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Bulk Up on Fiber Facts and Whole Foods

Fiber is actually not a nutrient and it doesn’t provide the body with energy or calories

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Fiber is actually not a nutrient and it doesn’t provide the body with energy or calories. It’s also not digestible or absorbable by the body, but its health benefits earn it the designation of “phytonutrient.” Fitness professionals know that the “average American” (which includes many of our clients) likely isn’t taking in enough fiber. But what is fiber? What are its benefits? How much is enough? And how can fiber help clients meet health and weight goals? That’s a lot of questions! Here are some simple answers about this complex carbohydrate.

Fiber in a Nutshell—or an Apple Skin

Fiber is what gives plants their shape and structure, and it’s found only in plant foods, not animal-based ones. The shape and structure of fiber is what gives our body, most importantly our gastrointestinal tract, the bulk that provides many benefits. To reap the many benefits of fiber such as maintaining a healthy weight, satiety, glucose control, cholesterol reduction, cancer prevention, and gut health from prebiotics, boost your intake of plants.

America: Falling Short on Fiber

In 2014, the average American intake of fiber was only 16 grams per day. The recommended intake of fiber is 25­­­–38 g per day. That’s a big disparity! Women should aim for 25 g of fiber per day, and men should target 38 g (or 21 g for women and 30 g for men daily for those over the age of 51).

Consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds will increase fiber intake. The growing trend of increased plant-based intake (as in flexitarian diets—an expansion on the practice of Meatless Mondays) will hopefully increase the intake of fiber in the American population.

Whole Foods: The Best “Package” for Fiber

In spite of its many health benefits, fiber is not a cure-all that many seek from products, but it is a healthy focus when trying to improve overall health. In fact, it is one number I recommend paying attention to on the food label. I typically recommend paying more attention to reading the more important ingredients list, eating intuitively and eating more whole foods versus the numbers. When people focus on eating whole food versus looking at numbers, they are naturally more satisfied.

Over the years as refining and processing foods has become more prevalent, fiber has become less available in prepared products. This is even more of a reason to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Take the apple-versus-applesauce-versus-apple-juice example:

  • 1 medium apple with the peel contains 4.4 g of fiber; while
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce contains 1.4 g of fiber; and
  • 4 ounces of apple juice contains 0 g fiber!

Juicing—a popular trend—actually eliminates the fiber from the vegetables and fruits because juicers extract the fiber-filled pulp. And it’s not just fruits that contain more fiber when they’re not processed: The same holds true for soybeans versus tofu. A 1/2 cup serving of soybeans contains 5 g of fiber, whereas 1/2 cup of tofu only has 1 g of fiber.

It is recommended to receive your fiber intake from whole foods over fiber supplements or fortified foods. The foods that contain fiber also contain many other nutrients that a supplement may not contain. Research also shows that a fiber supplement may not have the same power of increasing satiety or managing blood sugar and cholesterol as the whole food does. Fiber-fortified foods may also cause more gastrointestinal issues.

There is not a box, powder or cleanse that you can purchase that will do for you what eating whole food can. Save your money on products and put it into real food. It’s the most beneficial way to reap the produce’s full nutrient and phytonutrient benefits.

Two Types of Fiber, Many Rewards

There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are beneficial and provide different perks. All plant foods contain a combination of both insoluble and soluble, but some have a higher amount of one over the other. Take the apple/applesauce/juice example again: The skin of the apple is a source of insoluble fiber, and the inside flesh contains soluble. The juice contains neither. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not. Fiber’s solubility is what determines its benefits.

Insoluble fiber is cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Although insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, it does retain water and helps waste and toxins to move through our system more rapidly. Increasing plant intake usually allows us to feel better and have more energy as it helps the body naturally detoxify. Let your intestines, kidney, liver, and spleen work!

Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as cauliflower, green beans, and the skin of fruits. It helps with colon and breast cancer prevention, regularity and constipation prevention and diverticulosis. The indigestible parts of the plants are also prebiotics for our gut health to feed the probiotics.

