When it comes to nutrition these days, fiber is IT! Fiber is a nutrient that every one of you needs to include in your diet each day. According to the American Dietetic Association, most healthy adults should aim for 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Does that sound like a lot? Don’t worry— it’s not as hard to include in your diet as you might think!
Fiber is found in all the fresh and delicious foods I love: fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains. There are two types of fiber:
Soluble fiber is found in oats, barley, apples, pears, edamame and other soy products, dried beans and peas, and citrus fruit. This type of fiber may help reduce your cholesterol levels, which will protect you from heart disease.
Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, whole-wheat products, and most vegetables. This type of fiber may alleviate constipation by helping wastes move through your system faster.
Fiber is also fantastic because it fills you up so you eat fewer calories and lose weight! Research suggests that diets high in fiber may also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Additionally, fiber may offer some protection against colon cancer, although studies have not produced consistent results.
Feeling pumped to get more fiber? Here are five simple ways to add fiber:
- Eat fruit with breakfast every morning — try berries with your cereal, or slice a banana into yogurt.
- Add lettuce, tomatoes, and onions to your sandwiches and swap white bread for whole wheat.
- Throw a bag of mixed frozen veggies in the microwave for a veggie side dish that’s ready in minutes!
- Add vegetables to casseroles, soups, rice dishes – almost anything is better with more vegetables!
- Drink plenty of water as you work on increasing your fiber intake.
Challenge yourself to try at least one of these tips every day in the coming week — before you know it, you’ll be full of fiber, healthier, and feeling fabulous!