We often hear about the benefits of eating fruits and veggies. One of the best reasons to have them in your diet is fiber — the indigestible part of food that stimulates digestion and interrupts the absorption of cholesterol and sugar. A fiber-rich diet can lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, relieve constipation, and deter diverticulitis.
Many experts advise 6–12 servings of fiber daily (the average American reportedly consumes about half that amount). Be sure to add it gradually; too much, too fast causes bloating, gas, and cramps. Avoid refined foods, processed foods, white flour, and white sugar, and add these to your diet:
- Vegetables (with skins and seeds)
- Fruits (with skins and seeds)
- High fiber cereals
- Whole grain bread and pasta
- Low fat, whole grain muffins
- Brown rice
- Dried peas, beans, or lentils.