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Dr. Oz explains how fiber-rich diets prevent disease and boost weight loss

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Fiber up. That's the message from Dr. Mehmet Oz, who warns that 90 percent of Americans don't get enough of this crucial nutrient. On his Jan. 9 talk show, Dr. Oz explained how eating more fiber can boost your weight loss while preventing colon cancer as well as heart disease. Plus: Find out which foods can help you feel happier and reduce stress.

Here's what you should know about fiber:

  • It helps you lose weight more easily by keeping you full longer.
  • It lowers your risk for both heart disease and colon cancer.
  • It helps your digestive system to function smoothly.
  • Women should set a goal of consuming at least 25 grams of fiber daily.
  • Men should aim for 35 grams of fiber minimum.

However, don't go from zero to 100 when it comes to fiber. Gradually add more fiber-rich foods each week until you reach the goal amount. Good sources of fiber include beans, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and popcorn. Here are some examples of the amount of fiber different food groups contain:

  • One cup of black beans has 30 grams of fiber.
  • One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • One artichoke has nine grams of fiber.
  • One cup of quinoa has 12 grams of fiber.
  • One ounce of popcorn has 3.6 grams of fiber.

Most of us experience some level of stress in our lives on a daily basis. Dr. Oz says that an overload can harm your health both mentally and physically. But adding the right foods to your diet can reduce stress:

  • Asparagus boosts your well-being because it contains folic acid.
  • Eat juicy oranges to benefit from the vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Sip rich, creamy 100 percent cocoa to flood your body with the "happiness" ingredient: Endorphins.
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