Fiber Up to Skinny Down

Whole-Grain-Group-Pic

And boost energy, digestion, and satisfaction in the process

When it comes to good nutrition, protein often steals the spotlight, while carbs get a bad wrap. This is massively confusing since only 7% of Americans meet the US daily fiber recommendations. Yes, fiber is a carbohydrate too, and an essential one at that.

You’re likely familiar with fiber’s role in promoting healthy digestion; those Metamucil ads are hard to
miss. But the influence of this often-overlooked nutrient on your brain might come as big news.
In one study involving over 3,000 health workers, researchers made a remarkable discovery: People
who incorporated more fiber into their diets experienced a remarkable 33% decrease in
anxiety levels.

That’s not all – those who consumed extra fiber also reduced their risk of depression by an impressive
50%! And the best part? Achieving these benefits only required adding 10 extra grams of fiber to their
daily intake, not a complete diet overhaul.

In another extensive study, scientists followed more than 1,600 people for about a decade. They found
that people who had the highest levels of microbial diversity also consumed higher levels of fiber, and gained less weight over the 10 years than the low-fiber group.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, concluded that among other things, low gut microbiome diversity is associated with greater weight gain over time.

It’s time to embrace the right carbs, the complex version enjoyed throughout human history before the processed, refined, packaged variety took over. Here are a few simple ways to bring more healthy fiber-rich carbohydrates into your day!

  1. Keep fruit and vegetable skins on when consuming produce. This simple step not only reduces preparation time but also doubles fiber intake.
  2. Opt for bread that’s made with only 100% whole grains, like 100% whole-wheat bread.
  3. Instead of drinking juice, fill your blender with a combination of whole fruits, chia or flax seeds, spinach leaves, cucumber, and avocado for an energizing morning smoothie.
  4. Start each evening meal with a leafy green salad, and add as much variety as you can fit into your bowl.
  5. Add chopped nuts, berries, and chia or flax seeds into oatmeal for a fiber and healthy fat boost.
  6. Learn to cook beans! They’re one of the most nutrient-rich food groups that taste great too. And simpler to make from scratch than you think. Of course, canned beans are a fine alternative.
  7. Rock your veggies with delicious herbs and spices or a dash of pesto to make them a welcome addition to every meal.
  8. Add hummus to sandwiches and wraps to add fiber and flavor.
  9. Incorporate avocado into meals for a fiber-rich treat.

10. Brown rice is better than white, but why not experiment with some delicious new alternatives?

A dish that contains millet, wheat berries, hulled barley or bulgar can provide about 1/3 of your daily fiber requirement.    Whole grains are also high in protein and other important nutrients like phytochemicals.

Experiment with different grains to find the best flavor and texture.  From Minted Quinoa Tabouli, to Oven Baked Oats or Orange Fennel and Kamut Salad, you’ll discover whole new favorites to replace those refined wheat products and fiber you right!

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