We always hear about how we need fiber in our diet – but is it really that important to our bodies and how does it help us?
For all you ‘data’ people, here are some statistics from the Institute of Medicine:
Men under 50: 38 grams/day – Women under 50: 25 grams/day
Men over 50: 30 grams/day – Women over 50: 21 grams/day
Eating the proper amount of fiber has some significant health benefits. Here are just a few of them:
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower incidence of constipation
- Fiber gives you a feeling of “fullness” that can lead to weight loss
- Reduced risk for colon cancer
- Reduced risk for diabetes
Getting your fiber naturally is the best way to increase fiber intake in your diet. When you get it naturally, you don’t need the ‘artificial’ fiber. Here are some much more tasty alternatives to those awful tasting ‘fiber supplements’!
- Nuts – one of the best sources of fiber. Eating a handful a day is a great way to add natural fiber to your diet.
- Vegetables – fibrous veggies like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, squash, asparagus, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts provide the most benefit. Even better if the vegetable has skin or seeds – this makes it even more fiber-rich!
- Fruit – leave the skin on – please! – because it’s a major source of fiber! The seeds in berries have lots of fiber. You should definitely help yourself to several servings of these each day!
- Seeds – pumpkin, sesame and sunflower are all seeds that are an excellent source of fiber and they make a great snack too!
- Legumes – beans, especially green beans as opposed to the dried variety.
Muy importante! (Very important!):