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Why Fiber is so Important and How to Get Enough

Why Fiber is so Important and How to Get Enough

Fiber is a top priority to health that often gets overlooked. If you want to increase your energy, clear up your skin, and achieve your ideal weight, this article is for you.

A lack of fiber is much too common, and leads to constipation—a top complaint brought to physicians. And, if your body is not detoxifying properly you will feel sluggish, lack energy, have skin flare-ups, and be prone to weight gain.

Did you know that you need 25-35 grams of fiber a day ?

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This can seem like an arduous task if you’re not eating the right foods.

This article will give you an easy blueprint to ensure you get your daily fiber intake in a simple and enjoyable way.

1. Check Food Labels

It is imperative to check your food labels to discover how much fiber is in your food. Often people make poor food choices simply due to lack of awareness of the nutritional contents. Luckily, by law, all foods must be labeled, so you can empower your food choices by becoming aware of how much fiber is in the food you eat.  Check bread, rice, pasta, and all grain-products for fiber content per serving. You want to choose grains that have a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per serving, though it is often easy to find high fiber products with 5 grams per serving or more. Anything less and you know you are eating something stripped of its original nutrients. This is why white-flour based foods have no fiber, and these are the foods associated with weight gain. You need fiber to feel full and to promote healthy bowel movements. If you eat carbohydrates void of fiber, you will not feel as full as you would if the food did have fiber. Food void of fiber can lead to overeating and weight gain. Don’t let this happen to you—make an informed choice by reading labels, and choosing high fiber foods all of the time.

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2. Add Raw Fruit

Fruit is a great wholesome source of fiber and every fruit has roughly 3 grams of fiber. Aim for 3 servings of fruit a day.

3. Add Beans as a Diet Staple

Eating a diet rich in beans is imperative to receiving an adequate amount of daily fiber. One cup of beans has 15 grams of fiber! I suggest adding beans to your salads, or you can get creative with beans by turning them into a bean-burger or blending beans to make a dip such as hummus. Beans are one of the healthiest and easiest way to ensure you reach 25 grams of fiber a day.

4. Eat Your Veggies

Vegetables are also high in fiber and should be a priority to your daily diet. I recommend consuming 3-4 cups of greens a day. An easy way to do this is to make a green smoothie by blending about 2 cups of greens(such as spinach) with a banana and water. Adding a salad as a daily staple will ensure that you are getting 5-7 serving of veggies a day which is necessary to receive the fiber you need and the energy you want.

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5. Consume The Right Bread

If bread is part of your daily diet, be sure to get high-fiber bread. This is one of the easiest ways to increase your fiber intake in. Good quality high fiber breads often have added psyllium, flax and chia seeds—all which enhance the fiber count to about 5 grams of fiber per slice. If you are going to choose bread, choose wisely—aim for 5 grams of fiber per slice, and you will easily make your daily fiber quota

With these 5 tips in place, let’s look at a daily menu, and discover how easily you can get 25 grams of fiber in a day through food (no supplements required!)

Start the day with a slice of high fiber bread, an apple, and a tablespoon of pure nut butter. Right there, you have consumed 9 grams of fiber. Have a fruit for a snack ( 3 grams of fiber), add 1/2 cup of beans to your lunch (which can be soup or a salad), and you have another 10 grams of fiber just for lunch. Have a green smoothie as a late afternoon snack ( another 5 grams of fiber) and you are already at 27 grams of fiber, and we haven’t even reached dinner time! If you have a dinner with salad, a high fiber grain such as quinoa with some fish or chicken breast, you are well on your way to reaching 35 grams of fiber!

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As you can see, when you are smart about how you plan your day, it is easy and practical to reach the recommended daily fiber intake without any supplements or pills.

As you increase your fiber intake, be sure to drink plenty of water, which is important for the fiber to be absorbed and released from your system, helping with the detoxification process. When your body is fed right, and has the ability to detoxify on a daily basis, you will have more energy, clearer skin, and reach your ideal weight with ease.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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