Would you like to make a simple change that will help you eat a healthier diet? Eat more fiber. Most of us just don’t eat enough.
A five-year study recently presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual conference found that only 7.4% of adults in the United States were achieving the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily intake of 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories. 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories is equivalent to 25 to 35 grams per day.
Researchers analyzed data from 14,640 adult participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2013 to 2018. The research was led by Derek Miketinas, an assistant professor of nutrition and food science at Texas Woman’s University in Houston.
Research showed that women ate more fiber than men and participants with diabetes ate more fiber than those without diabetes.
But overall we all need more. If you’ve had a colonoscopy, your doctor likely recommended more fiber – even if you got a clean report.
Here is the latest research on the benefits of fiber:
– A recent study in the journal Endocrinology showed that higher fiber intake may reduce the risk of depression in pre-menopausal women.
Eating a high-fiber diet can help mediate systemic inflammation and reduce the risk of respiratory morbidity, including asthma, according to study results published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
– High fiber consumption appeared to be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to the results of a meta-analysis of prospective observational studies published in Cancer.
– According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, the risk of ischemic stroke was inversely linked to the consumption of fiber, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products such as milk and cheese.
So which foods are high in fiber to choose more commonly? You can’t go wrong with fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. However, certain high-fiber foods (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database) include raspberries, pears, apples, green peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes (skin-on), whole grain spaghetti, barley, bran flakes, quinoa, split peas, lentils, black beans , baked beans, chia seeds, almonds and pistachios.
questions and answers
Q: Is there anything I can eat to have healthier skin?
A: Our skin is the body’s largest organ and the first line of defense. And yes, the skin needs nutrients to stay strong and healthy. No single nutrient can maintain healthy skin (despite the advertisements). Variety and a colorful diet are the key. Remember to choose a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, carrots, tomatoes, watermelon, kiwi, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes. It is also good for your skin to avoid refined sugars such as those found in ice cream, soda, pastries, and processed foods.
I’m a big fan of combining eggs and spinach. This spinach and mushroom quiche is a great way to start the morning. Do it on a Sunday and heat the leftovers for the rest of the week. It’s from Eating Well magazine.
SPINACH MUSHROOM QUICHE
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of sliced, fresh mixed forest mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, button, or oyster
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
1 tablespoon of thinly sliced garlic
5 ounces of fresh baby spinach (8 cups), roughly chopped
6 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half and half
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of grated Gruyère cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 inch cake pan with cooking spray; put aside. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat; swirl to coat the pan. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about eight minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft and tender, about five minutes. Add spinach; boil, tossing constantly until withered, 1 to 2 minutes. Take off the stove. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, half and half, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. Fold in the mushroom mixture and cheese. Spoon into the prepared cake pan. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes and cut into slices. Garnish with additional thyme and serve.
Per serving: 277 calories; 17.1 grams of protein; 6.8 grams of carbohydrates; 20 grams of fat (8.2 grams of saturated); 220.2 milligrams of cholesterol; 1.5 grams of fiber; 3.2 grams of sugar; 442.5 milligrams of sodium.
Charlyn Fargo is a registered nutritionist at SIU Med School in Springfield, Illinois. For comments or questions, contact them at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @NutritionRD. To learn more about Charlyn Fargo and to read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate’s website at www.creators.com.
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