Eat­ing fi­bre can plant a seed of healthy liv­ing

Pretoria News Weekend - - HEALTH -

NEW YORK: You prob­a­bly know that it’s a good idea to eat more fi­bre. But do you know why?

Fi­bre is found in plant­based foods. It adds vol­ume to your diet, but passes through the in­testines quickly be­cause the body can’t di­gest it. That’s why fi­bre can make you feel full faster and pre­vent con­sti­pa­tion. It may also help lower your choles­terol level and re­duce your risk for heart dis­ease, obe­sity and di­a­betes.

Ac­cord­ing to the Academy of Nu­tri­tion and Di­etet­ics, women should get 25 grams of fi­bre ev­ery day and men, 38 grams.

Veg­eta­bles are a ma­jor source of fi­bre, some more than oth­ers. These in­clude leafy, raw greens, and cru­cif­er­ous ones such as broc­coli and Brus­sels sprouts. Legumes such as lentils, dried peas and all man­ner of beans are other good sources of fi­bre; many even pack in pro­tein, mak­ing them a sub­sti­tu­tion for meat.

Nuts and seeds also add fi­bre to your diet. Just watch quan­ti­ties since they’re very calo­rie dense. Put fresh and dried fruit on your list, too. Ap­ples and pears with the skin are good choices. Also try raisins and prunes.

Hot ce­real like oat­meal and cold ce­real like bran flakes pro­vide good amounts of fi­bre. And, of course, don’t for­get whole wheat bread and pas­tas, bran muffins, brown rice and even pop­corn. How­ever, ramp­ing up your fi­bre in­take too quickly can cause gas and bloat­ing.

So if you’re look­ing to fill up on fi­bre, ex­perts say start slow and grad­u­ally in­crease the amount you eat ev­ery day. – New York Times

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