Don’t be afraid of fiber facts, eating healthy
I understand that carrot cake is not a health food just because it has a bite of vegetable in it. But I’m all into the cacao nibs that Navitas Naturals puts in its Trail Mix and Trail Power. They’re calling this a back-to-school super food made with exotic raw organic berries and nuts full of antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Nibs are crunchy power bites of chocolate that are like biting into the cacao bean. The “power” has goji and cashws while three berry mix features mulberries and goldenberriesin with the goji and cashew.
Embrace the goji, which look like long, red raisins when dried for this blend. I feel really good about this snack. The company reports: Goji Berries from China are one of the highest known sources of antioxidants; Goldenberries from Columbia are a remarkable source of protein and bioflavonoids; Mulberries from Turkey contain the antioxidant resveratrol, protein, Vitamin C and iron; Cacao Nibs from Peru are a raw form of chocolate that does not melt, is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, zinc, chromium, magnesium and antioxidant flavonoids.
Amazing Grass Amazing Meal goes a step further into the health food realm, though an unsuspecting smoothie drinker may not guess the new Berry Green SuperFood Drink Powder has so much nutrition hidden in the packet. I’ve already enjoyed chocolate, original and pomegranate mango. A buzz of the blender is all it takes to get all kinds of superfoods from your glass to your body. If you prefer chewing, try their whole food energy bar for a dense, filling treat reminiscent of a fig bar.
John Kuropatwa, executive chef of Spigola Ristorante in Hamilton Township, N.J. is promting benefits of fiber in the diet. He’s sending out info reminding that the American Dietetic Association suggests adult women should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day, while adult men should try to get 38 grams a day. Benefits include helping to lower your cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, preventing constipation, protecting from cardiovascular disease, maintaining a healthy weight and warding off other chronic diseases. Tips on adding fiber to your diet are:
• Eat plant foods. Fiber is only found in plant foods. So it is important to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and whole grain products into your diet each day.
• Avoid processed food such as white breads, pastas and fruit juices.
• Take it slow. To increase your fiber intake add a little gradually, rather than consuming the number you need overnight. This will give your body a chance to adjust and you won’t feel any discomfort.
• Make changes. Simple changes, like opting for whole wheat pasta, rice or bread, can have a big impact over time. Choose high fiber breakfast cereals, bran muffins, steel cut oats, add beans to your casseroles, soups and sauces, and even eat high fiber snacks such as low-fat popcorn, nuts, seeds, or fruits and veggies.
• Think add-ons. Keeping something like ground flax seed meal on hand is a good way to get some extra fiber with little effort. Taking just two tablespoons and sprinkling it in your yogurt, salad, or soup can give you a quick boost of four grams of fiber. Plus, it provides you with essential omega-3 fatty acids.
• Check labels. When you are shopping, keep the fiber content in mind and take a look at the package label to see how many grams of fiber it is per serving. Fruits and vegetables will likely not have a label, but they are great sources. For example, a cup of raspberries has eight grams of fiber and an apple has four grams.