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Monday, June 24, 2013

Fiber

Hi all,

Katie has been kind enough to gives us some info on one of the most important nutrients we can put into our body.  Read on and learn about how important fiber is for you.

I promise I'll post some pictures from my road trip in the next few days. :)

Fiber

Continuing with my summer theme, we’re all going to want to look our best when we hit the beach. Some extra fiber can go a long, healthy way. No one wants to walk around bloated and uncomfortable all day. Besides maybe making us a tad self-conscious about that new little suit, it can make us sluggish and cause stomach discomfort. Fiber doesn’t only help out with keeping things moving through our systems, it helps with weight management, can lower bad cholesterol, prevent heart disease, gallstones and kidney stones, and regulate blood sugar absorption. Now, this is all when you eat enough fiber. According to the FDA, most of us don’t even get half the amount we should to fully benefit from fiber, or 20 to 30 grams per day depending on age and gender. Another guideline out there is to eat 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories ingested.

There are two types of dietary fiber with different characteristics and functions. The first is insoluble fiber. This means what it sounds like, that it does not dissolve in water. Because it does not dissolve, it passes through our intestines quicker and more intact. This is the fiber that’s good for constipation. The best sources for insoluble fiber are vegetables and whole grains, especially fruits and veggies with tougher, edible skins.

Type two is soluble fiber, the fiber that does dissolve in water. When absorbed, this fiber attracts water and forms a sort of gel that moves slowly through intestines. It keeps us full for longer, and gives nutrients more time to absorb properly. Good sources of soluble fiber are oatmeal, apples, lentils, and beans. In my personal opinion, in addition to fruits and veggies, you should go for products that are naturally whole wheat and whole grain, as opposed to foods that claim to be “fortified” with fiber. Make sure that whole wheat or whole grain is one of the first, if not the first ingredient listed.


Best,

Katie

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vitamin D: Why you may not be getting enough

Katie was kind enough to write about one of my favorite topics... the Sun :)

Enjoy

Now that we are well on our way to summer, it seems relevant to discuss the pros of sun exposure, and specifically how that relates to Vitamin D. In my reading I’ve learned that Vitamin D is unique in that our body can create its own, as opposed to only getting it through foods and supplements. Vitamin C for example, we can only get by eating fruits and veggies or taking supplements.

Many of us may not get enough sun exposure for our bodies to produce the needed amount of Vitamin D. This could be because we spend so much time inside (workaholics?), our strong sunscreens, the need to feel covered up in the sun, along with diets that don’t include enough Vitamin D- rich foods. Don’t be afraid to get a little sun! I’m by no means advocating sitting in the sun for too long without protection, but make sure you get a little natural sunlight a few days a week. Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, weak bones, muscles, and immune systems.

When our skin is exposed to the sun it creates Vitamin D and then sends it to the liver. The liver converts the vitamin into a hormone, or active vitamin, that is sent throughout the body to regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in our bones, blood, and organs. Calcium and phosphorous are essential for maintaining strong bones, good communication between cells, and the ability to fight off illness and infection. You can take/eat all the calcium you want, but without Vitamin D, your body can’t do anything with it.

If you don’t want to, or can’t risk sun exposure, there are definitely foods out there rich in Vitamin D, but you may have to take supplements to get enough. Some of these foods include Sockeye Salmon, mushrooms, lowfat milk, and eggs.

Anyone out there felt the effects of low Vitamin D?


Best,


Katie