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20 High Fibre Food That Cured My Constipation

20 High Fibre Food That Cured My Constipation

Fibre remains one of the most important elements of a healthy diet, primarily because it helps to maintain bowel health and aids in achieving a suitable weight.

While knowing this is one thing, however, ensuring that you have enough fibre in your diet is quite another. As a starting point, however, there are some signs that you should look for to determine whether or not you are suffering from a lack of fibre. These include: –

You Are Bloated Or Constipated

This is the single most obvious sign of a fibre shortage, as this nutrient helps to maintain regular bowel movements. If you are consuming less than 25 grams a day on average, you will probably notice a build-up of gas and less regular bowel movements over time.

You Suffer From Sugar Highs and Crashes

The cycle of sugar highs and subsequent crashes is usually a sign of spiking blood-sugar levels, which can be cause by a lack of fibre. This is because the body finds it easier to deal with carbohydrates that are released slowly, improving your moods and energy levels as a result.

You Feel Hungry After Finishing a Meal

Similarly, those suffering from a lack of fibre may find that they still feel hungry after finishing a meal. Once again, this is because the body takes longer to break down fibre, which helps to curb food cravings and leaves us feeling fuller for longer.

You Are Gaining Weight

While there are many contributing factors to weight gain, a lack of fibre may be the culprit in instances where you have an otherwise healthy diet. After all, fibre helps to reduce weight gain by increasing satiety and reducing blood-sugar spikes, so a shortage can cause you to add pounds relatively quickly.

The Core Benefits of Fibre, and the Foods That Can Help You to Add it to Your Diet

Fibre is one of the more interesting nutritional elements, not least because it is derived solely from plants. It does not exist in meat, fish or dairy products, which is why people can struggle to consume enough fibre through their regular diet. Herein lies the issue, as it is recommended that we consume at least 25 grams each day in order to realise the full benefits of fibre.

Fibre is also a complex carbohydrate, but it is also unlike any other nutritional element of its type. This is because it cannot be broken down by the body to provide energy or calories, but instead provides the critical function of sustaining digestive health and removing harmful waste from our systems. There are two primary types of fibre too, which can be broken down as follows:

There are 2 Types Of Fibre: Soluble Fibre vs Insoluble Fibre

This type dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance, which actively lowers blood cholesterol and glucose levels. This is the type of nutrient that drives a healthy weight, while also impacting on our overall mood and energy levels. In contrast, Insoluble fibre promotes the movement of material through the digestive system to increase stool bulk, eliminate harmful waste and maintain good digestive health. This also normalizes bowel movements and eliminates the risk of bloating and constipation.

Which Foods Represent the Best Sources of Fibre?

These variable fibre types can be found in different foods, so let’s take a look at 20 of the ingredients that you should add to your diet to achieve greater digestive (and general) health:

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1. Avocado

    With 7 grams of fibre per 100 grams, Avacado is a super-food that should form a part of any healthy diet. It is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids too, which help to aid joint movement, reduce blood-fat levels and in some instances relieve the symptoms of depression. There are also plenty of creative ways that you can introduce this to your diet, with some of the best and easiest recipes listed here.

    2. Raspberries

      Raspberries also include 7 grams of fibre per 100 grams, while they also have the distinction of being rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants (which contribute to a healthier immune system). There is also evidence to suggest that frozen raspberries are better for you than fresh ones, meaning that you can consume them all year round and in any number of fruit-based desserts.

      3. Blackberries

        Next up is blackberries, which feature 5 grams of fibre for every 100 grams that you purchase. A daily handful of these delicious, summer treats also deliver nearly half of your recommended manganese intake, which in turn helps your body to produce connective tissues. Here are some of the best blackberry-inspired recipes for you to try.

        4. Guava

          This exotic super fruit is an excellent but unheralded source of fibre, with a total of five grams per 100 gram portion. Like raspberries, guava is also rich in Vitamin C and also lycopene, which helps to prevent heart disease and cancer. If this is not enough, adding this to your diet also allows you to sample this delicious guava jelly recipe!

          5. Persimmon

            While this may be another exotic fruit, we wager that this is one that you will not have heard of. Persimmon features 3.6 grams of fibre per 100 gram portion, while it is also rich in the antioxidant beta carotine. There are two types of this fruit too, with the firmer fuyus ideal for salads and hachiyas perfect for jams or compotes.

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            6. Artichoke

              Unsurprisingly, vegetables are also excellent sources of fibre, with artichoke offering one of the best examples. A proven super-food, this includes 5 grams of fibre per 100 gram portion, while it is also a thistle vegetable that can be consumed before the flower buds bloom. Nowadays, it is available in fresh, canned, frozen and marinated forms, meaning that it can be used in a large number of recipes.

              7. Parsnips

                The sweetest of all root vegetables, parsnips include 4.9 grams of fibre in every 100 gram portion. They also contain high levels of manganese and potassium, so they slowly release energy throughout the day and leave you feeling fuller for longer. Martha Stewart has some outstanding parsnip recipes in her books, with her roast-parsnip bread particularly delicious.

                8. Green Peas

                  A Great British staple, green peas are a garden vegetable that include 5 grams of fibre per 100 gram portion. One cup also provides 46% of your RDA of vitamin K-1, which maintains bone health, prevents blood clots and can be hard to find in everyday food items. Of course, the best way to enjoy green peas is in the form of a delicious soup, such as the one featured here.

                  9. Boiled Broccoli

                    Renowned for being rich in iron, broccoli is also an excellent source of fibre. With 3.3 grams per 100 gram portion, it is an outstanding ingredient that should form a central part of your diet. Not only is this a popular feature of any traditional Sunday roast, but there are also an excellent array of broccoli recipes available online.

