Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Don't Forget Your Fiber

I'll have to admit that I did not start being concerned with my fiber needs until about three years ago. What a difference an adequate amount of high quality Fiber, both from fresh foods and from supplements has made for my health. I was glad to see a recent article from Yahoo! Health talk about some of the best whole food sources of Fiber. Part of that article and some of the good sources are listed below. For the full article, go here: 20 Best Foods for Fiber

In addition to lowering blood sugar, helping with cholesterol and possibly even preventing colon cancer, in my mind the most basic reason a person;s fiber intake should be sufficient is to keep the digestive system working properly so nutrients can be better absorbed.  

Fiber can lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol, and may even prevent colon cancer and help you avoid hemorrhoids. If it were a drug, the world would be clamoring for it.

But few people are getting enough.

Women should get about 25 grams a day and men at least 35 to 40, but the average person gets just 15 grams a day. Eating fiber-rich whole foods—not foods that tout "added fiber"—is the best way to increase your fiber intake, says Carolyn Brown, RD, a nutritionist at Foodtrainers, in New York City.

Here is a list of high-fiber foods:

Corn. A single ear of corn, which is about a half cup of corn kernels, contains 2 grams of fiber. Popcorn is also a terrific—and low-calorie—fiber source, with about 3.5 grams of fiber per three-cup serving.

Almonds. A quarter-cup handful makes a good balance, with about 3 grams of fiber and around 170 calories.

Black Beans. Black beans contain 15 grams of fiber per cup, and about 15 grams of protein.

Avocados. a great fiber source; a two-tablespoon serving of avocado has about 2 grams of fiber and an entire fruit contains around 10 grams.

Artichoke. A single boiled artichoke contains a whopping 10.3 grams of fiber, and you'll get 7.2 grams of fiber from a half cup of artichoke hearts.

Pear. A medium-size unpeeled pear contains about 5.5 grams of fiber.

Brown Rice. Every cup contains 3.5 grams of fiber. Remember brown rice, not white.

Edamame. A half-cup serving of edamame can contain up to 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber.

Lentils. Of the legume family is super-rich in fiber, with 15.6 grams per cup.

Raspberries. one cup will give you about a third of your daily fiber needs—they're also chock-full of powerful antioxidants.

Peas. One cup of split peas boasts 16.3 grams of fiber, and a cup of frozen peas contains a not-too-shabby 8.8 grams after cooking.

Broccoli. about 5.1 grams in a cup of boiled broccoli.

Apples. A single regular-size apple contains about 4.4 grams of fiber. Eat it with the skin on.

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