Fiber has always been something I had to struggle with. It is part of plant-based food that our body cannot break down. It is also known as roughage. Fiber foods give us a feeling of fullness.
Foods high in dietary fiber are always recommended to the patients of constipation. It is primarily associated with digestive health and bodily functions. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and colon problems.
Fiber is categorized into soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber reduces cholesterol and helps maintain blood sugar levels. On the other hand, insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation.
A lot of foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Natural and unprocessed foods are high in dietary fiber. So that means all your ‘white foods’ (white rice, white bread, etc.) have little to no fiber in it.
Dietitians recommend at least 25 to 30 g of fiber to be consumed daily. We get our fiber from whole-grain foods, and since we don’t eat “whole” we don’t get enough of it in the diet.
Let’s change this, shall we? Let me tell you the easiest way you can increase your fiber intake. It is also hassle-free.
Incorporate Fiber in your routine in the following ways:
Eat whole carb foods
Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, barley, wild rice, etc. are abundant in fiber. So instead of eating simple carbs, switch your food to whole food.
It is more fulfilling. and is good for your digestive system as well. Fiber doesn’t break when it passes through our digestive system. So, it also slows the absorption time which in return helps regulate our blood sugar levels.
Sources: barley, brown rice, soy, lentils, etc.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables have high fiber content. It will also help lower your risk of several chronic diseases. Non-starchy vegetables, in particular, are nutrient-dense rather than calorie-dense.
Incorporate salads, and vegetable soups in your diet. This will control your urge to eat more as well.
Add a fruit salad as part of your routine as well. Try eating apples and pears with their skin on. Skins have more than half the fruit’s fiber.
Try eating berry yogurt for breakfast or as a snack. They will give you twice the benefit. Being high in antioxidants and high in fiber.
Did someone say Popcorn?
I honestly love popcorn. They are my go-to snack every time. You can make your own popcorn at home or use air-popped popcorn. Either way, it will remain delicious.
Popcorn is a whole-grain snack, containing 4 grams of fiber per ounce. So, eat away folks!
Introduce chia seeds in your diet
Do you want something stronger in nutrition than your average joe? Say hello to chia seeds. These are 95% insoluble fiber. High in proteins, vitamins, and minerals as well as omega-3.
Lowering the risk of diabetes is also a plus one. So, needless to say, chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses.
Chia seeds need water, where they form a gel-like substance. Most people consume them by adding different flavors to their water. And they give a cooling effect on a very hot, humid day.
Try watermelon chia drink or lemonade chia drink. You’ll love it!
Shake up your snacks
When we think of snacks, our minds automatically diverts our attention to junk food and cola. I mean why not? They are snacks, right? (sort of!)
Add fiber fueled food in your snack time. Fresh and dried fruit, whole-grain crackers, and lots of nuts (who doesn’t love nuts, is nuts!) by lots I mean a handful of them can be quite fulfilling and level up our dietary requirements.
Yummy Yummy Guacamole
If you are a health nut like me (which is debatable), you would know the importance of Avocados. You can eat them on toast, in salads, in dipping. I mean so many uses of a single fruit.
For those of you who are ignorant of this delicious fruit. You are missing out, sorely!
Not only are they healthy, but they are also exceedingly nutritious, and improve our heart health as well. It is a rich fiber and monosaturated fat source. And a healthy alternative to many types of fat.
Eat salads but as a meal
One of the healthy alternatives to filling up on fatty food is to eat up on salad. And I am not talking about bland salads at all. I am talking earthy, fruity, and packed with flavors salad.
It’ll not only increase your fiber dose but will be nutrient-dense as well. So, calories can go sideways very easily. You can add up the protein in your salads as well.
Don’t eat bland everyday salads. Mix it up with some Mediterranean salads, and some good old berry salads. Add a little zing with lime in your bean salads. Trust, when I say that it will make a huge difference.
Don’t miss legumes
Legumes are rich in fiber, protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Legumes such as beans dried peas, lentils are a part of many diets.
Since legumes are high in protein you can swap your meat for legumes for a few meals very easily. So, you save up on diseases and decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
You can use legumes- in soups, salads, dips, whole mashed, basically however you like it.
Switch your regular flour to high-fiber one
Instead of buying simple white bread, buy whole-grain bread. Similarly, while baking don’t use white flour, use high fiber, or multi-grain flour. It might taste a bit different in the start but once you develop a taste for it, you get your money’s worth.
Almond flour, coconut four, buckwheat flour, barley four, are all easily available in the supermarkets.