Fiber is an important nutrient which is essential in maintaining good health. Our body needs a combination of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to sustain its complete function, improve and support organs and systems, and keep infections and diseases at bay. It is not at all surprising that Fiber is one of the most recommended nutrients since research has linked it with positive impacts toward different body parts such as the digestive system, gut, brain, and heart.
A plant-based nutrient known as dietary fiber provides crucial health benefits which sometimes called roughage or bulk. It is also necessary for us as it maintains regularity and bowel health. Dietary fiber is composed of insoluble (the fiber that retains its shape and doesn’t dissolve) and soluble (dissolves in water and becomes a gel-like substance) fiber.
We’ve combined together 5 easy tips to help you increase your fiber intake while enjoying flavor and variety to your diet.
Over-refined carbohydrates choose whole grain foods
Whole grain foods are a natural source of dietary fiber. Compared to refined carbohydrates whole grains absorbed the kernel’s fiber-rich outer shell, known as bran. For you to easily identify whole grains, check for these ingredients on labels: whole wheat, barley, hard red winter wheat, oats, triticale, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, and bulgur. Remember not all whole grains are made the same. To be sure read the Nutrition Facts panel to identify the fiber content for whole grains.
Add fresh fruit to every meal
It’s either you add it to cereal, eaten as a snack, or savor as a simple dessert, fresh fruit is a sweet way to add fiber to your diet. A fruit salad makes a perfect addition to a meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just mix together some of your favorite fruits and add a little fruit juice or yogurt as a dressing. You can mix in a few nuts for even more fiber. Some fruits which high in fiber includes apples, berries, prunes, pears, and oranges.
Don’t Peel Your Potatoes
The chunk that you might normally cast into the compost might be good for you. More of the fiber in a potato is in the skin, and there’s no reason the skin can’t be included in your dish, even mashed potatoes are delicious when made with unpeeled potatoes. Here’s a pro tip: never buy potatoes that have a greenish color to the skin, it makes them taste bitter.
Switch to Brown Rice
Over white rice, brown rice is a better choice because it retains the high-fiber bran. It gives you a nuttier flavor and firmer texture compared to white rice. You can also try wild rice or quinoa. They’re both higher in fiber than white rice and are delicious on their own or combined with brown rice into a pilaf.
Eat a Salad as a Meal
One of our favorite ways to boost fiber and cut calories is to eat a salad that’s hearty enough to serve as a meal. Kickoff with a bed of flavorful greens such as arugula, kale or spinach. Add fresh veggies and top with a little vinaigrette. If you wish that you need much more protein, then you can top it off with cooked shrimp, chicken or salmon.
Try not to add too much fiber to your diet be sure not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. You may get side effects, for example, swelling, cramping, or gas. You can prevent these by increasing your fiber slowly. Each week just pick one or two ideas that you want to try and stick with those that you think work best for you. Hold up a few days or even a week before making another. Make sure to drink more liquids as you increase the amount of fiber you eat. Fluids help your body digest fiber. Try to drink 8 glasses a day. By adopting some of the strategies mentioned above, you can increase your fiber intake to optimal amounts.