Bulk Up With Fiber

Add Bulk to Your Diet

Add Bulk to Your Diet

If you are not used to fiber in your diet, then you may notice bloating, cramping or gas. Start by making small changes in your diet.

By: Bindu Grandhi and Brigid Beitel

Eating fiber-rich foods can help in the treatment of constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis (the inflammation of pouches in the digestive tract) and irritable bowel syndrome. It may also help lower your cholesterol, and reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Not to mention that it keeps you feeling fuller longer after a meal, which can help curb overeating and weight gain. Shoot for 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day (or a total of at least 21 grams daily).

Here are some ideas to get more fiber (spinach and kale are already mentioned in Bone Up On Calcium):

  • * Lentils such as red lentils (1/2 cup = 6 grams), split peas (1/2 cup = 8 grams)
  • * Beans such as navy (1/2 cup = 9.5 grams), kidney (1/2 cup = 8.2 grams), pinto (1/2 cup = 7.7 grams), black (1/2 cup = 7.5), lima (1/2 = 6.6 grams), white (1/2 cup = 6.3 grams) and great northern (1/2 cup = 6.2 grams).
  • * Sweet potatoes (1 medium sweet potato = 4.8 grams)
  • * Green peas (1/2 cup = 4.4 grams)
  • * Apple, Pear or Orange (1 medium apple = 3.3 grams; medium orange = 3.1 grams; I small pear = 4.4 grams)
  • * Berries such as raspberries (1/2 cup = 4.0 grams) and blackberries (1/2 cup = 3.8 grams)
  • * Prunes (1/2 cup = 3.8 grams)
  • * Whole grain breads and cereals (e.g., 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, bran muffins, brown rice)

If you are not used to fiber in your diet, then you may notice bloating, cramping or gas. Start by making small changes in your diet by introducing one fiber-rich item, then wait several days to a week before making another. If one change doesn’t seem to work for you, try a different one.  Also, liquids help your body digest fiber so be sure to drink more fluids such as water with a twist of lemon if you prefer, unsweetened tea or green tea each day.

Also read: 1. Bone Up On Calcium 2.Dodging Alzheimer’s – What You Can Do Today 3. Spice Up Your Palette 4. Count Up Your Calories and Pump Up With Exercise 5. Rice With Cannelli Beans

About the Author:

Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavorful flexitarian cooking. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.

About the Research Contributor:

Brigid Beitel is a student at the University of Richmond, interested in pursuing a major in marketing with an interest in the culinary industry. Among her many talents, she is a reporter for The Collegian, University of Richmond’s Independent Student newspaper, where she writes “telling” restaurant reviews. She is smart, motivated and volunteered to do research for this article. I am most grateful for her contributions and I wish her much success in her collegiate and career endeavors.

Note: Please do check with your doctor or a registered dietitian about the above recommendations especially if you have health problems like heart disease or diabetes, or to discuss any effects in conjunction with your medicines.