Healthier in everyday life – Tip # 1

Gesünder im Alltag_Frühstück

My new regular column brings you quick and easy tips for a healthier life. So you don’t have to turn  your entire life upside down overnight!

I hope I can give you a few suggestions and inspiration and as always I’m happy to read your suggestions, questions and comments :-)

So today, the first tip is:

EAT MORE FIBERS

It is recommended to eat a daily dose of 30 g of fiber but the average German eats about 15 g per day. Fibers (which you only find in plant foods) support us in so many ways:

  • They make us chew longer, thus the production of saliva is stimulated, which in turn protects against caries.
  • They swell in the stomach and fill it, which helps you stay full longer. This also helps with weight loss because fiber-rich food at the same volume has a lower energy density than fat-or protein-rich foods.
  • Let the blood sugar rise more slowly, since the sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream and has yet to be broken. This primarily protects against type 2 diabetes.
  • Fibers inhibiting lipolytic enzymes that make the body take up less fat.
  • They bind to bile acid and stimulate the production of new bile acid, to which cholesterol is needed. Thus, they thereby also lower cholesterol-levels.
  • They nourish the good intestinal bacteria in the colon and regulate digestion. They also stimulate the intestinal peristalsis and thus prevent constipation.
  • They bind toxins that go with the food in the digestive tract and carry it off.

In summary, fibers are helpful against the following disorders: constipation, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases. You shouldn’t miss that!

Gesünder im Alltag_RoteBeete

Here are a few ideas on how you can incorporate more fiber in your diet:

  • Snack some raw food with every meal (e.g. lettuce, a few pepper strips or just steamed vegetables instead of french fries, or maby some on top?)
  • Whwn it comes to bread, rice, pasta or cereal, better go for whole grain alternative (For example 4 slices of wholemeal bread contain 15 grams of fiber. For the same value you would need to eat 20 slices of toast or 15 croissants (and you would still only have half of the daily requirement covered))
  • Enjoy some fresh fruit, especially berries (which is not hard, right? E.g. in your muesli, yogurt, pure or perhaps as a red fruit jelly?)
  • Drink Smoothies!! :-)
  • Nibble some nuts and seeds (you can also sprinkle them over the salad, which is now available in almost every canteen)
  • Snack some dried fruit (dried figs are the best (in taste as well as in terms of the fiber content (9.6 g per 100 g))!
  • When baking, simply replace about half of the flour with whole wheat flour

Also important to know:

  • Solid fruit and vegetables (e.g. carrots, kohlrabi, peppers, beetroot, fennel) contain more fiber (2-5 g per 100 g) as watery vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini or tomatoes (0.5-1 g per 100 g)
  • Legumes are very high in fiber (> 7 g per 100g)
  • Best is a 50:50 ratio of dietary fiber from whole grains and fruits / vegetables
  • Since the fibers swell in the stomach and intestines and remove water from the digestive system, you should always drink enough, otherwise it could lead to cramps or constipation.
  • If you have not been eating so much fiber, don’t overdo it at the beginning. Instead take step by step more and more fibers into your diet to not overwhelm your digestive system.

That’s enough good advice for today :-)

I hope there was something in it for you!

Cheers, Steffi

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