Most of us like to include feeling, looking, or living better in our New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a simple tip to help jump-start these goals: Eat more fiber.
Dietary fiber is a true workhorse because it contributes significantly to gut and heart health. Non-soluble fiber (which can’t be dissolved in water) adds bulk to stool, which helps the waste move faster through our digestive system and regulates bowel movements. Soluble dietary fiber turns into a gel-like consistency during the digestion process, which slows digestion, helping us feel full. It also helps remove cholesterol from the bloodstream, which increases heart health by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels.1
What to eat
The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber from food each day, depending on your age and gender. Top sources include:2
- Beans: a one-half cup of shelled edamame has 9 grams of fiber
- Broccoli: 5 grams per cup
- Berries: one cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen, has almost 4 grams of fiber
- Avocados: 10 grams in one cup
- Apples: about 4 grams per average-sized apple
- Dried dates, figs, and prunes: one-quarter cup of pitted prunes contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber
- Potatoes: 3 grams in a small potato with skin
- Nuts: almonds and sunflowers have 3 grams of fiber per serving
Many of us eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck throughout the year. But woe unto those of us who don’t give these fine morsels of fiber-filled flavor another thought until next year.
If you happen to be from the Lone Star State, you may have heard of Texas Caviar. (No worries, it doesn’t have anything to do with fish.) Even if you’re not or haven’t, you owe it to yourself to try this tangy, tasty, healthy way to serve black-eyed peas. The recipe is so versatile and easy that you might end up adding it to your list of “go-to in a pinch” dishes. It’s low fat, takes only minutes to make, and even doubles as a crowd-pleasing dip (serve it with blue-corn tortilla chips). And don’t tell anyone, but it’s vegan too!
Texas Caviar (from foodnetwork.com)
- Two 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- Dash hot sauce
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients (except hot sauce, salt, and pepper). Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
60 calories per serving; 5 grams fat; 3 grams carbs
Count on Teladoc in 2020
If your January starts with a bout of the flu, a tummy bug, or other non-emergency illness, Teladoc can help. Connect to a U.S. board-certified physician 24/7 for diagnoses and treatment recommendations. If you don’t already have the app, download it now to save time and avoid inconvenience. You can not only request a visit and get convenient reminders, but also see and talk to a doctor in the privacy of your home and office.
Have a healthy and happy new year!
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