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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Carribean Rice

Do You Get Enough Fiber?

I recently read a report that states that Americans only eat about half of the 25 to 35 grams of daily fiber that is recommended. Yikes! You may ask why dietary fiber is so important for our health. Well, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, epidemiological studies show a decrease in heart disease when women consume at least 25 grams of dietary fiber and men consume at least 38 grams of dietary fiber each day. Not only is it important for the heart, but it also improves blood sugar control for those with Type 2 diabetes, keeps us regular, and keeps us feeling more satisfied.

I'd say these are all good reasons to get more dietary fiber in our diets. Eating breakfast is a good way to start the day, and many breakfast-type foods are loaded with dietary fiber. Cereal, for instance, can have a good amount of fiber. Try making oatmeal: 1 cup of oats has about 8 grams of dietary fiber. Look for bran cereals or shredded wheat rather than many of those sugary filled cereals. To sweeten it up, add dried fruit, such as raisins, dates or dried cranberries, which also gives it a boost of fiber. Don't feel like cereal? Look for whole wheat bread or whole wheat English muffins. Add fresh fruit as a side, and you'll likely be nearing the half way mark to the recommended amount! 1 cup of raspberries has 8 grams of dietary fiber!

Other great sources include most all fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain pastas and brown rice. Also, peas and beans are great sources of fiber. Would you believe that 1 cup of black beans contains 19 grams of dietary fiber? Now that's a gassy subject! If you're not accustomed to eating that much fiber at once, start with a smaller serving and gradually increase your consumption of fiber. And remember to drink plenty of water to aid in digestion. Speaking of beans, try this quick and easy high fiber recipe!

Caribbean Black Beans and Rice

1 ½ cups long grain or brown rice

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

¾ cup orange or pineapple juice

½ teaspoon allspice

Pepper to taste

Cook rice according to directions on package. While rice is cooking, sauté onion in oil. Add black beans, fruit juice, allspice and pepper. Mash some of the beans for thicker consistency. Simmer over low heat until rice is done, stirring occasionally. Serve black beans over rice.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: 270 Calories, 4 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 220 milligrams sodium, 51 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams protein

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Good one it was :) I am adding it to my Easy Healthy Food Recipes book !
by David Franklin on Friday 7/20/2012

Thanks, David! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And that website you gave looks like it has some yummy recipes!
by Jenna Smith on Friday 7/20/2012