Fiber and its importance

Keep your body well balanced with fiber, as it is critical to your health to help prevent from having a body mass that can increase risk of snoring, sleep apnea, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other long term illnesses. Fiber is critical to your health and you should learn how to get more of it into your diet. Of all the components that make up our food, fiber might just be the least glamorous. There’s really nothing sexy about something that is best known for ensuring you are no stranger to the washroom. But while vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fats and phytochemicals are hogging the nutritional spotlight these days, bulking up your diet with fiber should be a top priority if you are committed inside and out. That’s because fiber, an indigestible carbohydrate found only in the cell walls of plant foods, has proven to be a potent ally in the fight against chronic diseases such as:

  • colon cancer (by sweeping the intestinal wall clean of carcinogens)
  • diabetes (slows the absorption of sugars)
  • heart disease (by reducing blood cholesterol)
  • stroke (lowers blood pressure)

By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine, fibre can also enhance the immune system’s ability to fight infection and the aforementioned chronic diseases. And by food more Filling, fiber is even good at keeping our waistlines in check by preventing overeating. According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended intake for fiber for adults 50 years and younger is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. For men and women over 50 the recommended daily fiber intake is 30 grams and 21 grams per day, respectively. To reach these lofty intake numbers you might need to be a little creative with your eating. When increasing you fiber intake, make sure to start slowly and drink plenty of water to ease digestion and prevent unpleasant bloating and gas.

Food for Thought

Start your day off with a high-fiber cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Be creative and add berries, ground flaxseed and walnuts. When serving up a potato don’t leave the skin behind for the scrap bin. Potato skins as is the case with edible jackets on other vegetables and fruits are a simple way to reel in more fiber.
Crown up your salad. Mix in some fiber-rich goodies such as sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, avocados and mandarin oranges. Beans and lentils are nature’s perfect foods. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, and, yes, fiber they should be more noticeable, as well as canned beans. Give scrambled eggs a nutritious punch by mixing in chopped onion, broccoli, red bell pepper and green onion.

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