Are You Getting Enough Fiber?
A person should consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. While many people get their daily intake of fiber from fruits and vegetables, high-fiber cereals such as All Bran (1/3 cup = 8.5 grams), Fiber One (1/2 cup = 14 grams) and 100% Bran (1/2 cup = 8.4 grams) are all optimum sources for fiber. Don't ignore fiber for the rest of the day - you can incorporate it into your snacks, lunch and dinner. Some fruits have very high amounts of fiber; 5 dried pear halves provide 11.5 grams, and blackberries have 7.2 grams per cup. Beans are a great side dish to add to meals when you're trying to get more fiber - lima beans, cowpeas and baked beans all pack at least 7 grams per serving. What's so great about fiber, other than its presence in these delicious, nutritious foods? The benefits of fiber are far-reaching. From digestion to diabetes to cancer and diverticulitis, fiber is responsible for improving (and preventing, in some cases) these conditions. Fiber is indigestible and acts like a sponge in your stomach, soaking up water, toxins and impurities and sweeping them out of your system. And there's nothing quite as miserable as constipation, so fiber - with plenty of water - keeps things running smoothly . It's a real diet aid, too - fiber fills up your stomach and makes you feel full longer. It regulates blood sugar levels as well by slowing the absorption of sugar, hence the diabetes-related benefits.