How to Increase Fiber in Your Diet

How to Increase Fiber in Your Diet
Getting enough fiber in your daily diet is a great way to help you lose weight and improve your health. But the problem is most people don’t consume nearly enough dietary fiber on a daily basis.

The average American eating a diet of white bread, white rice, burgers, fries and soft drinks gets less than 15 grams of fiber a day, which is far less than the 25 to 35 grams recommended by most health authorities.

Eating more fiber rich foods - whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables - also provide you with an extra bonus. They’re loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which are necessary for good physical and mental health.

Here are five tips on how to add more fiber in your diet.

ONE – Eat more fruits and vegetables. The National Institutes for Health recommends everyone eat five to nine daily servings of brightly colored red, green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Foods like broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, berries and citrus fruit are high in fiber and essential nutrients, while most processed foods, especially breads, cakes and cookies and other sweetened foods are not.

Two – Eat more whole grain foods. Choose whole grain breads, cereals, oatmeal and pasta rather than white bread, white rice, white pasta and highly processed cereals, which provide little to no fiber or nutrition value. Whole grain foods are also high in insoluble fiber that helps prevent constipation. To further boost your fiber intake, consider adding wheat bran, corn bran and rice bran to prepared foods and recipes.

Three – Eat more peas. Adding healthy, tasty and inexpensive peas to your daily diet is another great way to boost your daily fiber intake. Peas come in a variety of ways – fresh, frozen and dried – and can be easily added to soups, stews and salads, as well as other hot or cold dishes.

Four – Eat more beans. Beans are another super high fiber food. A cup of cooked black beans, for example, supplies about 15 grams of fiber and about 15 grams of protein to your diet. You can easily add beans to soups, stews, salads, dips and casseroles. To avoid intestinal discomfort, it’s wise to gradually increase your daily intake of beans over a period of time.

Five – Eat more nuts. When it’s time for a snack, choose unsalted, fiber rich almonds, walnuts, pecans or pistachios. A half a cup of pistachios, for example, provides about 3 grams of healthy fiber, as well as protein, iron, vitamin B6 and other essential nutrients. Nuts are also incredibly versatile. They can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, salad and even stir-fries.

A high fiber diet can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, support normal bowel movements and bowel health, as well as aid in healthy weight loss and management. Set an intention today to increase your daily fiber intake. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health.

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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