Eating in season

By eating at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables in a balanced diet of whole grains and lean protein, you can meet your daily quota.

by Heather Demeritte — 

We have all heard that fiber is beneficial to our health and well-being. But did you know that the average American eats only about 10 grams of fiber, way below the daily recommendation of at least 25 grams?

Winter is a great time of year to cook with the fiber-rich, seasonal fruits and vegetables that warm the soul with comfort and fill the belly with fiber. Visit the local market and stock up on squash, crucifers and root vegetables, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, cranberries and legumes.

By eating at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables in a balanced diet of whole grains and lean protein, you can meet your daily quota. Below are some ideas to help you add more fiber to your daily diet.

Breakfast: Eat a cup of oatmeal and half a grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar. Add fresh cranberries to your bran muffin recipe. Try steamed artichokes with a poached egg on a whole-grain English muffin and add a bit of melted cheddar cheese.

Lunch: Mix black beans with fresh spinach, avocado and wild mushrooms for a satisfying salad. Add kale to a can of low-sodium, hearty vegetable, beef and barley soup. Bake a sweet potato and top it with a tablespoon of walnuts and some cinnamon.

Dinner: Toss whole-wheat pasta with acorn squash and broccoli to complement a piece of grilled salmon. Eat a baked potato with one cup of bean chili and a green salad on the side. Or stir-fry some chicken with cauliflower, broccoli and Chinese cabbage.

Snacks: Enjoy a cup of grapes with one ounce of cheese. Top a sliced apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter. Snack on raw carrots and celery with one-fourth cup of hummus.

When fiber-rich foods are this flavorful, it’s easy to get your daily requirement.

 

Heather Demeritte is a fitness instructor and dance teacher at Scottsdale Community College, as well as various fitness centers in Scottsdale, Ariz. She is certified by the American Council of Exercise, holds a degree in early childhood development and works with an organization helping youths learn fun ways to be fit. 480-310-5854, hac411@yahoo.com or threedmethod.blogspot.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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