05 Dec 5 Ways To Get More Fiber Into Your Diet
Need ideas for adding more fiber to your meals and snacks? Try these 5 suggestions below:
- Include fruits, vegetables, or both with every meal. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. You can add fruit to your oatmeal, smoothies, desserts, or create a yogurt parfait. Vegetables go great in salads, soups, cassaroles, sandwiches, or even pasta dishes.
- Choose whole grains over refined grains. Replace white rice, white bread, and white pasta with whole wheat versions. Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label and have at least 2 grams of dietary fiber a serving.
- Consume more legumes in your diet. Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils which are rich in fiber, as well as protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Add beans to a soup or salad, experiment with hummus, or have chicken on a bed of lentils rather than rice.
- Choose fiber-rich snacks. Not only will high-fiber snacks help you meet your fiber needs per day, but they will give you the energy you need to get through your busy day. Some ideas include: popcorn, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, and hummus with vegetables.
- Sneak chia and flax seeds into your meals. Flaxseeds have 2.8 grams of fiber per tablespoon. In fact, this is the highest plant source of omega-3 fats, which help to fight off diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and mood swings. Chia seeds provide almost twice as much fiber at 5 grams per tablespoon! You can sneak these high fiber seeds into your oatmeal, smoothies, pudding, yogurt parfaits, or cereal.
Note: Be cautious about eating a lot of fiber at once. Overdoing it can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps as your gut bacteria try to process all the new fiber. Eventually, these symptoms will go away as your body gets used to the fiber. Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids each day (at least 64 ounces or 8 cups per day) to help the fiber pass through your body and prevent constipation. There are some general recommendations for fiber intake: 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men, or 14g per 1000 calories consumed per day are a good place to start, however everyone is of course different, discuss with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about your fiber needs.
By adopting some of these strategies above, you can increase your fiber intake and make sure you’re getting enough grams per day for optimal wellbeing and health.