Benefits of fiber in your diet and where to get it from

If you just love baked beans on toast, here is a good excuse to eat them as often as you like, especially if the toast is whole-wheat: fiber.

Fiber is the magic ingredient which helps maintains your digestive system in perfect shape. Healthy digestion contributes to lower weight and increased health, it also means less risk of getting many of our modern diseases such as bowel cancer, diverticular disease and even diabetes.

Fiber is indigestible and does not contain nutriens as such. But fiber is hightly recommended for its ability to move through the digestive tract faster preventing foods from putrefying in the digestive tract which then contributes to many modern diseases.
This means – the food gets digested sooner, and the indigestible bits, including the fiber, are moved out faster.

In addition, fiber is known to absorb water to become lighter, bulkier and easier to move along. This is why it helps prevent constipation. Also, when it absorbs water in the stomach, it gives that feeling of feeling full and therefore lessening the amount of food, which is consumed.

The recommended daily fiber intake is about 35 grams a day. In reality, a normal western diet usually supplies only 12 grams or less. Foods that look fibrous, like celery and lettuce, are not the answer. Fiber comes in some surprising forms.

So, which foods are fiber-rich?

A/ a breakfast or supper of baked beans on toast will give you nearly 10 grams of fiber by itself. Dried beans, peas, lentils and garbanzos are all excellent sources of fiber.

B/ whole-wheat bread has more fiber than white: nearly 3 grams per slice compared with 0.6 gram for white.

Which means that half a cup of baked beans on a slice of whole-wheat toast will supply one third of the fiber needed in a day!

If you don’t like baked beans, there are many other foods to choose from:
– Half a cup of All-Bran will contains about 10 grams of fiber.
– One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 4.
– An apple contains about 4 grams.
– A cup of dried prunes (soked in water) has over 11 grams.
– Just three fresh carrots a day will give you 6 grams of fiber.
– Cabbage and green vegetable salad is also a rich source of fiber.

But keep in mind that it isn’t advisable to increase the fiber in your diet in one go. This could make you feel very uncomfortable. It is best to add fiber into your meals gradually, to give your body time to adjust to this new, healthier way of eating.

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day, so that the fiber you eat can swell to be as light as possible.

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