Sneaking high fiber foods into your diet isn’t as hard as you think, and you don’t have to add that much to get the benefits.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that helps our bodies:
- Digest food
- Eliminate waste
- Reduce cholesterol
- Regulate blood sugar
Our bodies don’t digest fiber to use for fuel or any cellular functions, but we still need it to support our elimination system and overall health.
The Institute of Medicine did lots of studies and determined how much fiber we should consume each day to reap the benefits:
|Ages 18-50||Ages 51 and up|
|Women||25 grams per day||21 grams per day|
|Men||38 grams per day||30 grams per day|
Don’t let these numbers intimidate you. Remember, they are recommendations, not requirements. Here are five ways you can sneak high fiber foods into your diet every day.
1. Baked Goods
Yeah, I went right for it. Believe it or not, baked goods can be a decent source of fiber.
Whole-grain muffins with blueberries and flax seed, oatmeal cookies and even pumpkin pie can provide a lovely dose of fiber alongside other delicious flavors. Just be mindful of all the extra sugar baked goods contain.
Have you ever tried black bean brownies? Okay, I’ll make a batch soon and show you how delectable they look and taste. You really don’t taste the beans, but you get a huge chunk of fiber in every sweet bite.
Do you like oatmeal or cereal in the morning? Whole-grains are a great way to start the day. They fill you up and give your body that wonderful digestive aid to coax your system and keep you healthy.
You can also opt for whole-grain toast with avocado, apples with peanut butter or an omelette with spinach, mushrooms and bell peppers. And feel free to indulge in some huevos rancheros. That savory dish is packed with beans, tomatoes and avocado, making it a super fiber food.
3. Sandwiches and Sides
Ditch the factory-made white bread and pack your sandwich with whole-grain bread, spinach, beets and avocado.
Like Italian? Pasta salads can be loaded with fiber when they contain whole-grain pasta, broccoli, chickpeas and artichokes.
How about some Greek cuisine? Fava and hummus and melitzanosalata – oh my! Greek food has many redeeming qualities, and fiber is definitely one of them.
As far as munchies go, grab an apple, celery and peanut butter, a handful of almonds or some homemade granola. Of course, fruits and veggies are preferred snacks. If you’re looking for something savory, how about some yogurt with fruit or flax seeds? Popcorn makes a great muncher (just go easy on the butter).
5. Slop (I Mean Dinner)
Soups with lentils, beans and whole grains are chock full of fiber among other beneficial nutrients. Chilis, lentils and split peas are definitely in the same pot.
If you want something more substantial, try a black bean or chickpea burger. (I recommend making your own or going to a restaurant. The frozen kinds can be rather disappointing.)
Add fiber to any classic dinner by throwing in a side of cooked veggies, especially carrots, brussel sprouts and dark greens like collard greens and swiss chard.
High Fiber High Five!
See? Not so bad. You probably already eat most of these foods anyways. If you’re just starting to incorporate high fiber foods into your diet, do so slowly to avoid bloating and discomfort. It might take your body a couple weeks to get used to this fantastic digestive aid.
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