Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's hear it for fiber!

I am always searching for new ways to add fiber to my diet. Fiber is the wonder substance: it keeps blood sugar levels even and helps in the fight against cancer and heart disease. And when you are dieting, it just might keep your pipes clean, if you get my drift.

I found a post on everydayhealth.com suggesting some fiber-rich foods we should all be eating. And since I love each one, I think I just might follow the advice.

1. Apple and their skin pack twice as much fiber as other common fruit. With the skin, there is 3.5g of fiber; peeled, there is only 1.7g. Here’s an idea if you don’t want to eat the skin: Eat two.
2. Artichokes contain 10g fiber and more potassium than a banana.
3. Avocado: so many of us avoid these gems because they are high in fat. But it’s monounsaturated fat, which is also found in olive oil and macadamias. It is also high in fiber – 11 to 17g per fruit – half a day’s worth of fiber.
4. Barley is packed with fiber throughout each kernel. A half-cup contains 4g of fiber, helps regulate cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels even.
5. Beans: A half cup of navy beans packs 10g fiber; baked beans, lentils, black beans, pinto and garbanzo have between 7.5 and 9g.
6. Broccoli: 2g in 1 cup, plus 2g protein, 288 mg of potassium and 43 mg of calcium.
7. Oatmeal and high-fiber cereals have at least 5g fiber per serving. A great way to start the day.
8. Papaya: One cup has only 55 calories and 2.5 grams of fiber, plus nutrients such as potassium, calcium and vitamins C and A, and lots of digestive enzymes.
9. Berries -- especially raspberries – which has 64 calories per cup and 8g fiber. Berries also contain polyphenols and anthocyanins, powerful plant chemicals that help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and ease the symptoms of arthritis.
10. Pumpkin: It's not only for Halloween. Each cup has only 49 calories and 2.5g fiber, in addition to 565 mg potassium and more than 2,400 mcg of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which help keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp.

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