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Dietary fibers – Are you getting enough?

Posted Apr 27 2010 8:52am


Dietary fibers are one of the major nutrients that the American standard diet lacks severely. According to Wikipedia, Americans eat in average less than 50% than the levels recommended for good health, and the preferred food choices of today’s youth, this amount drops to only 20%. For many scientists, this is an important factor in the increased obesity problems. Eating fiber rich foods goes far beyond than just helping your regularity.

What can dietary fibers do for you?

  • Lower your blood cholesterol
  • Lower your blood sugar levels
  • Optimize toxins evacuation for a better natural body detox
  • Help prevent chronic bowel diseases like diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Help reduce risk of cancers, especially colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Increase satiety and help in weight management
  • Help prevent heart diseases

There are two major fiber group: Soluble and insoluble. The key to get all the fiber benefits is to try to achieve a 3 to 1 ratio of insoluble to soluble fibers.

Soluble fibers food sources:

  • Beans and legumes (split peas, lentils, black beans, navy beans, black eye peas, etc.)
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Some fruits (apples, pears, plum, berries, bananas…)
  • Some vegetables (dark leafy greens, broccoli, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke,..)
  • Root vegetables (sweet potatoes, yams, onions…)
  • Psyllium seed husk

Insoluble fibers food sources:

  • Whole grains
  • Wheat bran
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Potato skins
  • Flax seed
  • Some vegetables (green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, celery…)
  • Some fruits (avocado, banana, tomato…)

The six fiber champions would be:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Bran
  • Prunes
  • Apples and pears
  • Quinoa
  • Raspberries and blackberries

And to make sure that the soluble fibers can perform their task, you must ensure to drink enough water.

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