To reduce your trips to the restrooms and uphold an efficient bowel function, incorporate a high fiber diet into your recipes and diet. Strokes, heart diseases, and hypertension are all warded off with a high fiber diet in cases. Unfortunately, a vast majority of the U.S population does not meet the recommended daily intake of fiber.
According to Tracy E. Camp, a holistic nutritionist and lifestyle consultant, the standard western diets constitute cheese, meat, milk, and refined grain products which aren’t adequate sources of fiber. We fill ourselves up with these low fiber foods and end up not leaving enough room in our stomachs for a plate of a high fiber food.
What makes Fiber an essential Option?
Fiber is vital for the bodily processes that eliminate toxins and waste in our bodies, though it is never really digested. In fact, fiber remains more or less the same from the serving plate to the toilet. Fiber can either be soluble or insoluble, with most of the plant-based foods comprising the two.
Soluble fiber converts into a gel in the stomach to help reduce cholesterol levels, blood glucose, and to ultimately slow digestion whereas the insoluble fiber remains unchanged all the way to the colon to help make the waste softer and heavier for it to shimmy easily through the intestines.
Often, skipping out on the recommended daily fiber intake can result in constipation with the trips to the restrooms being uncomfortable and pretty painful. Low and inadequate intake of fiber may make it tough to have the blood glucose levels, as well as appetite, in check because fiber regulates the digestion speed and is a contributing factor to the feeling of satiety. Also, low fiber diets associate with hemorrhoids, heart complications, weight gain, and diverticular disease.
Unfortunately, too much of fiber can force the food to move through the intestines too quick; which means that fewer minerals will get absorbed from the food. Excessive fiber intake may also lead to bloating and cramping especially with a dramatic increase of fiber overnight.
Fear Not! Here’s the Recommended Daily Fiber Intake
The Institute of Medicine recommends that;
- For adults 50yrs and below, men require a daily fiber intake of 38g whereas the women require a daily fiber intake of 25g.
- For adults above 50yrs, men require a daily fiber intake of 30g whereas the women require a daily fiber intake of 21g; because of the reduced food consumption.
Lifestyle consultants recommend that you increase your water intake too in the case that you embark on upping your fiber intake; This is particularly essential when indulging in a high fiber intake as a supplement. Also, they recommend that you gradually up your fiber intake so as to allow for your body, and digestive system to adapt.
In the case that your doctor recommended a low-fiber diet for you, owing to medical reasons, consult with him or her before you incorporate the fiber-rich foods in your diet.
Listed below are 14 fiber rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet. Have one included into your diet each week and you will in no time hit the recommended daily fiber intake!
Fiber Content: 15g
Beans constitute a generous array of antioxidants, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals, as well as a heartland flavor that attests the goodness of America’s favorite veggie.
Who hasn’t had a taste of the most requested Thanksgiving side dish (green bean casserole)? Green beans have a unique blend of epicatechin, catechins, lutein, procyanidins, and zeaxanthin that avail the right nutrients’ cocktail which the body needs, especially when cooked with other plant-based foods. To retain the green beans’ vitamins, vibrant color, minerals, and flavor, cook them to a ‘tender-crisp’.
Also, beans are a good source of fiber with a serving cup of cooked black beans constituting a fiber content of 15g. In the case that you are not accustomed to beans, up your beans’ intake gradually to allow for your digestive system to adjust.
- Flax Seeds
Fiber Content: 1.9g
Uses: Crackers, Frozen waffles, Oatmeal
Flax seeds are a vital inclusion in our diets. They contain both the soluble and insoluble fiber which is essential for vital body processes. A tablespoon serving of ground flax seeds constitutes 1.9 g of fiber. Recommendations are that you incorporate a teaspoon of ground flax seeds into your oatmeal, or cereals, in the morning to ensure that you reap the health benefits of these seeds.
In the case that you buy the ground flax seeds or you pre-grind your flax seeds, ensure that they are refrigerated. The grinding process helps to release oils, which can oxidize at room temperature, in the flax seeds.
Unfortunately, for those that have elevated insulin levels, using ground flax seeds may result in the inhibition of the delta six desaturase enzymes. Therefore, the flax seeds should be subjected to spared use and probably alternated with other ground grains such as sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame; This goes a long way to help balance the omega three and omega six ratios.
- Whole grains
Fiber Content: Varies
For whole grains to be a good source of fiber, they have to be in their unprocessed form. In the refining process, the bran on the whole grains is removed leaving behind an end-product that is deficient in fiber content. For example, while the cooked long-grain brown rice has a fiber content of 1.8g per 100g of serving, the same amount of cooked long-grain white rice has a fiber content of 0.4g.
Fiber Content: 4.4g
Uses: Fruit salads
As compared to other commonly consumed fruits, apples can help keep the doctor away because they are ranked 2nd owing to their antioxidant activity. Nonetheless, apples are ranked 1st for their percentage of phenolic compounds; which means that they are highly absorbable into the bloodstream.
They are an easily available and inexpensive source of fiber. The apple peels are edible and a vital source of nutrients such as phytochemicals.
