Fiber for better health

There is much written about the benefits of eating a diet high in natural fiber but there is also much confusion.

There are 2 types of fiber, soluble fiber, which absorbs water, to become soft and mushy such as that found in oatmeal and insoluble fiber like that found in celery, which remains hard. Most fruits and vegetables contain both.

The American Heart Association recommends 25 mg of dietary fiber while we at Lighterliving suggest that 35 mg is better.

Since one cup contains 5-6 grams, studies show that 6 servings of fruits and vegetables may

* Prevent heart disease and Stroke

* Increase the rate of digestion to prevent colon, breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.

* Bind with LDL, your bad cholesterol to prevent clogged arteries

* Lower your insulin blood levels to prevent diabetes and kidney and gall stones

* Help to eliminate toxins which makes skin glow

* Makes you feel sated and less hungry which helps with weight management.

* Add bulk to your stool to prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.

 

The following may help you choose the plants that better contribute to your fiber intake

 

Fruits / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)

  • Raspberries / 1 cup / 8.0
  • Pear (with skin) / 1 medium / 5.5
  • Apple (with skin) / 1 medium / 4.4
  • Banana / 1 medium / 3.1
  • Orange / 1 medium / 3.1
  • Strawberries / 1 cup / 3.0
  • Figs, dried / 2 medium / 1.6
  • Raisins / 1 ounce (60 raisins) / 1.0

Grains, cereal and pasta / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)

  • Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked / 1 cup / 6.3
  • Barley, pearled, cooked / 1 cup / 6.0
  • Bran flakes / 3/4 cup / 5.5
  • Oat bran muffin / 1 medium / 5.2
  • Oatmeal, instant, cooked / 1 cup / 4.0
  • Popcorn, air-popped / 3 cups / 3.6
  • Brown rice, cooked / 1 cup / 3.5
  • Bread, rye / 1 slice / 1.9
  • Bread, whole-wheat / 1 slice / 1.9

Legumes, nuts and seeds / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)

  • Split peas, boiled / 1 cup / 16.3
  • Lentils, boiled / 1 cup / 15.6
  • Black beans, boiled / 1 cup / 15.0
  • Lima beans, boiled / 1 cup / 13.2
  • Baked beans, vegetarian, canned, cooked / 1 cup / 10.4
  • Almonds / 1 ounce (23 nuts) / 3.5
  • Pistachio nuts / 1 ounce (49 nuts)/ 2.9
  • Pecans / 1 ounce (19 halves) / 2.7

Vegetables / Serving size / Total fiber (grams)

  • Artichoke, boiled / 1 medium / 10.3
  • Green peas, boiled / 1 cup / 8.8
  • Broccoli, boiled / 1 cup / 5.1
  • Turnip greens, boiled / 1 cup / 5.0
  • Brussels sprouts, boiled / 1 cup / 4.1
  • Sweet corn, boiled / 1 cup / 3.6
  • Potato, with skin, baked / 1 small / 2.9
  • Tomato paste, canned / 1/4 cup / 2.7
  • Carrot, raw / 1 medium / 1.7

*Fiber content can vary among brands.

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27