Fiber Can Make You Feel Good

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Eating more fiber is a key to health and wellness.  It promotes health and wellness.  It leads to gradual weight loss.  In case you are looking for weight loss here are some tips.  Fiber plays very important role in bowel function and keeps it healthy.  Here is a very good article published at  http://www.theindependent.com/life/food/feel-good-with-fiber/article_1bb33c2a-0b8e-11e4-ad02-001a4bcf887a.html.

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Fiber provides a number of health benefits, which makes it worthwhile to fancy up your diet with fiber. Here are the four most important facts you need to know about dietary fiber:

What is it? Fiber is the non-digestable form of carbohydrate that passes through the digestive tract and out of the body. Soluble fiber dissolves in water whereas insoluble fiber does not. Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels, while insoluble fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system.

Why is it important? Diets high in fiber support digestive health, help manage weight, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

What are the sources? Fiber can be found in a number of foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and some packaged foods like cereal and grain bars. Dietary fiber is found only in plant foods. Meat, milk and eggs do not contain fiber.

How much should I consume? Daily fiber recommendations are based on age and gender. For example, women 50 or younger should consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men age 50 or younger should consume 38 grams of fiber per day. Most Americans don’t eat enough dietary fiber. But add it to your diet slowly. Increasing dietary fiber too quickly can lead to gas, bloating, and cramps.

Here are some ways to boost fiber:

  • Add canned beans, like kidney, red, black, white, garbanzo or other beans to foods you already eat.
  • Choose romaine lettuce or spinach, instead of iceberg lettuce.
  • Enjoy 100 percent whole-wheat or whole-grain bread. A dark color isn’t enough; compare the amount of fiber on the label.
  • Choose high-fiber cereal with at least five grams per serving or mix high-fiber with your regular brand.
  • Choose brown rice instead of white. Instant or quick cooking brown rice is an option if time is short.
  • Eat the skins of potatoes and other vegetables and fruits.
  • Use whole wheat flour, or a 50/50 mixture of whole wheat and white flour, when baking breads, pancakes and muffins.
  • Don’t forget to eat corn. This includes popcorn!
  • Snack on dried fruits such as apricots, which are concentrated sources of nutrients and fiber.
  • Instead of drinking orange, grapefruit or carrot juice, eat the fruit or vegetable itself.

Overnight Oatmeal

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (raw)
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup non-fat or 1 percent milk
  • 1/2 cup berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple

In a medium bowl, mix oats, yogurt, and milk.

Add the fruit now or add just before eating.

Cover and refrigerate oatmeal mixture for 6-12 hours.

Serve scoops of oatmeal in small dishes, or spoon into small containers with lids for grab-and-go breakfasts.

Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Makes 4 servings, almost 1 cup each.

Nutritional information per serving: 170 calories, 2 g fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 48 mg of sodium

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