Fiber Content: 5.8g
Parsnips are a classic for those who love carrots. Parsnips resemble white carrots though they have a more distinct taste. They are highly nutritious in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Foods rich in potassium help to offset the hypertensive effects of sodium; an imbalance in the potassium-sodium ratio can result in stroke, heart disease, as well as high blood pressure.
Parsnips can be used pretty much in all of the ways that you would use a carrot, or even use it as a substitute for potatoes. They taste great mashed!
Fiber content: 2.3-2.9g
Uses: Cooking, Salads
Here’s another childhood classic that is real good for you. Unlike any other veggies and fruits, carrots contain higher levels of beta-carotene. Not only do the carrots derive their color from the beta-carotene, more importantly, but it converts into vitamin A in the body.
Carrots are also a good source of fiber (½ cup of cooked carrots has 2.3g, and raw baby carrots have 2.9g) and are renowned for multiple health benefits such as inhibiting cancer cell growth.
Fiber Content: 7.5g
Uses: Cooking, Soups
Even though spinach has a low calories count, they pack a handful of nutrients. Spinach’s versatility has rendered the veggie more adaptable to healthy veggie drinks and smoothies. Also, you can have the spinach lightly sautéed to serve as a side dish; you can add it to soups or even stir the spinach in fried veggies. Best of all, too many health attributes shadow this super green food to have them all listed down!
Fiber Content: 5.5g
Uses: Salads, snacking, cooking, baking
The reason as to why parents give babies stewed pears when the baby is stooped up is because a medium sized pear constitutes 5.5g of fiber which goes a long way to get things to move along.
The most satisfying aspect about Pears is their luscious sweet flavor. The grainy texture of the pears also has a distinctive appeal to it. Though the grainy texture makes it difficult to determine their maturity, ripe and ready pears are those that easily succumb to slight thumb pressure. Pears can always be refrigerated to slow the ripening process and to preserve the optimal nutrients.
Pears have a ton of health benefits and are an excellent option for fruit salads, snacking, or even for incorporating into garden salads. Use the overripe pears for baking and cooking purposes.
- Brussels Sprouts
Uses: side dish,
Yuck, right? Well, the chances are that you only got to have a taste of over-boiled Brussels. Surprisingly, you achieve the best flavor when you have them placed in a pretty small amount of water, steamed, drained, and immediately served with a pinch of salt. Avoid overcooking them so as to uphold the flavor, color, consistency, and most importantly- -the aroma.
Try to serve steamed Brussels sprouts as a side dish along with cheese or honey mustard sauce. Also, you can have them roasted and tossed together with pine nuts, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
All in all, there are some yummy recipes which star this super food. Nonetheless, if you don’t find them tasty, it doesn’t matter at all! Give them a shot and reap the nutritional benefits.
Fiber Content: 5.2g per serving cup
Similar to quinoa, amaranth is a seed that has grain aspects that reflect in recipes. The amazing fact about amaranth is how it edges out other grains nutritionally. As compared to wheat, or rice, amaranth has far more iron, fiber, manganese, protein, calcium, as well as other phytonutrients. Among the plant-based foods, amaranth is one of the most protein-rich foods.
Ultimately, amaranth is a must-have powerhouse, renowned to curb off some chronic health conditions such as strokes, diabetes, and heart disease. Try to add amaranth to your soup recipes, where it will quick cook, absorb flavors, and boost the soups’ protein and fiber content.
Fiber Content: 5.2g per serving cup
Uses: Chicken and fish recipes, Salads
Technically, quinoa is a glutton-free grain, not seed, which highly packs protein and fiber content. While the quinoa’s still hot, simply dress in lime or lemon juice, black pepper, a pinch of sea salt, and you have the basics set for a toothsome meal. They have a nutty and fluffy appeal to them and are a great alternative for rice. Best served with chicken or fish, and simple ingredients can be used to liven up quinoa to make a satisfying salad.
Fiber Content: 4g
Uses: Salads, Tacos, Soups, Dips, Burgers, Stews and Mexican Cuisine
Most of the global cuisines are rich in legume content; Looming in the shadows lays the reason behind it all! Legumes are a great source of fiber and also avail protein content for the vegetarians. Try to quick cook red lentils to reap 4g of fiber per ½ serving cup. Also, the next time you are out to get Indian food, opt for ‘dal’ rather than the regular meat dish- you will reap the same flavors but with a little more fiber and less fat.
- Chia Seeds
Fiber Content: 10.6g
Uses: Toppings, Chia spread, Chia seed pudding
A while back, chia seeds were spread on terra-cotta pottery. Today, these tiny seeds hold a use greater use than that of making novelty items; they have incredible health benefits to be reaped. They are best-known for their energy-boost aspects, and their gel coatings have an added effect on the digestive tract system.
Fiber Content: 2.4g
Uses: Soups, Warm salads, Side dish to olive oil and seasonings, frittatas and casseroles
Guess what? Your parents were right, back when they forced you to eat your broccoli. A full cup of chopped broccoli is a great source of vitamin C and K, fiber, as well as folate. Avoid overcooking the broccoli. Instead, steam or sauté the broccoli till it turns bright green. Also, ensure your broccoli has a bit of bite to it to maintain the nutrient and fiber content.