Last week, we learned eight amazing benefits of fiber for our health. But when you’re not use to eating fiber, changes can be hard. Today, we’ll look at eight simple ways to add more fiber in your diet. This will enable us to enhance our microbiome and gut; lower our risk for many diseases including heart disease, digestive issues, diabetes and cancer; reduce constipation, excess weight and toxins; and live longer!
Here are the eight simple ways to increase fiber in your diet:
- Start your day with fiber – This starts on your day with the right nutrients. Choose a high-fiber cereal with five or more grams of fiber and low sugar content. Look for cereals with whole grains, bran or fiber in the name. You can also add a few tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds or chia seeds. My chocolate banana blueberry smoothie is a great way to jumpstart your day with a whopping 30 grams of fiber if one person drank the entire smoothie by themselves. If divided in half, each person receives 15 grams of fiber. And that is close to half the daily recommendation.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. The USDA recommends 10 to 13 servings per day. Avocados and one cup of blueberries each provide 5 grams of fiber. So have at them!
- Eat healthy snacks that contain fiber – Although high in calorie, nuts and dried fruits are excellent sources. Discipline yourself to grab raw fruits and vegetables over sugary snacks. Hummus made from chickpeas is a great, healthy snack.
- Bake more goods with whole grains – Add uncooked oatmeal, raw bran and wheat bran to baked goods. Substitute whole wheat flour for half or all of white flour when baking.
- Buy whole grains over processed grains – Look for breads that list whole wheat or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label and have at least two grams of fiber per serving. Be willing to try other whole grain items such as brown rice, wild rice, and whole wheat or brown rice pasta.
- Start every meal with a salad – Be sure to use a variety of vegetables and nuts in this salad. The more you crunch, the more fiber your body gets.
- Substitute cauliflower, broccoli and ground nuts in recipes – I make a delicious cauliflower crust pizza. Many people are using cauliflower in place of rice. I also use almond flour in many recipes. Just use your imagination and you can have your children eating vegetables hidden in many foods!
- Leave the skin or peel on most fruits and vegetables – When you peel fruits and vegetables, you remove nearly half the fiber. This insoluble fiber, which is found in the skin, provides roughage for healthy digestion and prevents constipation.
Be sure to gradually add fiber into your diet. When eating lots of fiber, water intake is also essential since the fiber works best when it absorbs water as it moves through your digestive tract. Fiber and adequate water makes your stools soft and bulky. Use these eight simple ways to add fiber to your diet, and your health will improve.
What simple ways can you recommend for adding fiber to your diet? Any special recipes or substitutions?
For Your Health,