Fiber is one of those often-overlooked necessities.
You know you need it, and you like it when you have it, but it doesn’t top the list the way Protein or Omega-3 does.
Fiber is pretty important to supporting cardiovascular and digestive health, so why the fiber hate? Because when most of us think fiber, we think fibrous, and cardboard-esque. Not very appetizing. Luckily there are a lot of ways to add fiber to your diet without compromising on taste, texture, or appeal. Here are 25 ways you can increase your daily fiber intake.
- Use whole fruit: It is tempting to use fruit juice in your morning smoothie or protein drink, but if you drop a whole apple or orange in your high powered blender, rather than the juice, you are going to get as much as 3 grams more fiber.
- Sprinkle on the flax seed or chia: You can stir a few spoonfuls into cereal, granola, yogurt, etc, to add extra fiber to what you are already eating.
- Sub nectar for juice: It has more pulp and more fiber, giving you a fiber boost with each glass.
- Eat nut butters: Almond butter, cashew butter, and other nut butters can be spread on toast, pancakes, and more for an additional few grams of fiber, a tasty treat, and a great dose of healthy fats. Just look for the lower sugar options to keep it healthy.
- Drink cocoa instead of coffee. While the caffeine boost of coffee is great, cocoa has a lot more fiber, as much as 3 g per cup!
- Eat more beans. Throw a few spoonfuls into your favorite soup, lentils and beans have a good amount of fiber.
- Add spice to your dish. A teaspoon of oregano or basil can add a gram of fiber.
- Use sesame seed buns instead of plain.
- Choose whole wheat over white flour. This can add more fiber per serving for whatever you are eating.
- Add the greens. Cabbage, kale, spinach, etc. all have fiber, so stack your sandwich high, put some on your burger or dog, and eat it on the side.
- Snack on popcorn. Popcorn has a lot more fiber than a bag of potato chips, so next time you need a salty snack, choose popcorn!
- Eat nuts and dried fruits. When you have the choice, pick up a handful of trail mix for a snack rather than a bar or square, the mix will have about twice as much fiber!
- Choose sweet potato instead of white. They have 2 grams more fiber.
- Add a side of cooked veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are all great for adding fiber, and cooking them makes the fiber more readily available to your body!
- Choose berries. Add fresh sliced berries instead of syrups, and when you have the option pick raspberries over strawberries or blueberries as they boast nearly twice the amount of fiber.
- Eat pears. If looking for a quick snack, try a pear, preferably an Asian pear, as they have as much as 5 grams of fiber, and can be eaten raw, with a nut butter, or prepared a number of ways. Just be sure to eat the skin.
- Try oatmeal and oat bran. Swap out your regular breakfast for a steamy cup of oatmeal for a great fiber increase. Top with berries or bananas for even more fiber.
- Artichokes are low calorie and have a ton of fiber. Make a soup, dip in a low calorie dip, or make into a dip, and enjoy!
- Add green peas. Keeping a bag of frozen green peas on hand is a great way to add fiber to your diet without fuss. Stir them into macaroni and cheese, throw some atop a salad, or add them as a side dish to any meal for about 9 grams of fiber per cup.
- Lentils and Bulgar: Experiment with lentils and whole grains you may not be familiar with. Try them in your regular recipes for added fiber and flavor.
- Squash. There are so many varieties of squash, from spaghetti, which makes a great substitute for grain noodles, to butternut, which makes excellent soup. Squash is packed with fiber, so add more squash to your diet.
- Vegetables: Add vegetables to everything you can, from an extra helping in your morning omelets, to veggies in your spaghetti sauce. They are a great source of insoluble fiber.
- Go ethnic: American foods often have lower fiber than ethnic cuisines, so try something from Mexico, the Middle East, or the Mediterranean, which usually have beans, lentils, and other good sources of fiber.
- Up your dips: Dipping is fun, but try hummus, bean dips, and artichoke dips which are both full of fiber as opposed to a dressing.
- Add a little when baking. Give your cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins more fiber by subbing in some whole-wheat flour and oats.
~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman, Nature’s Sunshine Independent Distributor and Holistic Health Practitioner