Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eat More Fiber!

Fiber is one of the most important aspects of a healthy diet and long, healthy life. High intake of insoluble and soluble fiber have been correlated with decreased risk for cancer (specifically colon cancer), reduced risk of heart disease, healthy levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, weight loss, and of course, healthy digestion and bowel regularity. Soluble plant fiber serves as the source of nourishment for the billions of good bacteria present in your gut.

Here are some good tips to getting more fiber in your diet daily, from Dr.Mark Hyman's blog on the Huffington Post...

1. Get the flax. Get a coffee grinder just for flax seeds, grind 1/2 cup at a time, and keep it in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge or freezer. Eat 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds a day. Sprinkle it on salads, grains, or vegetable dishes or mix it in a little unsweetened applesauce.

2. Load up on legumes. Beans beat out everything else for fiber content!

3. Bulk up on vegetables. With low levels of calories and high levels of antioxidants and protective phytochemicals, these excellent fiber sources should be heaped on your plate daily.

4. Go with the grain. Whole grains like brown rice or quinoa are rich in fiber, too.

5. Eat more fruit. Include a few servings of low-sugar fruits to your diet daily (berries are the highest in fiber and other protective phytochemicals).

6. Go nuts. Include a few handfuls of almonds, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts to your diet every day.

7. Start slowly. Switching abruptly to a high-fiber diet can cause gas and bloating. Increase your fiber intake slowly till you get up to 50 grams a day.

8. Consider a good fiber supplement. If you're have trouble getting your fill of fiber, choose a supplement that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and no sweeteners or additives.

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