5 Ways to Get More Fiber
Why is fiber important in your diet? The United States Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) recommends that adults get at least 20 to 30 grams
of fiber in their daily diet. However, most adults in the United States
get less than 50% of that recommended amount. This may be because many
people don’t recognize the importance of eating fiber regularly—and
because they don’t know where fiber is found.
Why Does Fiber Matter?
There are many health benefits to fiber. Let’s look at the top eight
reasons why fiber is important for your diet—some of which may surprise you:
Fiber assists with breakdown down carbohydrates and allowing your body
to absorb sugar and thus
control your blood sugar levels, which can also lead to a lower risk of kidney stones or gallstones.
Fiber keeps your
skin healthy and glowing by flushing out fungi and yeast, especially fiber found in psyllium husk.
Fiber reduces your
Fiber actually keeps your
heart healthy, with studies suggesting that high-fiber diets can be linked to a 40% decreased
chance of contracting heart disease.
Fiber helps those with
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) manage their symptoms.
Fiber can help lower your risk of
intestinal polyps inflammation or diverticulitis.
Fiber can limit your chance of
stroke: Every seven additional grams of fiber you obtain in your diet every day
lowers your risk of stroke by seven percent!
Fiber is filling and thus can help you
lose weight or manage your current weight.
Here’s How to Get All the Benefits from Fiber—In the Most Delicious Way!
So now you know why fiber is important in your diet. But how do you begin
to implement it? When most people think of fiber, they think of shredded
cereals that taste like shredded carpet, or chewy bran muffins that require
a whole glass of milk just to get down your throat! But don’t be
fooled: Fiber comes in many forms and it can be both nutritious and delicious.
Not only that, but those unappetizing bran muffins and cereals really
aren’t the best ways to get some fiber in your daily diet anyway.
Here are the five best ways to get plenty of foods with both soluble and
insoluble fiber in your diet:
High-fiber vegetables including
root vegetables and tubers – Cauliflower, green beans, peas, broccoli, artichokes, and Brussels
sprouts are some of your best options. Sauté your Brussels sprouts
in coconut oil or roast them in the oven with salt and pepper for a delicious
side dish. Cook a “pizza” with a cauliflower base instead
of bread. Enjoy broccoli dipped in fresh hummus. Winter squash are also
a good option for fiber. Onions and sweet potatoes are two of the best
examples of fibrous root vegetables. Other root vegetables include yucca,
parsnips, turnips, beets, rutabagas, carrots, celery root, Jerusalem artichokes,
radishes, and ginger.
Seeds – Chia seeds taste good and pack a major punch when it comes to
your necessary fiber intake. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chia seeds on your
breakfast bowl of oatmeal, cereal, or Greek yogurt. Look up a recipe for
soaking chia seeds and oatmeal overnight for a big, fluffy bowl of “overnight
oats” that is ready to go when you wake up. Top with berries and
a drizzle of honey. Mix some chia seeds in your fruit smoothie or your
post-workout whey smoothie. Use chia seeds as a healthier alternative
to “breading” meat, fish, or vegetables, along with crunched
up nuts and spices. Look up recipes for chia seed pudding or chia seed
jam. Other types of seeds to include in your diet to increase your fiber
intake include psyllium seed husk and flax seeds.
Beans and legumes – Add garbanzo beans to your salad, make a soup with white beans
or lentils, or add black beans to a whole wheat and skim cheese quesadilla.
Other beans with high fiber include navy beans, Roman beans, French beans,
pinto beans, split peas, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas.
Whole grains – Not all grains are healthy—even labels that say “whole
grain” can be deceiving. Good options include oatmeal, barley, and bulgur.
Raspberries – Raspberries are both delicious and high in fiber. One cup of raspberries
has 8 grams of fiber.
Other tips? Ask for brown rice instead of white rice whenever possible;
this adds an extra 3.5 grams of fiber per cup. Don’t take the skin
off of vegetables in fruit. This is why juice is usually not the best
option. It’s much better to eat fruits and vegetables in their whole
forms in order to get all the benefits of fiber. Your health is one of
the most important things you have and it is worth guarding! Keep learning
more about nutrition and ways to improve your health by visiting the Whittier
Hospital blog regularly for more tips and answers to common health questions!
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter
you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.