Soluble fiber like glucan, psyllium, gum and pectin become gummy substances when water is added—for example, when chia seeds are put in liquid to make chia pudding. This gummy quality allows it to bind to cholesterol, helping the body excrete it. This is also how soluble fiber helps slow the rate at which blood glucose rises—it slows the absorption of the glucose into the bloodstream.

Foods such as oats, beans, apples, carrots and flax are sources of soluble fiber, and they help to promote satiety, a healthy weight, cholesterol reduction and blood glucose control.

Encouraging Clients to Boost Fiber Intake

Many people begin an exercise program for weight loss, then find that they have increased hunger. This is due to increased energy expenditure. One way to help keep hunger in check is increasing fiber intake. Not only does fiber contain zero calories, but the foods that are high fiber are also lower in calories and fat than many other foods.

Caution not to go overboard as there is too much of a good thing. Too much fiber may cause constipation and decrease nutrient absorption. Increase fiber intake gradually and also increase water intake to prevent constipation.

Tip: Fiber is not recommended right before a workout as it may increase gastrointestinal upset. Focus on adequate fiber intake in the meals and snacks post exercise or training.

Easy Ways to Fiber Up

A great place to start with increasing fiber intake is by using the plate method, which includes filling half your plate with vegetables and fruit at each meal. The plate method is a more realistic way to track portions for a healthy weight than measuring cups or counting calories. Another method is to aim for the recommended 5 servings (or more) of vegetables and fruits per day. Tips to add more fiber:

  • Choose whole grains with 3–5 g fiber per serving. Look for whole grain breads, brown rice and oats, and consume the whole intact grain versus milled.
  • Enjoy a vegetable or fruit serving with each meal or snack.
  • Add beans to soups, stews, pastas, omelets, salads and casseroles.
  • Have oatmeal versus dry cereal at breakfast, and toss in some whole fruit chunks or berries.
  • For sandwiches, add bulk (no pun intended) with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, peppers and other garden favorites. If you’re not a vegetable eater, getting them on your sandwich makes them easier to consume.
  • Prefer a grain at snack time? Try popcorn versus crackers.

A Quick Guide to Fiber Counts

Here’s a reference that will give you and your clients a good idea of how much fiber is in some popular foods.

Source

Food & Nutrition

Changing Your Eating Habits

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Because all of us have been brought up eating junk food, well most of us, it is not easy to change our eating habits. Your eating habits have developed since childhood based on what your mothers or fathers cooked and what your psychological make-up was at that time.

The foods you eat and crave help keep pass trauma and present anxiety in check. Food helps make you feel good when you start to feel bad. Eating is a natural defense mechanism that the brain-body uses to keep you from going crazy.

Also, check out: 3 Great Nutrition Bars on the Market Right Now

So, you see, it is very difficult to change our eating habits. When we do, we start to feel bad. We start to feel uncomfortable, we feel pain, we have withdrawal symptoms, and we may feel sick. Is it any wonder that any of us ever succeed in changing our eating habits?

I consider everything that has been packaged to be junk food. There are a few exceptions and you need to read ingredient labels carefully. Very few food manufacturers and even restaurants prepare food with your health in mind. Of course, they want to satisfy you, but they don’t use foods that are in your best interest.

Most people eat junk food 85% of the time and then eat good food the other 15%. It should be the reverse of this – eat good food 85% and junk food 15% of the time.
To have better health, here are some foods to stop eating. Eliminate these foods over the next two to three weeks.

Milk (non-fat or no-fat also) – is a mucus and acid forming food. Milk creates mucus in the body and makes the lymph liquid (we will talk about lymph later) in your body acidic, which attracts parasites and other pathogens. (In the place of milk almond milk or goats milk)
Cancer thrives in a body that is acidic.

– Bread – white bread is also acid and mucus forming. It is also more difficult to pass through the colon and gives rise to constipation.
Sugar the #1 food additive. Sugar is in most of all the products that you buy.

