All about Fiber

Today’s find: Fiber
        As most of my friends know, I have an odd fascination with fiber.  Between all the health benefits and the taste… I love it!

What exactly is fiber?  Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods that absorbs water, pushes food through the digestive system, and eases pooping.  It changes the nature of the contents in the gastrointestinal tract and changes how nutrients and chemicals are absorbed.

one cup of broccoli has 5.2 g of fiber

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber binds with fatty acids and slows down the absorption of sugar.  Soluble fiber is in oats, beans, apples, bananas and some vegetables.  Insoluble fiber increases the bulk of the stool and helps it move through the intestines more efficiently.  Insoluble fiber is in whole wheat foods, bran, nuts, seeds, and the skin of some fruits and vegetables.  

Fiber is extremely good for your health.  It can lower cholesterol, help prevent heart disease, colon disease and diabetes.  Fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your intestines by binding with cholesterol and bile (which contains cholesterol) so that the body excretes it.  Without this binding fiber, the cholesterol remains in the body and is absorbed in the intestines.  

Adult males should intake at least 38g per day, and adult females should get at least 25g per day.  Most individuals do not get their recommended amount of fiber.  Try to incorporate some of these foods for better health and better poops!

One cup of Go Lean cereal (my fav!) has 10g of fiber AND 13 g of protein
Black Beans: One cooked cup has 13.9 g
Lentils: One cup cooked has 13.6 g
Avocado: One medium avocado has 13.2 g
Peas: One cup has 8.8 g
Brown Rice: One cup, dry, has 7.9 g
Broccoli: One cup of broccoli has 5.2 g 
Almonds: One ounce has 4.2 g
Blueberries: One cup has 4.2 g
Apples: One cup of apples contains 4 g (3 of these grams are in the skin!)
Brussels Sprouts:  One cup of cooked brussels sprouts contains 4 g
Asparagus: One cup of asparagus contains 3.6 g
Bananas: One medium banana contains 3.1 g
Whole wheat bread: one slice typically has 2 g

Take it slow… don’t eat too much fiber at once!  You won’t feel quite as happy…

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