Easy Ways to Get More Fiber in Your Diet
Our bodies need a healthy balance of different types of foods. We get vitamins, minerals, energy, and fiber from the foods that we eat. Fiber comes from cellulose that our bodies can’t digest. We need it to aid in digestion and keep our colons healthy. Fiber binds waste together and helps it pass through our bodies easily. Without enough fiber, you can be uncomfortable, sluggish, and it can lead to future health complications like cancer. Getting more fiber in your diet is easy.
- Fruit: All different fruits contain a high amount of fiber. You want to have a variety of different fruits throughout the week to get new nutrients and vitamins. Prunes are well known for their high fiber content and aiding in moving things along, but they aren’t the only ones. Strawberries, mangos, peaches, cherries, blueberries, grapes, and many more have a high amount of fiber. Keep the skin on the fruit (if it’s palletable) for even more fiber. Have one serving of fruit with breakfast, and another 1-2 servings for lunch or dinner. Fruit can also make a delicious dessert.
- Vegetables: Another high source of fiber is vegetables. Raw vegetables pack the most punch of cellulose. Cooking can break down these cellular structures or make them weaker. Add in raw onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, and others to your diet. Cooked vegetables are still a great source as well. Broccoli, collard greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes all have a good amount of fiber as well. Leave a little crunch to your veggies by not overcooking them. Have carrots and hummus, or cashew butter with celery for an easy “grab n’ go” fiber packed snack.
- Nuts/Seeds: All nuts and seeds have a generous amount of fiber in them. Toss in a handful of pistachios or sunflower seeds to a salad. You can also bring trailmix to work to graze while you go from meeting to meeting. Sprinkle flaxseed over your morning cereal or oatmeal to start your day off right. Both nuts and seeds are packed with protein and fiber, making them the perfect snack.
- Whole Grains: The old school thought of the food pyramid had grains and carbohydrates at the bottom, which meant that you were supposed to consume the most out of this group. The science of nutrition has made some advancements, and we now understand that eating large amounts of grains and breads isn’t the best for our diet. Whole grains have a large amount of fiber, and they should make it on our plate. Make sure that it’s balanced with more fruits, veggies, proteins, and fats. Processed grains like white bread and buns don’t have the fiber that we are after. Choose breads where you can see the grains, or eat other grains like quinoa and oats.
- Supplements: If you are still struggling to get enough fiber in your diet, you can turn to supplements to fortify your fiber intake. You can mix fiber blends into an 8oz glass of liquid to drink, and there are some that can be added to food to eat. Before you start, make sure to read the instructions before you consume any supplements.
Being a little smarter about your snacks can help you instantly add more fiber to your diet. Dress up your plate with a few raw vegetables and fruits every meal for fiber in every bite. You’ll be feel better and your stomach will thank you