Add Fiber to Your Balanced Diet

One of the simplest ways to kick start a healthy diet is to increase your dietary fiber. Processed food and fast food are easy and quick but they can wreak havoc on your digestive tract. Not only that but processed foods, which are high in fat and high and calories are linked to obesity and other diseases.

What does fiber do for us? Fiber’s primary role is to promote healthy digestion. Fiber cleanses the digestive tract by speeding up the excretions and toxins from the body. It also helps to prevent waste from sitting in the intestines.

There are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber passes through most of the bowel system unchanged and promotes the growth of friendly bacteria. Since this type of fiber is not digested by the body it helps to slow gastric emptying and therefore can help to reduce your food intake because you will feel fuller for longer. Insoluble fibre is found in bran, wholemeal flour, brown rice, whole grain cereal, vegetables, edible peels and nuts and seeds. Soluble fiber helps to reduce the level of cholesterol by binding fats that cause high cholesterol and pushing them through the bowel. This helps to prevent the bad fats from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Soluble fiber absorbs water during digestion which acts like a natural stool softener. Soluble fibres include fruit, vegetables, lentils, peas, beans, oats, barley, oatmeal and potatoes.

In terms of weight loss increasing your dietary fiber can aide in reaching your goals if combined with a balanced healthy diet and exercise. Fiber helps in long term weight loss and your dietary fiber intake should be monitored to ensure you’re meeting the daily recommended dose. Speak with your Doctor or Trainer to find out how much fiber you should be consuming per day. You want to make sure that you’re not consuming too much fiber as well because it can cause a mineral deficiency.

High fiber foods are typically low in calories and are filling so they help to prevent overeating or snacking in between meals. Due to the slowing of digestion with added fibre you can also help to stabilize blood sugar levels which is beneficial to diabetics. Fibre will also help to prevent tiredness, hunger pangs and lack of energy.

Adding dietary fiber to your diet is not a fad and it’s not a passing trend in healthy eating. It’s a key part in maintaining a health and balanced diet which can aide in weight loss but also keep you healthy and your body functioning at an optimal level. There are many easy ways to add fiber to your diet but if you’re still unsure on how to make this healthy change then ask your Doctor or training to go through your eating habits and help determine where you can make some changes.

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Berries are tiny, tasty, and tantalizingly colorful – and they’re also powerful allies for your health, protecting everything from your head to your heart. Berries are loaded with fiber, which helps you feel full and helps you eat less. Many berries are full of antioxidants, protecting your body against inflammation and free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and organs.

Here are 8 benefits of eating berries:

  • Berries can also keep you mentally sharp. A study showed that women who had the highest berry intake postponed cognitive decline by about two and a half years.
  • People who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25% less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than their peers.
  • Berries can boost heart health. Reducing the risk of having a heart attack.
  • With their high fiber and liquid content, berries give us a sense of fullness – helping with weight control.
  • Berries can help fight high blood pressure.
  • Flavonoid-packed berries, such as blueberries and raspberries help fight cancer.
  • Berries’ antioxidants might be allies in the fight against the effects of age on the brain that might be behind changes leading to the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s.
  • Cranberries are the usually the best berry to help with urinary tract health.

Probably the most common berry choices in your fridge are strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. They are all excellent choices in added benefit to your health.

Strawberries – contain more vitamin C in a one-cup serving than one orange and are also high in folic acid.

Blueberries – contain 20 types of anthocyanin – antioxidants that give berries their blue-violet and red colors. Other berries contain only three or four types.

Blackberries, Raspberries and Boysenberries – each contains 8 grams of fiber in one cup – one third the daily recommended amount (25 grams).

Cranberries – not only combat urinary tract infections by preventing Escherichia coli bacteria from sticking to cells in the urinary tract, but they also are a natural probiotic, supporting healthy bacteria that grow in the gastrointestinal tract and aiding in digestion.

Berries are low in calories, high in fiber, and they contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to function normally. Add berries into your meals and snacks to get 5-6 servings a day – not only are they delicious, they are full of healthy benefits.

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