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A Forgotten Hero…Fiber!

Some fibres examples in a every day foodWhen I watch television and they talk about fiber, it almost gets embarrassing.  We tend to think about fiber as being a senior citizen problem, but the fact is we all need fiber for proper digestion.  When I was growing up my mom would say, “Eat that apple for roughage”. That was a polite way of saying I needed to eat that apple so my plumbing would work properly.

When you have celiac disease, the immune system isn’t working properly which completely messes up the plumbing.  We all know the awful side affects of eating gluten so I won’t list them here.  But fiber can play an important part in staying healthy and providing the assistance your digestive system needs to work properly.  In fact, if you accidentally eat gluten, the recommended treatment is to take an extra dose of fiber so the food moves quickly out of your body.  Fiber becomes the plumber that fixes the plumbing (okay… a somewhat lame metaphor, but I’m trying to be polite in mixed company).

On television, people buy bottles and cartons of fiber they add to their food or drinks by the tablespoon.  I only add powdered fiber to my diet that way when I think I’ve unintentionally eaten gluten.   What I try to do is eat enough fiber to keep my digestive system humming.  There are lots of ways to add fiber to your diet, and in doing so, you’ll see your overall diet is improved.

First, eat your fruit 3 times a day.  I bet people who eat all the vegetables they’re suppose to eat every day still don’t eat enough fruit.  I don’t know what it is about fruit, but it’s usually the one dietary requirement that gets shorted in diets.  You should eat 3 servings of vegetables every day and 3 servings of fruit everyday.

Another way to add fiber is to add fruits or nuts to your breakfast cold or hot cereals.  I eat fruits and nuts for my evening snack during the week.  I play a mental trick with myself too that I’ll share.  I always eat healthy snacks during the week, but on Saturday night all bets are off with myself.  On Saturday night I eat a bowl of gluten free ice cream or a gluten free cookie or brownie.   Knowing I can eat a sugary snack when the weekend rolls around makes it a lot easier to NOT eat a sugary snack during the week. Hey…whatever works to keep me healthy is okay with me!

There are other ways to add fiber to your diet.  You can add a variety of vegetables to your food like soups and salads.  A tossed salad tastes great with some cut up broccoli or cauliflower or frozen peas.  Another delicious way to add fiber that works at every meal is to make a fruit smoothie.  I make my smoothies with strawberries and soy milk and it’s delicious.  In fact, I use it for a dessert also.

So make sure you get plenty of fiber in your diet.  Your plumbing will thank you!

Here are a few delicious recipes to try:

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