Wellness Wednesday: Five High Fiber Desserts

When we talk of boosting your fiber intake, many people think of beans, whole grains, veggies or salad. While that is true, these are all good sources of fiber, it doesn’t have to be all beans and veggies. It is possible to “have your cake and eat it too”, so to speak. You can get part of your fiber intake with DESSERT! Here are five recipes to get you started…

FUDGY FLOURLESS

LENTIL BLENDER BROWNIES

From: Yummy Mummy Club

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FOR COMPLETE RECIPE VISIT

Yummy Mummy Club

 

High-Fibre Oat

& Almond Bars

From: North Coast Naturals

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FOR COMPLETE RECIPE VISIT

North Coast Naturals

 

High Protein +

High Fiber

Chocolate Pudding

From: Ancestral Nutrition

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FOR COMPLETE RECIPE VISIT

Ancestral Nutrition

 

Double Chocolate

Black Bean Cookies

From: The Nourished Seedling

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FOR COMPLETE RECIPE VISIT

The Nourished Seedling

 

Banana and Avocado

Ice “Cream”

From: The Nourished Seedling

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FOR COMPLETE RECIPE VISIT The Nourished Seedling

Wellness Wednesday: 10 Easy Ways to Increase Your Daily Fiber Intake

As we continue to discuss fiber this week, as our nutrient of focus, I wanted to pass on a few tips to help you boost your daily fiber intake. Remember: 25 grams per day for women and 35 – 40 grams per day for men.

  1. Make sure your carbs come from whole food sources– ALL plant-based whole foods contain fiber, including:
    • fruits,
    • vegetables,
    • starches-sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, squash
    • beans
    • legumes
  2. Have a salad BEFORE your main meal-This will help you fill up with some fiber-rich, nutrient dense foods, before your main calories.
  3. Choose whole grains over refined food-If you do choose a processed form of carbohydrate, make sure it’s made from 100% whole grains.
  4. Include chia seeds in your diet – whether you make pudding, or add them to your smoothie, chia seeds are high in fiber and an easy way to boost fiber intake.
  5. Ditch juice in favor of the whole fruit – Fruit juice is devoid of fiber, and much higher in calories. Choose fruit instead, which is high in fiber and a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  6. Eat avocados– Whether you make guacamole, make avocado brownies, or throw them in a smoothie, find creative ways to add these healthy fruits into your diet
  7. Eat nuts or seeds – Small amounts, about 1 ounce or 1/4 cup is a great snack, high in fiber and healthy fat.
  8. Eat legumes– These tiny little things are jam packed with fiber. Make a big pot of bean soup or vegan chili.
  9. Eat berries– raspberries have 8 grams of fiber per cup. What better way to get your fiber?!
  10. Read your labels – If you choose to purchase processed foods, read the label and look for foods with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Many foods now have functional fiber added.

High Fiber Swaps.png

Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/16-ways-to-eat-more-fiber/

Ultimate Guide to Nutrients: Fiber

Before I get started on the nuts and bolts of fiber, I wanted to say thank you for being so patient with me over the past couple of weeks. My life has been a bit chaotic lately. Between school, my son’s accident, and caring for him, I haven’t had a lot of time to properly write my blog and give it the attention it deserves. So, thank you for your patience.

My son still can’t put weight on his foot for 2 1/2 more weeks, but he is stronger and can now do many things on his own. However due to the extent of his injuries-having broken 3 bones, he can’t go back to school, which doesn’t end for 3 more weeks. So we have teachers coming to the house to teach him, plus, he has physical therapy 3 days a week. So that keeps me very busy. But, we’re hanging in there. 🙂

As far as school goes, I handed in my final assignment, for my current course and got the graded paper back this morning. My oral exam is still to come.  But that is wrapping up as well. So, things are slowly getting back to normal.

ANYWAY… onto our main topic…FIBER!

WHAT IS FIBER?

By definition,  fiber is: “Polysaccharide found in plants that is not digested or absorbed in the human small intestine.” (1)

Ok, if you look at that and think “OK, that’s nice, but what does that mean?”  We touched on polysaccharides in my article on CARBOHYDRATES: THE BASICS

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A polysaccharide is a complex carbohydrate, or a type of sugar with more than 10 individual sugar molecules (monosaccharides) bonded together. There are three types of polysaccharides:

  • Glycogen-this is the storage form of sugar in the body, primarily found in the liver and muscles.
  • Starch- found in wheat, corn, squash, oats, grains, potatoes, yams, etc.
  • Dietary fiberfound in plants, not digested or absorbed by the body. Instead it is partially broken down by friendly gut bacteria and helps to “clean” the digestive tract.

