Fiber, the Fabric of Your Life
Vital to Healthy Body Weight
& Digestive Health

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Fitness & Fiber

What a healthy combination! What is fiber? Why is it necessary to health and fitness? What foods are rich in fiber? The answers to all the questions and more!  

Why eating fiber can be a real gas & what you can do about it.

What is fiber?

A diet rich in dietary fiber consists of anything with pits, peels, seeds, stems, leaves, stalks or flowers.

Think of fiber as the indigestible components of these items, with some having the ability to bind water, giving them the power to add bulk and volume to the intestinal tract.

In turn, this allows the body to eliminate unhealthy toxins that would otherwise continue to build in the system. Think of the situation as 'inner molting'.

By ridding harmful toxins from the body, the individual is at less risk for some diseases - including certain types of cancer.

The added bulk (waste) that can build in the intestinal tract when we aren't 'regular' can also add false pounds to the weighing scales - as well as slow down the rate of weight loss at times.

If you are finding that you're not visiting the powder room as often as you should due to a slowed digestive tract, this is often indicative of a slowed metabolic rate (sluggish metabolism).

How much dietary fiber per day do you need?

About 20 to 30 grams per day - which isn't difficult at all to fit into a healthy weight loss plan. Just one serving of navy beans - 1 cup will provide almost 20 dietary fiber grams. So much for those overblown fiber supplement commercials, eh?

Why is fiber necessary to health and fitness?

Fiber in your diet can be beneficial in several ways. It helps fight certain forms of cancer as referenced above, it's effective in preventing and in treating certain disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease.

Fiber aids in digestion and it gives you a feeling of fullness after you've eaten so that you'll fill satisfied for longer stretches of time, keeping hunger in the background of your thoughts so that you can concentrate on living rather than eating.

Fiber rich foods are generally naturally low in calories and fat. Generally - as a rule of thumb, foods that go through minimal or no processing tend to hold the most dietary fiber content.

The peeling of fruits and vegetables are a great example; unfortunately much of time the peeling is removed amid the cooking process or as directed by the recipe. Or, it may lose its value when it goes through the cooking process, even when left intact.

What foods are rich in fiber?

It's very hard to beat bran when it comes to fiber. Dried apricots are another excellent source as are prunes, peanuts, oats, whole grain flour, raisins, green beans, celery, and peas.

Here are a few more high fiber foods: pearled barley, bulgar, all beans excepting green and wax varieties, peas, Asian pears, cornmeal, berries, couscous, bran, artichokes, nuts, dates, dried fruits, whole wheat flour and tomato paste.

As to meals, baked beans with franks contains about 18 grams of fiber. One fast food taco filled with beef, tomato and lettuce in a corn shell contains about 10 grams.

Berries hold about 11 grams per cup - while most beans, peas and lentils contain 15 grams. One cup of roasted chestnuts contains about 8 grams.

Fiber Vs Gas

There are several commercially sold products that can assist in alleviating painful and embarrassing gassy issues that are associated with high fibrous foods.

Just add a few drops to that first luscious bite of fibery food for the fabric of your life OR use the over the counter remedy as directed on the package if the food has been consumed.

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