Fiber is essential to your digestive health and offers many benefits to take control of your health and well-being. Unfortunately, not everyone gets enough of it through their diet.
The average adult eats only 15 grams of fiber per day, but we likely need much more. According to the Institute of Medicine, men need 38 grams of fiber per day, and women need 25.
According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber can help manage cholesterol and weight, lower your risk of cancer, and keep bowel movements regular. With so many benefits to eating fiber, it is important to understand how to get more of it in your diet.
The good news is that fiber is a naturally occurring substance in many foods. You do not have to go out of your way to eat a special diet or buy additional supplements. Instead, nutritional foods with high-fiber naturally occurring fiber make a significant part of any meal or healthy snack. Foods high in fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
Here Are the Three Best Ways to Get More Fiber in Your Diet:
Start with Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal to begin adding more fiber to your diet. Chia pudding is high in protein, full of omega-3s, packed with fiber, and helps keep you full and satisfied all day. It’s also meal-prep friendly, making it much better for busy moms and professionals. Steel-cut oats contain β-glucan, a viscous, soluble fiber that slows the movement of food through the digestive tract to help you feel fuller after eating. Foods that keep you full may benefit people trying to lose weight and help avoid overeating.
Add Whole Fruits and Vegetables
Incorporating fiber-rich fruits and vegetables into your daily meals is an effective and enjoyable way to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommendation of five to nine servings per day. This habit boosts your fiber intake and provides a range of essential nutrients that contribute to overall health.
For lunch, simple additions can make a significant difference. Adding leafy greens like spinach to your sandwich is an easy way to include more vegetables. Pairing your lunch with whole fruit, such as an apple, pear, or a handful of berries, can add natural sweetness and additional fiber. These small changes can transform a standard meal into a more nutritious and balanced one.
Dinner presents another great opportunity to incorporate a variety of vegetables. You can enhance the nutritional value of your evening meal by including side dishes like steamed green beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, or grilled asparagus. These vegetables add color and texture to your plate and bring a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Experimenting with different cooking methods, such as roasting, grilling, or sautéing, can bring out unique flavors and make your meals more enjoyable.
Moreover, you can get creative with how you incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals. Try adding diced vegetables to pasta sauces or casseroles, or blend fruits into smoothies for a quick and nutritious snack. Salads are another versatile option that can be packed with a variety of fresh produce.
It’s also beneficial to be mindful of the types of fruits and vegetables you choose. Opting for seasonal and locally sourced produce can enhance your meals’ taste and nutritional value. Additionally, varying your choices throughout the week ensures a diverse intake of nutrients and keeps your meals interesting.
Regularly adding whole fruits and vegetables to each meal is a straightforward and tasty way to boost your fiber intake and improve your overall diet. By being creative and experimenting with different combinations and cooking methods, you can make your meals both nutritious and inspiring.
Snacks Count Too
Whether we admit it or not, everyone likes to snack. It is OK to be authentic to yourself and indulge! Adding fiber to your snacking habits is a reliable way to get more. Quick and easy snacks like oranges, bananas, almonds, and nuts are a great source of fiber.
If you are wondering if you are getting enough fiber, read the nutrition facts on the side label, and the grams will be listed. Look around for substitutes to your regular brand to see if another might have more fiber. Getting more fiber in your diet can be easy when you are mindful of the snacks and meals you enjoy!