The Power of Fiber

By October 4, 2018Nutrition Education

By: Katie Jackson, RDN, LD

Over the years, there have been multiple nutrients/diets/supplements to claim the nutrition buzz-word spotlight. While these topics may or may not deserve to get some attention, there is one nutrient that gets left behind: fiber. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that is preventative against some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, and supports gut health. Gut health is an emerging topic in the health and wellness world and maintaining a healthy level of good bacteria in the digestive tract will keep you feeling energized and reduce your risk of experiencing uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.

The current recommendations for fiber are:

  • 25 grams/day for women under age 50
  • 21 grams/day for women over age 50
  • 38 grams/day for men under age 50
  • 30 grams/day for men over age 50

Fiber is found in plant-based foods. Most fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds are all excellent sources of this gut health-promoting nutrient. In general, the more processed a food, the lower amount of fiber the food will have. The peels or skins of fruits and veggies are typically higher in fiber, so keeping the skin of an apple or potato will increase your daily fiber intake. While increasing your fiber intake to the recommended level is important, do so slowly and with fluids to help your body adapt to digesting an increased level.

Now let’s go eat some fiber! Fall has officially arrived and what better way to get more fiber than by enjoying some warm and comforting cinnamon apple oatmeal?! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 apples, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T chopped nuts (optional)
  • Optional sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, brown sugar to taste

Directions:

  1. Place milk and water into medium saucepan. Add chopped apple and dried fruit to mixture and stir. Heat on medium heat until mixture is boiling.
  2. Add the oats and cinnamon and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If desired, add optional sweetener to taste.
  3. Top with nuts, more dried fruit and/or apples (optional) and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Genius Kitchen.

-Katie Jackson, RDN, LD
Nutrition Educator, Operation Food Search

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