Sodas (regular or diet) – are extremely high in sugar or artificial sugar – 7 teaspoons per can. Most people drink over 35 gallons per year. Sugar is a body poison and leads to many diseases – diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and osteoarthritis and so on.

– Sugar, also, depletes your B-vitamins and calcium and magnesium from your bones and teeth.

– In addition, since sodas are in aluminum cans, aluminum can go into the soda because most sodas contain phosphoric acid. Aluminum has been associated with senility and Alzheimer disease.

– Calcium is also leached from your body to neutralize the phosphoric acid. (It’s healthier to drink juices of all kinds)

There is just no way around it. Sodas suck health right out of your body.

Regular salt (NaCl) – excessive salt intake is related to high blood pressure, edema, and imbalances in the minerals in your lymph liquid. Sodium, Na, in salt attracts water so the more sodium you eat that more water your body will hold. (Use sea salt, it has 25% less sodium, use low salt soy sauce, and herbs to flavor your food)

– Most people eat too much salt – over 10,000 milligrams per day. We only need around 200-300 mg per day.

– Excess salt is also involved with kidney problems, cardiovascular disease, stomach cancer, and excess sensitive to stress.

– Get your Sodium from eating vegetables that are high in sodium. When you get your salt from vegetables it is an organic salt, which does not have the same effect on your body as inorganic salt from a shaker. You need a lot of organic salt or Na in your body. Your stomach is a Na organ. It needs organic salt, Na, to keep its lining from being eaten by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach – an ulcer.

– Foods high in organic sodium are apples, apricots, asparagus, greens, red cabbage, carrots, celery, egg yolks, figs, fish, raisins, prunes, and lentils.

For the next two weeks try adding the following foods to your eating habits.

Lecithin – is 30-40% choline, which is used throughout your body. This is why you want to include it in your diet.
– choline is one of the main chemicals in our cell membrane.
– It is used in our brains to create the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required for thinking and memory. Consider lecithin brain food.
– It is used by the liver, which helps to prevent a fatty liver. A fatty liver prevents you from losing weight around your belly.
– It helps to break up fats into tiny goblets so that they are easily digestible and will reduce your cholesterol.
– It helps to keep cholesterol from clinging to your artery walls.

Flax seed oil – is an essential oil, omega 3. This means your body does not make it and it is necessary for you to eat it so that you can live without illness or pain.
it helps to detoxify the liver it stimulates the production of bile. Remember that bile helps to break down fat so that the liver can better metabolize it. Stimulates the body to burn fat.

Apple juice and apples – are high in vitamin A, in Potassium and have other minerals that strengthen the blood. They contain malic and tartaric acids, which keep the liver healthy and promote good digestion. Apples help you to lose weight by providing fiber and keeping you regular.

Fiber – you need 30-35 grams of fiber every day. Most people only get up to 10-15 grams. Fiber is one foods that reduce your transient time in the colon. Fiber helps to keep your colon clean, reduce cholesterol, remove toxins from your body and eliminate constipation.

There you have it. If you can accomplish these changes in one year, you will notice a big difference in the way you feel and the health that you have.

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Food & Nutrition

7 Ways to Make Alkaline Diet Benefit You

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The premise of an alkaline diet is that the nutrients found in supplements, alkalizing foods, and water can bring the body back to balance. These vitamins, minerals, and herbs infuse the body with new energy, vitality, and better health.

Alkaline foods and water must be consumed in order to provide nutrients the body needs to neutralize acids and toxins in the blood, lymph, tissues, and cells.

Also: 8 Proven Strategies For Maximum Muscle Gains

When pH balance inside the body is ëout of balance the body tries to correct that sensitive pH balance. That process shows up as uncomfortable symptoms, including colds, flues, allergies, diseases, viruses, and bacteria.

When the pH level in our body is unbalanced, almost any area of the body can be affected. For example, when the nervous system is affected as the result of unbalanced pH balance it shows up in the form of the depression. When the cardiovascular system is effected we could have heart disease or experience other heart-related problems, including thickening and hardening of the arteries, coronary heart disease, pain or discomfort in the chest, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. When muscles are effected we often feel fatigue and lack of energy. When skin is affected by improper pH balance we age quicker than normal.

