There are many different nutrients that we need to have in our diets in order for us to be healthy, and we get these nutrients from the foods we eat. If all we eat is junk food, we won't be getting any of these nutrients or other important dietary factors, including fiber. Fiber is a necessary part of everyone's diet for a number of reasons. Most people think of it as something we need to make us have regular bowel movements. But there's so much more that fiber does for our body.
Why Is Fiber Necessary?
You may not realize it, but fiber actually provides absolutely no calories. But we still need to have fiber in our diets since it works in our digestive systems, slowing down how quickly food moves through our stomachs, and then speeding it up again when it reaches our intestines. If you've ever had trouble with constipation, you may have been advised to eat more high fiber foods, or at least take dietary supplements with fiber.
In addition to digestion, fiber is also necessary for the growth of healthy bacteria, and it has a positive effect on C-reactive protein, providing cardiovascular benefits. And fiber helps to slow the release of blood sugar into our systems, making it easier to lose weight and helping to prevent type II diabetes. So as you can see, we need to have plenty of fiber in our diets. Fortunately, there are many delicious fiber foods that are excellent for any type of diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Fiber Foods That Taste Terrific
When many of us think of eating high fiber foods, we imagine things like bran, wheat, and other things that some consider boring or tasteless (although there are many things you can do with these grains to make them totally delicious).
There are also many herbs and spices that are loaded with fiber, which allows you to season your food while getting extra fiber as well. A food is considered to be "high fiber" when it has five or more grams in every serving. Some of the seasonings that you probably use all the time anyway that are considered high in fiber (and there are many, many more) are:
- ground cinnamon
- ground sage
- fennel seed
- curry powder
- dried oregano
- black pepper
- ground allspice
- ground cloves
But spices aren't the only fiber foods you can add to your diet. If you love chocolate, cocoa powder is also high in fiber, so a cup of hot cocoa is a perfect way to get fiber in your diet, and it's delicious too. There are many tasty cereals that are loaded with fiber, including bran flakes, Kellogg's All Bran, Kellogg's Rice Crispies, and more. Enjoy a bowl of cereal at any time of the day for a tasty high fiber snack. It's not just for breakfast any more.
Any food that is whole grain is considered to be high in fiber, which means that foods like bran or whole grain muffins, bagels, buns, and breads are great choices. If you love oatmeal for breakfast, then you're already getting a good helping of fiber every morning. Pasta lovers can get their fiber and other important nutrients from whole grain pasta. There are even plenty of delicious snacks that are high in fiber, such as popcorn.
Many fruits and vegetables are wonderful fiber foods. You can get plenty of fiber from delicious dried fruits, which are extremely healthy, especially when you eat them with nuts and seeds (which are also high in fiber) in a trail mix. Berries are also high in fiber, as well as oranges, avocados, kiwis, pears, and apples with their skins still on. When it comes to vegetables, leafy greens are high in fiber, as are green peas, chick peas, lentils, and many types of beans.
High Fiber Foods Are Also High Protein Foods
Many of the above foods that are high in fiber are also extremely rich in other nutrients, such as protein, which our bodies must have in order to be strong and healthy. With high fiber foods you can get lots of nutrients just from one meal, including the fiber you need, as well as protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. And as mentioned above, you can get your fiber simply by seasoning your meals, which most of us do anyway. By eating healthy, nutrient dense foods, you won't have to eat continuously all day long to get everything your body needs.
Making Sure You Get Enough Protein
Because it's so important that you get enough protein in your diet, it's essential to eat plenty of foods that are high in protein, including lean red meat, fish, poultry, low or non-fat dairy products, and more. And if you are still not getting enough protein in your diet, you might also want to start using protein supplements, which not only contain protein, but many other nutrients as well.
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