                    10. Corn

                      Corn may well be classed as one of the most fibre-rich vegetables available, with seven grams of the nutrient included in every 100 gram portion. Corn is also rich in the lesser-known lutein and zeaxanthin, which are phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. You can also eat corn on the cob as a snack, of course, while this site also features a number of slightly more inventive recipes.

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                      11. Chia Seeds

                        In many ways, seeds represent the most potent sources of fibre. Take chia seeds, for example, which include a staggering 34 grams of fibre for every 100 gram portion. Chia seeds also contain more Omega 3 than salmon, while they can be used in a number of recipes from classic summer desserts to homemade protein bars.

                        12. Toasted Sunflower Seeds

                          Next up are toasted sunflower seeds, which are best known for reducing cholesterol. They also include 12 grams of fibre in every 100 gram portion, which would account for nearly half of your RDA. These seeds are also particularly delicious in snacks and protein bars, but there are an array of recipes in which they can be used.

                          13. Flax Seeds

                            Another high-fibre food item, a single 100 gram portion of flax seeds can deliver more than the minimum daily intake recommendation of 25 grams (27 grams in total). Flax seeds also include high levels of Lignans (more than any other plant, in fact), which helps to boost the immune system and balance hormones. They are also exceptionally tasty too, so here are some of the best ways to eat flax seeds.

                            14. Quinoa

                              A seed that can be used like a grain (and not to mention a fully-fledged super-food), quinoa features 2.75 grams of fibre in every 100 gram portion. It is also rich in protein, however, with all of the essential amino acids making it a seminal inclusion in any modern diet. If you are new to quinoa, here are 10 superb recipes for you to digest!

                              15. Pumpkin Seeds

                                Pumpkin seeds are a popular food item, which include 18 grams of fibre in a single 100 gram portion. A key driver of digestive health in both humans and dogs, pumpkin seeds also include 19 grams of protein per portion, making them a key source of slow-release energy. Most recipes require you to roast the pumpkin seeds, however, so follow this guide to ensure that you do this right!

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                                16. Lima Beans

                                  Finally we come to beans, which are a deceptive but ultimately rich source of fibre. Take Lima beans, for example, which include 7 grams of fibre for every 100 gram portion and are also an excellent source of molybdenum (which is an important mineral nutrient that adds digestive system health). Lima beans are also easy to incorporate in a variety of recipes, including the following.

                                  17. Black Turtle Beans

                                    The fascinatingly titled Black Turtle beans are not only rather exotic-sounding, but they also include an impressive 16 grams of fibre in every 100 gram portion. The same portion would also provide 42% of your daily potassium intake, helping to lower blood pressure and even alleviate stress. These beans originate from Cuba, and here are some of the local delicacies that they can help you to recreate.

                                    18. White Beans

                                      Otherwise known as Cannellini beans, this popular food item includes 11 grams of fibre per every 100 gram portion. It is also an excellent source of protein and Vitamin C, making it one of the biggest contributors to a healthy body. The versatility of white beans also means that they can be included in any number of savory recipes, including these.

                                      19. Pinto Beans

                                        We touched on molybdenum earlier, and pinto beans are also an excellent source of this. They also include 16 grams of fibre for every 100 gram portion consumed, while they are exceptionally low in fat. Pinto beans are also tasty, although they tend to taste better in Mexican-inspired dishes with a little heat.

                                        20. Kidney Beans

                                          Kidney beans are a tremendous source of fibre, with 25 grams included in a single 100 gram portion (which just so happens to match your RDA). It is also high in potassium and provides 48% of your daily protein intake, meaning that is delivers a consistent form of energy throughout the day. Even though some do not like the texture of kidney beans, there are recipes that negate this and allow you to realise the foods’ immense health benefits.

                                          Featured photo credit: Steve PB / Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                                          Last Updated on November 12, 2020

                                          Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                                          Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                                          If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                                          If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                                          In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                                          What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                                          If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                                          Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                                          • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
                                          • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
                                          • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                                          • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
                                          • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                                          • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
                                          • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                                          Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

                                          Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                                          Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

                                          1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
                                          2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                                          3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                                          The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                                          Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                                          You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

                                          Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

                                          If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

                                          Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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                                          Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

                                          Symptoms of fatigue include:

                                          • Difficulty concentrating
                                          • Low stamina
                                          • Difficulty sleeping
                                          • Anxiety
                                          • Low motivation

                                          These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                                          Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                                          How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                                          The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                                          Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                                          Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

                                            The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                                            Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                                            Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

                                            If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                                            It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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                                            4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                                            Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                                            1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                                            2. Exercising regularly
                                            3. Using stressbusters
                                            4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                                            After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                                            I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                                            Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                                            • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
                                            • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
                                            • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                                            • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                                            The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

                                            Living Healthy

                                            Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

                                            In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

                                            As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                                            Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                                            1. Unplug

                                            Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

                                            Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                                            2. Unwind

                                            Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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                                            3. Get Comfortable

                                            Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                                            Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                                            Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

                                            This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                                            Exercise

                                            Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                                            That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

                                            I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

                                            If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                                            Attitude

                                            Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                                            When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

                                            But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

                                            Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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                                            1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
                                            2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
                                            3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
                                            4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
                                            5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
                                            6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

                                            This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                                            When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

                                            Nutrition

                                            Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                                            If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

                                            Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                                            Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                                            1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                                            2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
                                            3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
                                            4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
                                            5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                                            6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
                                            7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
                                            8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
                                            9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

                                            Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                                            That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                                            Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

                                            If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

                                            Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                                            More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

                                            Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

                                            [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                                            [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                                            [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                                            [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                                            [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
                                            [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
                                            [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                                            [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                                            [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
                                            [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                                            [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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