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Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber – found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But getting a healthy amount of fiber provides many other health benefits as well. 

Fiber is classified in two ways:

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. This fiber can help lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. You’ll find soluble fiber in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus, carrots, barley, and psyllium.

Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of matter through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. If you suffer constipation or irregular stools you’ve probably used this kind of fiber. Whole wheat flour, nuts, beans and vegetables (such as cauliflower, green beans, etc.) are good sources of insoluble fiber.

The amount of these fibers varies between plant foods, so be sure to eat a variety.

What benefits can you expect?

Normalized bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool, and also softens it. Bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. This fiber also helps solidify loose stool.

Helps maintain bowel health. High fiber diets may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Studies have also found that high fiber diets lower the risk of colorectal cancer!

Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering the low density lipoprotein (aka “bad”) cholesterol levels. High fiber foods may also have other heart health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

Helps control blood sugar. Soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. Increasing insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Helps achieve healthy weight. High fiber foods fill you up, and help you eat less and stay satisfied longer. Also, high fiber foods tend to have fewer calories for the same volume than other foods.

Helps you live longer. Increasing dietary fiber intake – especially cereal fiber – is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
Current recommendations are for men to consume over 30 grams of fiber daily and women to consume over 20 grams of fiber daily. As you move into a plant based diet meeting these requirements becomes easier. But you can also include a supplement!

If you are intimidated by trying to include this much fiber in your daily diet, give Jarro Formulas Gentle Fibers formula a try! This high quality formula includes both soluble and insoluble fiber plus plant antioxidants. Visit and see if this formula is right for you!


Picking the fruit that’s best for you

A lot of the fruit in grocery stores has ripened and ready to eat. As a result what you buy in the store doesn’t always hold up at home. When shopping for fruit it’s important to conceder a few simple things.fruit-stand-hcc

Once ripe, fruit doesn’t last long. But the life can be preserved if refrigerated.

Avoid fruits with scrapes and especially bruises. These spread rapidly throughout the fruit.

Try fruits your family hasn’t tried before. For example, tropical fruits like mango and passionfruit add variety, color, and excitement to a snack or dessert. Tropical fruits take longer in transit and are often shipped when the fruit is still green. They may soften but are not truly ripened as sugars and flavors have not yet been developed within the fruit. Let them rest in a brown paper bag on your kitchen counter (not the refrigerator) for a day or so.

Pick fruit that is heavy for its size. They are the ripest. I have found that my local Farmer’s Market always has seasonal fruits that keep longer than store bought fruits.

Many fruits are high in fiber. Try avocados, apples, or bananas for a boost of energy and a good amount of fiber. Other fruits are rich in antioxidants. Watch for dark, rich colors such as those you find in blueberries, cherries, or cranberries.

Frozen fruits are great to have around for hot summer days. Add them to smoothies or just blend for a homemade “icee.”

When your family wants a sweet, have fruit on hand! It’s much better for them than candy, pastry, or ice cream. However, if you must have the ice cream then fruit such as frozen strawberries make a delicious treat.

In his book, Detox Diet, Elson Haas explains further why we need to include fruits in our diet.


Plant based diet – Fiber

Plant based diet – Fiber

In our last blog we discussed protein content of certain ancient grains. This time, let’s look at fiber! Fiber plays an important role in your diet, and may help bowl-popcornreduce cholesterol and prevent type 2 diabetes. Fiber also helps us maintain digestive regularity and aids in cleansing your gut. Of course, some of our grains double up in this arena, being high in both protein and fiber. Quinoa is one of these!

Others include

Oats: Described by some as the healthiest grain, oats (look for steel cut oats because they are minimally processed) more than 8 grams of fiber per half cup of uncooked oats. Even steel cut oats are easy to cook of you know a few tricks, such as soaking them overnight.

Popcorn: When you reach for a snack, try popcorn! Containing 14.5 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, this is very satisfying. Beware of adding a lot of butter and salt. Instead, try nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and a small amount of health fat to boost flavor if you desire.

Chia seeds: These tiny black seeds that are immensely popular in the natural health community. They are highly nutritious, with lots of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. And each ounce contains 10 grams of protein!

High fiber legumes include split peas (1 cup contains over 16 grams of fiber), lentils (15 grams of fiber per cup), and black beans (15 grams of fiber per cup) are all easy to store and cook, and are very versatile.

Other delicious, high fiber foods include sweet potatoes (approximately 4 grams of fiber per serving), avocados (10 grams of fiber plus a lot of heart healthy fats), pears (6 grams of fiber per serving), blueberries (4 grams of fiber).

It’s easy to see how you can increase fiber in many ways while also providing a variety of flavors and qualities! Even dessert can be high fiber.

Please remember to request our starter recipe kit to help you move from your old diet into new, healthier eating habits.


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