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Top Foods You Will Enjoy That Aid Your Digestion — an article on the Smart Living Network
January 12, 2008 at 7:20 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Top Foods You Will Enjoy That Aid Your Digestion

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For those suffering from symptoms of IBS, fiber is an essential nutrient. Fiber can work wonders even in a normal digestive tract; fiber in a person with IBS can be a miracle worker. Most doctors will suggest a diet high in fiber, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Since fruits, vegetables and whole grains are naturally high in fiber, it's easy to consume the recommended daily dose of 21 to 25 grams for women and 30-38 grams for men.

Why Fiber?

Fiber cannot be digested in the body. It's also called roughage, and works to help move food through the digestive tract and ease the passage of food from the body. Fiber will help solidify the liquid, and soften the hard. And that's all the detail we'll get into here.

High Fiber Foods

  • Lentils: Lentils rank as one of the highest-fiber foods available. Lentils are actually a seed, though most people consider them a bean. Lentils have 15.6 grams of fiber per one cup serving and are very versatile. They are available dried, and need to be boiled for 15 - 30 minutes. Use lentils in soups, salads or over wild rice.
  • Black Beans: Black beans have 15 grams of fiber and are another great, all around bean to use in cooking. You can add black beans to pasta and rice dishes, to any soup, especially chili or any southwestern flavored soup. Black beans can be mashed and added, like refried beans, to salsa and sour cream for a dip.
  • Lima Beans: Most of us remember lima beans from those horrible bags of frozen vegetables. When cooked, end up as vegetable mush. If you call them by their other name, butter beans, they aren't as scary. You're on your own finding recipes for these guys.
  • Baked Beans: Canned baked beans offer 10.4 grams of fiber in one cup. These are a great snack on tortilla chips (trust me here), or just as a side dish to any meal. Be sure to choose beans low in sugar and fat to get the most out of your food. Add a splash of ketchup, diced onions, maple syrup or barbeque for extra oomph and bake those beans again.
  • Peas: Just the word pea is enough to strike fear in any child. However, used creatively, peas can be a great tasting food and they have 8.8 grams of fiber per cup. Try split pea soup, or peas in salads and pasta. Many parents cook up vegetables, puree them, and add them to pasta sauces, soup bases and lasagna. Kids (and unruly husbands) will never know the different.
  • Vegetables: Many other vegetables are high in fiber, and even if they're not as fully packed as the lentil, vegetables are an essential part of a great diet. Consider adding two to three vegetables per serving of pasta, beans or meat. Artichokes, Brussels sprouts, potatoes and corn rank the highest in fiber among all vegetables.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta: Not everyone is sold on the idea of whole wheat pasta, but give it a try before you skip it altogether. White noodles are basically empty calories, so whole wheat pasta, with 6.3 grams of fiber, is a smart choice if you crave those noodles.
  • Grains: Whole grains are great sources of fiber. Bran, oatmeal and flaxseed are wonderful sources of protein and fiber, and all are shown to lower cholesterol. Flaxseed (get it ground, not whole) is so versatile and can be added to hot cereal, yogurt, breads, muffins and even cakes, as it has a very mild flavor.
  • Fruits: We can't forget fruits when talking about fiber. Everyone knows that eating a few prunes is a great way to, well, get things moving. But the pear actually has the highest amount of fiber among all fruits, with 5.1 grams. Figs, blueberries and apples are great for you as well.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582

http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/default.htm

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