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Fiber Is the New Sexy

by Dr. Sara Gottfried

fiber for healthy hormones

Rock your fiber, but not for the reason you’re thinking. Eighty percent of women aged 35+ have estrogen dominance, and fiber is proven to lower estrogen levels (and prevent breast cancer).

Mind the Gap
I recommend (and Dr. Weil) 35-45 grams of fiber per day yet the average fiberintake among American women is less than 14 grams. We must close the fiber gap.

Get A Glistening Gut
What could be more sexy than a beautiful gut? All glistening and shiny, doingit’s job just right, not inflamed, not allergic, just all happy? Fiber takes you there: removes toxins, keeps things moving, gives you a sense of satiety. Most important? Fiber protects your gut from injury and disease. Let’s get some.

My Fave Fiber-Rich Foods Bran, Baby. 
Bran, or at least raw bran from corn, rice and wheat, counters constipation because it is richin insoluble fiber. Oat bran, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL). Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods—from hot cereal (I favor oat groats, quinoa flakes) to yogurt. And for those of you still eating cereal and bars (you mean I haven’t convinced you not to?!), I’ve included some of the popular high-fiber choices.

Food  |  Portion  |  Amount of Fiber

  • Oat bran, raw – 1 ounce – 12 g
  • Corn bran, raw – 1 ounce – 22 g
  • Fiber One Bran Cereal – 1/2 cup – 14 g
  • All-Bran Cereal – 1/2 cup – 10 g

Beans are some of the most naturally-rich sources of fiber. Many indigenous diets include a beanor two in the mix. Some folks experience gas as they amp up bean intake, so they may be better off slowly working beans into their diet. I cook mine in the slow cooker, after an overnight soak, and have zero problems with gas. Try a variety of beans as a replacement for animal protein in soups, salads, and dips.

  • Adzuki beans, cooked – 1 cup – 17 g
  • Fava beans, cooked – 1 cup –  9 g
  • Black beans, cooked  – 1 cup – 15 g
  • Garbanzo beans, cooked – 1 cup – 12 g
  • Lentils, cooked  – 1 cup – 16 g

We love berries for their superfood antioxidant status, but let’s keep their fiber in mind. I eat berries every morning on my oat groats. I buy mine frozen and organic from the local store during the winter.

  • Raspberries, raw – 1 cup – 8 g
  • Blueberries, raw – 1 cup –  4 g
  • Strawberries, raw  – 1 cup  – 3 g
  • Boysenberries, frozen – 1 cup  – 7 g
  • Blackberries, raw – 1 cup – 8 g

Put Your Hands in the Air for Whole Grains 
Not my first choice, but whole grains get you dense nutrients the less process they are. But aim for smaller quantities, particularly at lunch and dinner if you’re trying to lose weight. Think of it more as a condiment.

  • Barley, pearled, cooked – 1 cup – 6 g
  • Oats (old fashioned), dry – 1/2 cup –  4 g
  • Quinoa, cooked – 1 cup  –  5 g
  • Wheat berries, dry  – 1/4 cup –  5 g
  • Brown rice, cooked  – 1 cup  –  4 g
  • Spaghetti (whole wheat), cooked – 1 cup –  6 g

Crazy Sexy Peas
Peas are crazy full of fiber. Not just for New Years Day! I love BEPs in more ways than you know!

  • Blackeyed peas, cooked – 1 cup – 11 g
  • Peas, split, cooked – 1 cup  – 16 g
  • Peas, green, frozen – 1 cup – 14 g

Imma be the Queen of Greens.
There are 1000+ plant species with edible leaves, so you can truly go wild inthis category. I toss many of them chopped in a salad, or saute them in coconut oil with Meyer lemon and shallots. Delish.

  • Beet greens, cooked – 1 cup – 4 g
  • Mustard greens, cooked – 1 cup  – 5 g
  • Collard greens, cooked – 1 cup –  5 g
  • Spinach, cooked  – 1 cup  –  4 g
  • Swiss chard, cooked –  1 cup –  4 g

photo credit

About the author...

 teaches women and men how to balance their hormones naturally so they can rock their mission and marriage. She is a Harvard-educated physician, MIT-trained bioengineer, certified yoga teacher, and speaker. She is regularly featured in magazines such as O Magazine, Glamour, and Yoga Journal, and TV, including The Ricki Lake Show and 20/20. Dr. Sara recently released her New York Times best seller The Hormone Cure which is invaluable for men and women looking to restore their youthful zeal.