What better way to start off 2018 than with National Fiber Focus Month! Fiber is an essential part of any diet and provides a seemingly endless array of health benefits. But, are you getting enough?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that men get ~38 grams per day and women consume ~25 grams per day. Unfortunately, many of us fall short of meeting these numbers, which we need to change! Like I said above, fiber is essential and I am here to help you learn more about fiber and teach you ways you can increase your daily fiber intake.
Types of Fiber
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and forms a gel-like structure when it is mixed with water. Because of this, soluble fiber is critical in moderating blood glucose levels and lowering your cholesterol!
- Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water and usually travels through your body intact. This type of fiber aids in keeping your bowel movements regular, which helps prevent constipation and other intestinal health issues!
5 Ways to Eat More Fiber
Getting more fiber in your diet can be easy and delicious. Following these simple tips can help you increase your fiber each day!
- Choose more whole grains. Opt for whole grain bread and pastas whenever you can. Whole grains are filled with fiber and swapping refined grains for them is an easy way to eat more fiber.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your meals. Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of fiber. Fiber can be found in the skin as well as in the body of the fruit or vegetable. Adding fruits and vegetables to each meal is a simple way to increase your fiber!
- Incorporate beans and legumes into your meals. Beans and legumes are another source of natural fiber and can be added to almost any meal. Add beans and legumes to your salads or have them as a side. Either way, you’ll be meeting your fiber goals in no time!
- Try oatmeal for breakfast. When you think of fiber, oatmeal probably comes to mind, and you’re not wrong to think that! Oatmeal is a great source of fiber and is another easy way to incorporate more fiber.
- Increase your consumption of nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are filled with so many healthy nutrients and fiber is no exception. You can add nuts and seeds to salads, yogurts, smoothies, or have them by themselves. No matter what way you eat them, you’ll be getting plenty of fiber!
You can get creative when looking for ways to increase your fiber. Mix and match fiber-rich foods to create fun and delicious meals you’ll love to eat!
One last final note… when increasing your fiber intake, it’s important to start slowly and drink plenty of fluids! As fiber passes through your digestive tract, it needs water to pass smoothly. If you’re dehydrated, the fiber can get stuck and you may become constipated. So make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids as you eat more fiber and you’ll be good to go!
Your Turn to Take Action: How will you increase your fiber intake? Let me know in the comments below!