03 Dec 7 Ways to Get More Fiber Now
According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, you should consume 25 g fiber per day– and most folks eat less than half that amount. This means that you’re not reaping the benefits that fiber provides including a healthy gastrointestinal tract, helping to lower the risk for certain forms of cancer, and helping to decrease cholesterol. There are two types of fiber fiber found in food: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber can be found mostly in fruits and vegetables, while soluble fiber is found in foods such as oats, barley, and beans. When you increase the fiber in your diet, don’t forget to drink lots of fluids (water is best!) as fiber and fluids work together. Here are 7 ways to add more fiber (both soluble and insoluble) into your diet.
Make half of the grains you eat whole grains
One of the most beneficial ways to get more fiber into your diet is to eat whole grains. The American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of the grains you eat are whole. How can you tell if your grain is whole? Check the nutrition label for words like “whole” or “whole grain”. Brown rice, oats, quinoa, popcorn, and whole-grain pasta are all examples of whole grains.
Recipe to try: Lemony Almond Broccoli Rabe with Quinoa and Fresh Ricotta
Add a vegetable to each meal
Grains aren’t the only way to add fiber to your diet. Fruits and vegetables also provide a great source of insoluble fiber in addition to ensuring that you get essential vitamins and minerals. Try adding tomatoes to your morning bagel and cream cheese or lettuce and cucumbers to the usual turkey sandwich.
Recipe to try: Egg in a Hole (with tomatoes)
Smoothies incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, which means you’ll get some of that fiber. Try blending whole fruits and vegetables with milk, 100% fruit juice, and Greek yogurt for a creamy, satisfying breakfast or snack.
Recipe to try: Mama’s Berry Smoothie
Load up on legumes
Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils and are loaded with fiber and many other important nutrients. Add beans to soups and stews, incorporate peas into rice and pasta dishes, and use lentils in your meatloaf and burgers.
Recipe to try: Root Vegetable and Bean Soup
Mix up your grains
It can be easy to get in the same rut for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each week. Mixing up foods that you eat will not only keep you from getting bored of the same thing, but it will also ensure that you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals found in whole grains. Try a new whole grain each wheat such as barley, farro, or teff.
Recipe to try: Dana Angelo White’s Wheat Berry Burgers
Add Chia Seeds to Water
One way to add more fiber into your diet is to combine it with your water. Try adding 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 16 fluid ounces of water. You can also use chia seeds to make a pudding. The chia seeds are flavorless and will “gel up” when hydrated. Each ounce of chia seeds contains about 11g of fiber and 4g of protein, not to mention the omega-3 fats, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.
Recipe to try: Dana Angelo White’s Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding
Keep the skin on!
Leave the skin on fruits and vegetables such as apples, potatoes, and carrots. The outer skin will provide more fiber without compromising the flavor or texture. For example, a medium apple without the skin contains 2.1 g of fiber while eating an apple with the skin on will provide 4.4 g of fiber.
Recipe to try: Kale, Green Apple, and Pumpkin Seed Salad