Fiber is crucial for good health so you should find easy ways to eat fiber every day! Fiber is found in plant-based foods and is not able to be absorbed by your body. Because of this, fiber can help lower your cholesterol, stimulate your GI tract, reduce your risk of diabetes and it can help reduce your risk of some cancers too. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help ensure that you get enough fiber. Here are 7 easy ways to eat fiber every day!
1. Start Your Day with a High Fiber Cereal
One of the easy ways to eat fiber every day is to start your day with a high fiber cereal. When purchasing a cereal, look for a box with at least five or more grams of fiber per serving. Whole grain cereals are much higher in fiber than sugary white cereals because whole grain cereals are not stripped of their nutrients during processing. Another way to increase the fiber in your cereal bowl is to sprinkle in some flax seed meal. Flax seed is not only high in fiber but it provides many other health benefits as well!
2. Select Whole Grain Products
Another easy way to fit fiber into your day is to select whole grain products such as whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pasta, etc. When selecting a whole wheat product always look for the word whole high up on the ingredient list instead of just wheat or wheat flour. Whole grain products should have at least three or more grams of fiber per serving.
3. Choose Smart Snacks
Healthy snacks are one of the best ways to sneak in added fiber. As I mentioned above, plant based foods like fruits and vegetables are very high in fiber. Instead of processed, sugary snacks, choose fruit and veggie based snacks like carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, whole grain crackers and black bean salsa, low-fat popcorn, homemade trail mix, etc. These snacks are all high in fiber which will help you feel full much longer than other snacks.
4. Eat More Beans
When I was in school to obtain my nutrition degree in order to become a dietitian, I’ll never forget one of my professors telling my class that beans were the perfect food – she couldn’t have been more right! Beans are not only high in fiber and protein, but they are full of several disease fighting vitamins and minerals that will help keep you healthy lifelong as well. If you are not a fan of beans, try them in different ways: add kidney beans to a pot of veggie soup, try BBQ roasted garbanzo beans as an afternoon snack, make a black bean dip, add lentils to your meatloaf or even better, make a lentil loaf instead! Beans are not a food to skip out on!
5. Sneak High Fiber Foods in
Plain and simple, there are just some foods that you might not like. However, if they are healthy foods, this is still no reason to skip them entirely! If you like a similar substitution than you can absolutely switch it out, however, if you don’t like an entire food group, that’s where you might run into a nutritional deficiency! This is the same for kids too! Instead of giving up on a food, try sneaking it into different dishes in order to still get the added benefits. Sneak veggies and legumes in soup, lasagna or pasta sauce. One of my favorite ways to do this is to add baby greens to fruit smoothies. With all of the fruit, you can’t even taste the greens!
6. Choose a Healthier Dessert
If you’re anything like me, you like something sweet at the end of the meal! One of the best ways to satisfy this craving in a much healthier way is to have a piece of fruit instead of a sugary treat like cake, pie or any other processed food. Sliced apples, berries, oranges, pears or grapes are all great sources of fiber that will calm your sweet craving without all of the negative effects of white sugar.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
One of the most important things on this list of seven is to ensure that you are drinking enough water every day. As you increase your fiber intake you must increase your water intake too. Fiber becomes the bulk within your digestive system and water acts as the flood to stream it out. This fiber and water combination helps promote regularity while pulling toxins out of your body. I like to tell my clients to aim to drink half of their body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, aim to drink 70 ounces, or seven 10 ounce glasses, of water per day.
Despite its unpopular tummy rumbling reputation, fiber is actually the main component to a healthy digestive system. As you increase your fiber and water intake, over time, you will feel a more balanced blood sugar, increased satiety and a regulated digestive system. Women should aim for 30-35 grams of fiber per day in order to obtain the protective health benefits from fiber. Do you eat enough fiber per day?