Last time we discussed fiber and its role in improving metabolism.
This week we are going to talk about 5 easy reminders when it comes to getting more fiber in your diet.
But, before we dive in, let’s talk about fiber needs.
Women should be consuming at least 25 grams of fiber/day and men should be consuming 30-35 grams of fiber/day.
If that seems daunting, don’t worry. Let’s break it down…
Eat real food. Nourish your body with food that’s closest to its original form, untouched by factories or major processing. It’s a simple idea that has a major impact on your health. When eating less processed foods, you have more control of what’s going into your body. You are better able to gauge when you’re full, because you’re not chowing down on a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream. Instead, your focus is to eat food that comes in its original “packaging” and contains important vitamins, minerals, protein, and yes, fiber!
Fill up on on veggies first! Eat more dark, leafy greens to your heart’s content. Roast or steam broccoli. Bake sweet potatoes and maximize your soups with tons of squash, kale, onions, or any other veggie that you love. Keep it simple. Start with the foods you love and branch out from there.
Go for the whole fruit, not the sugary (no-fiber) juice. When you drink juice, it’s likely devoid of fiber and extra packed with sugar. Eat a whole orange rather than drinking orange juice. Eat an apple instead of drinking apple juice. The more whole, the better!
Whole grains are your friend! Not only are whole grains an important aspect of healthy eating and easy on the pocket book, they are also full of protein and fiber, rich in B vitamins, and support regularity. Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, spelt, and farro are excellent whole grains. If you are avoiding gluten, reach for gluten-free rolled/steel cut oats, quinoa, aramanth, sorghum, and buckwheat.
Beans, beans the magical fruit. Beans are magical. They are filling, healthy, inexpensive and versatile! Fun tip: If you soak them well (when cooking from scratch) or rinse them well (if you buy canned), you are more likely to avoid pesky gas and bloating.
Nuts and seeds offer more than crunch. They are fiber-full, flavorful, and versatile. When you have a bowl of oatmeal ini the morning, add chia seeds and almonds. When you have a salad, add hemp seeds and walnuts. A little goes a long way!
Drink water. When you add more fiber to your diet, it’s important that you’re drinking enough water. Rule of thumb is to calculate half of your weight, drink that number in ounces. For instance, if you weigh 160 Lbs. divide that by 2, which is 80. So your water intake goal should be 80 fl oz of water/day.
Live, Life, Healthy
Jentry Lee, Intern
Dietitian Sandy Cortez, MS RDN