Posts Tagged ‘grains’

Fiber for Life

 

 

 

Did you know that we’re supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day? The average American eats only 15 grams per day. No wonder everyone is bloated, irregular, and at high risk for heart disease. Also, if you don’t poop, your body reabsorbs toxins it’s trying to flush out. One of the results- Colon cancer is now the third leading type of cancer related deaths in the US.

 

Keep in mind that that fiber is found only in plant foods and never in animal products. No wonder those who consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) are clogged up. We’re supposed to go three times a day. I can tell you most of my patients are lucky, if they go #2 once a day. I’ve seen some cases of once every ten days!

 

Health Benefits of Fiber

• Prevents colon cancer, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones, and varicose veins.

• Lowers cholesterol and helps prevent and manage diabetes.

• Slows the absorption of food. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels and increasing weight loss.

• Removes heavy metals and toxins and reduces the side effects of radiation.

 

Sources of Fiber


Fruits and vegetables- 1 medium size, unless otherwise noted.

 

Apple with skin                           3.0 g

Banana                                         2.0 g

Pear with skin                              4.5 g

Orange                                          2.0 g

Prunes                                           3.0 g

½ cup Brussels sprouts              4.5 g

1 large Carrot                                2.9 g

½ cup Broccoli                            1.5 g

Potato with skin                           4.0 g

1/ 2 cup Corn                               1.5 g

Beets                                             1.85 g

 

All half cup for legumes, grains, nuts and seeds

 

Barley                                   4.0 g

Black beans                        5.5 g

Brown rice                           1.5 g

Garbanzo beans                6.0 g

Green peas                         6.9 g

Hemp seeds                    16.8 g per serving

Kidney beans                     6.5 g

Lentils                                4.5 g

Lima beans                       6.5 g

Oats                                     3.0 g

Pinto beans                       5.9 g

 

Tips

 

As you increase your fiber intake, pay attention to your use of medications and certain minerals- calcium, iron, and zinc. You may need to adjust your medications, especially insulin. If you take a fiber supplement, never take your medications or supplements at the same time.

 

Your body could take a little while to adjust to getting the fiber it needs. So you might be a bit gassy at first. This will pass. Drinking plenty of water and chewing on fennel seed will reduce the toots.

 

See how important it is to get enough fiber? And how easy it is? Stock up on hummus, carrot sticks, and split pea soup, and you’ll be good to go. No pun intended.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Doing the right thing

Are you thinking of giving up meat?  Maybe you just want to cut back? Is it for environmental, health, or ethical reasons?  Worried about protein?  Or for those of you are already a vegetarian, are    sick of the question, “How do you get enough protein?” There is a myth in most Western countries, that you need to eat animal products regularly to get enough protein.  You’ll see from the list below, that this is not the case.  Cases of protein deficiencies almost exclusively exist in cases of overall malnourishment.   What I see more of in my clinic is an iron deficiency, but that occurs just as often in meat eaters as vegetarians and vegans.  (More on that in a future blog.)

Practically all vegetarian foods contain some protein, but soybeans are definitely one of the best sources. Soybeans contain all the essential amino acids and surpass all other plant foods in the amount of protein that they can deliver to humans. It is important to stay away from genetically modified soy products.  The product must be labeled organic and/or non-GMO to make sure.

All of you reading this should know, that I’m always encourage my patients to healthy, organic, locally grown foods.  Becoming a vegetarian is a very personal decision.  But if you want to give it a try and have adequate nutritional support, I’m here for you.

Some of the great vegetarian sources of protein

PROTEIN IN GRAINS: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice

VEGETABLE PROTEIN: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini

PROTEIN IN FRUITS: Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon

If you want to be absolutely certain that you are getting enough protein, you should eat food combinations which form a complete protein, such as:

* Legumes + seeds
* Legumes + nuts
* Legumes + grains

Chances are you already eat complete proteins without even trying.  See how easy it is? Here are some tasty and healthy complete protein combinations:

* Beans on whole grain toast
* Corn and beans
* Hummus and whole wheat pita bread
* Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, hemp, etc..)on whole grain bread
* Brown rice pasta with beans
* Rice and beans, peas, or lentils
* Split pea soup with whole grain or seeded crackers or bread
* Tortillas with refried beans
* Veggie burgers on whole grain bread

Live natural.  Live Well.

Heather

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