Today we will be focusing on just one of the three, FIBER. There are two main types of fiber:

  • Dietary fiber-This is fiber found naturally in plants. (1)
  • Functional fiber– Fiber that is added to food, for the beneficial health benefits. (1)

You will often see the term “TOTAL FIBER” . This refers to the combination of dietary fiber, found naturally in the food, and functional fiber, or fiber that has been added to a food.

When discussing dietary fiber, there are 2 types, and yes, you need both kinds:

  • Soluble fiber – This fiber dissolves in water-This type of fiber feeds the friendly bacteria in your large intestines. It is broken down and fermented by these friendly bugs. In general, beans, psyllium, vegetables, and flax are healthy sources of soluble fiber. (8)
    • binds with fatty acids
    • delays digestion of carbohydrates.
    • feeds healthy, good bacteria
  • Insoluble fiber – This type does not dissolve in water. Think of this type of fiber as a broom. It “sweeps” the digestive system/colon clean and keeps it healthy. In general, beans, lentils, bran, whole grains, and flax are good sources of insoluble fiber. (8)
    • Cleans the digestive system
    • Controls the acidity/pH of the digestive system

WHY DO WE NEED FIBER?

Fiber is a very important part of any healthy diet and required for a healthy digestive system, and by extension, a healthy body. So, just what does fiber do for us? Here are the highlights (2, 4 )

  • Healthy gut and happy friendly bacteria– this helps with the absorption of nutrients, improves the health of the immune system and prevents the growth of bad bacteria.
  • Helps blood sugar control-Soluble fiber slows the digestion of carbohydrates, and thereby the absorption of sugar.
  • Healthy heart and lower blood pressure – A high fiber diet has been shown to lower cholesterol, leading to lower blood pressure and  a healthier heart
  • Weight loss– High fiber foods help the body feel full longer, leading to fewer calorie consumption and higher weight loss.
  • Lower risk for cancer– The insoluble fiber sweeps the digestive system clean, lowering the risk for colon and rectal cancer.
  • Relieves constipation – Of all digestive system complaints, constipation is number one on the list. Theoretically, you should be having 2 to 3 bowel movements a day, however, at least 1 every day. If you aren’t having at least one everyday, EAT MORE FIBER AND DRINK MORE WATER!
  • Healthy bones– high fiber diets have been shown to increase the absorption of the bone minerals such as calcium.
  • Healthy skin – fiber moves fungus and yeast out of the body, which prevents it from leaching out of the skin, making your skin nice and healthy.
  • Prevents intestinal disorders – Disorders such as diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and  irritable bowel syndrome, can be healed or prevented with a high fiber diet.

HOW MUCH FIBER DO YOU NEED?

On average, Americans get approximately

13 to 15 grams of fiber a day (5)

However,

women need 25 grams per day

and

men, between 35 and 40 grams per day. (6)

WHAT ARE THE BEST

FOOD SOURCES OF FIBER? (7)

Here are the top 15 best

  1. Split peas – 16.3 grams/ cup cooked
  2. Figs – 14.6 grams/ cup – dried
  3. Lima beans – 13.2 grams/ cup cooked
  4. Black beans – 12.2 grams/ cup cooked
  5. Avocado – 10.5 grams/ cup sliced
  6. Lentils – 10.4 grams/ cup cooked
  7. Artichoke – 10.3 grams/ medium artichoke
  8. Asian pear – 9.9 grams/ medium pear with skin
  9. Acorn squash – 9 grams/ cup baked
  10. Peas – 8.6 grams/ cup cooked
  11. Okra – 8.2/ cup
  12. Raspberries – 8 grams/ cup
  13. Chickpeas – 8 grams/cup cooked
  14. Brussel sprouts – 7.6 grams/ cup
  15. Coconut – 7.2 grams/cup

Sources

  1. McGuire, Michelle; Beerman, Kathy A.. Nutritional Sciences: From Fundamentals to Food (Page 125). Cengage Textbook. Kindle Edition.
  2. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/25/9-fiber-health-benefits.aspx
  3. http://www.eatingwell.com/high-fiber/info/health-benefits/10_amazing_health_benefits_of_eating_more_fiber
  4. http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_understand_foods/fiber_benefits.html
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22709768
  6. https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines-americans
  7. https://draxe.com/high-fiber-foods/
  8. http://www.healthcastle.com/fiber-solubleinsoluble.shtml