When the bodyís pH level is in balance, the body reaches the ideal weight and corrects negative health challenges naturally.

Transition to a more alkaline healthy diet requires a shift in attitude towards food. The important point to remember is that small changes go a long way. Add more alkaline foods to your diet gradually.

7 Sure-fire ways to make alkaline diet benefit you:

1) Reduce the consumption of sugar and products made from sugar, including soda pop, pies, ice cream, jello, jams & jellies, artificial juices, puddings, doughnuts, corn syrups, chewing gum, sweetened drinks, cookies, breakfast cereals, liqueurs, mixed drinks.

2) Avoid processed foods and condiments including ketchup, salad dressings, pickles, luncheon meats, canned fruits, bread, relish, cheese dips, peanut butter, prepared seafood, frozen vegetables, crackers, canned soups, hot dogs, sausages, sweetened yogurt.

3) Avoid cooking and heating foods and drinks in the microwave.

4) Avoid dairy, meats, fried foods and fast foods.

5) Increase your consumption of raw vegetables and raw fresh fruits (without sugar). You should include raw vegetables in every meal. If your breakfast is so small that you only eat toast or cereal, stop eating toast and take fresh fruits or vegetable juices instead. If your lunches usually consist of sandwiches try to substitute it with a raw salad or a vegetable juice. Have a large salad before you eat a heavy entree at dinner. This way, you will be sure to eat all of the salad instead of finding yourself too full to finish it.

6) Grains form the base of a balanced diet and are important in maintaining the alkaline balance in the body. Grains are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, including folic acid, fiber, carbohydrates antioxidants, and phytoestrogens. The Department of Food and Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota determined that consumption of whole grains reduces the risk of chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. By eating grains you can eat less but feel full. Grains should comprise about 20% of your diet.

7) Don’t forget to hydrate. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of good quality of water each day. Add liquid minerals to increase the quality of water.

If you follow these easy 7 steps it will allow you to create the proper alkaline balance within your body.

Creating the proper alkaline balance within your body will bring you the increased quality of life. You’ll start seeing immediate improvements in your health. Your energy will increase, your concentration will be stronger. You’ll build strength, stamina, and resistance to diseases. Your entire body will function more efficiently just like it was meant to do.

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Food & Nutrition

The Importances of Great Supplements

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Supplementation has become a big topic in the health and fitness world as more people are turning to natural answers for optimal health.

Why do we need supplements if we are already exercising and eating well? Supplementation provides the foundation within our bodies to perform at the highest level. Even if we are working out regularly and eating an all-organic diet, there are still going to be gaps in our nutrition. Uncontrollable influences such as chemicals in everyday products, genetic predisposition, and injuries can cause lack within our bodies that require extra help; help that can come in the form of supplements.

Also check out: Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts put a strain on their bodies regularly in order to reach new goals or performance levels. Supplements such as Vitamin C or D3 can help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation speeds up the healing process within our bodies and enables us to reach our goals faster with less pain and damage.

Other supplemental vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium improve bone health and oxygenate our blood; two vital needs for those of us building and maintaining muscle. Omegas 3’s are essential for heart health, and we don’t always have access to fresh fish and organic nuts where Omega 3’s are usually found.

Another great aspect of taking supplements is the convenience of it. We cannot always be at the gym, and maintaining a strict diet 24/7 is difficult. Supplements can be taken on the go and will enable our bodies to maintain the health we have worked so hard to achieve. A strict diet can also be difficult to maintain if we do not have access to certain foods at all times. Supplements can be easily ordered online regardless of location.

Supplementation is not an an-either-or option with a good diet. Rather, excellent supplementation compliments and enhances the positive benefits of a great diet and exercise.

Get more information on WrkEthicSupps: https://www.wrkethicsupps.com

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