important considerations

* Increase fiber intake gradually to avoid gas and bloating.

* Drink plenty of water: Divide your body weight by 2 than divide by 8 to get the number of 8oz glasses of water you should drink per day.

Find out your daily fiber intake requirement here:

The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical care when needed. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for disease diagnosis, therapy choice, medicine selection and dosage.


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