Not going "number two" enough? New health guidelines suggest we should drink about eight glasses of water a day, about 64 ounces, and get 25 grams of fiber to stay regular and healthy. Dr. Oz says that if we can work on our fiber and water intake, our digestive systems could dramatically improve.
"High fiber comes in vegetable form: artichokes, lima beans, soybeans," he says. "You can get fruits that have lots of fiber like grapefruit, blackberries and raspberries."
Another fantastic source of fiber is whole grains. Dr. Oz says that eating whole grains isn't just the latest craze—they offer multiple benefits to your health. You may have already heard about the health benefits of whole wheat bread and oatmeal, but now doctors say other whole grains like spelt, bulgar and quinoa can reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure and even help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They say that whole grains help flush fat and cholesterol out of your system and provide powerful antioxidants that help you stay healthier, look younger and live longer. The USDA just recently recommended eating at least three servings a day.
One of Oprah's favorite whole grain choices is steel cut oatmeal for its crunchy texture. Dr. Oz says steel cut oatmeal and other whole grain foods are high in fiber—great for digestion.
"[Steel cut oatmeal] doesn't have a lot of calories, and it drags the food [you eat] along so it can't become like putty—until it gets to the very end," Dr. Oz says. "Whole grains are an insoluble fiber, so it pulls water with it and it binds to all the other stuff you're eating that may not be so good for you. It gets the whole bolus moving on."
Foods rich in magnesium like beets, raisins, dates and soybeans are important because they get your bowels moving! The more natural, the better, Dr. Oz says.
"The easy part of this message is all of these foods come out of the ground looking the way they look when you eat them," he says. "That's the only thing you have to remember. 'Does it look the way it looked when it came out of the ground when I eat it? There are no white bread plants!"
Dr. Oz recommends magnesium supplements when necessary.
Dr. Oz says you can reduce your chances of getting cancer by up to 50 percent by doing three simple things. The first is eating foods rich in folate. If you don't take it as a supplement, you can find folate in orange juice, spinach and other leafy green vegetables. If more "number two" is a "number one" priority, add these foods to your shopping list now!
Another cancer-fighting agent is vitamin D. Non-fat milk, orange juice or supplements are great sources.
"And you get vitamin D from the sun," Dr. Oz says. "So especially if you live in northern latitudes, you're not getting enough vitamin D unless you take supplements."
Dr. Oz says that since African-Americans have a darker skin color, they should probably be taking supplements in order to insure proper vitamin D intake.
If there's a magic pill for anything, Dr. Oz says it's the third cancer-fighting agent on his list—two baby aspirin daily.
"It's cheap and easy to take aspirin," Dr Oz says. "Aspirin has many, many helping elements. It helps your skin, it helps about anything you can imagine. It has some potential risks if people have sensitive stomachs. But for cancer, you've got to be on it."
Being aware of what our bodies are telling us and how to deal with those challenges is what Dr. Oz says is most important. As well as being good for the heart, foods with tomato-based products can help alert our systems to what might be wrong, Dr. Oz says. Tomato sauce is part of so many foods it's just a matter of incorporating it into our diets more often. Dr. Oz says tomatoes contain lycopene which has been shown to fight cancer. But you can't just put a few slices in your salad to reap the effect. The tomato needs to be cooked in order to provide the most nutrients.
Many people will stand up and cheer for this next Dr. Oz tidbit—coffee is actually good for you, in reasonable amounts.
Coffee actually has been shown to reduce liver cancer and to be effective with (or with symptoms of) Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases," Dr. Oz says. "So there are a bunch of different places where coffee can play a role. The reason it got a bad name is because it does have side effects, for example, migraine headaches and heart palpitations. But if you're not having them, coffee is reasonable."
Did we mention, it's good for those bowel movements, too? Dr. Oz suggests 24 ounces of coffee a day is a rational amount.
So what can you eat to make your heart healthy and happy? Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are the best, says Dr. Oz. Salmon, walnuts and hazelnuts are great sources. Keep nuts in your refrigerator so they don't oxidize. Garlic and onions are also heart-healthy.
You've heard it before, and we'll say it again—yay, red wine! So why is red wine healthier than white?
"Red wine has a chemical in it called rezveritrol, which is a very strong antioxidant that's also been shown to be heart-healthy," Dr. Oz says. "Red wine has the material from the skins of the grapes [the rezveritrol]. The white wine has that skin stripped away. So if you're going to drink wine and you're going to take the hit on calories, drink red wine." How much of all these healthy foods should you be eating daily?