How To Add More Fiber To Every Meal Of The Day
Getting enough fiber in your day is important for optimal health and digestion. The ADA recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day, so make fiber a must-have ingredient in your daily routine. High fiber meal choices can taste surprisingly good, and can easily enjoyed at home, at the office, or on the go.
They may also lower your cholesterol, control blood sugar and aid in weight loss by making you feel full faster and longer, according to MayoClinic.com.
The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, which include:
Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. For some, fiber may provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
Helps clean you out. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
Lowers blood cholesterol levels and colon cancer. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Epidemiologic studies have shown that increased fiber in the diet can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which is also protective to heart health.
Helps control blood sugar levels. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar levels. A diet that includes insoluble fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Aids in weight loss. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
How to Add More Fiber To Your Everyday Meals
Many breakfasts today, particularly instant options made for people running to work or school, incorporate high-fiber.
Bread. An obvious choice many people make when they want a high fiber breakfast is to include wheat bread. But, is this always the best choice? It all depends on the bread you buy. For example, if you simply buy wheat bread, it may not be high in fiber. The key is to look for whole wheat bread. Check the ingredients label, the first ingredient should whole wheat flour. If it says refined wheat flour, look for another brand. Look for brands that have at least 4 grams for two slices.
Fruit. Next, you should add fruit to your breakfast. But, not all fruits are high-fiber. Pears are a great choice though. A pear has around 5 grams of fiber. Go online and check to see how much fiber your favorite fruit has. Of course, if you don’t care for fruit at breakfast time, you could always have a vegetable-filled omelet for breakfast.
Potatoes. Another great choice for breakfast is potatoes. One potato has around 5 grams of fiber. The key is to leave the skin on the potato. For example, roast the potatoes in a bit of olive oil and seasonings. This will not only add fiber to your breakfast, but it’s a healthy choice all around.
Alcoholic Drinks. Yes, alcoholic drinks can be healthy too. So if you’re going out for drinks, try a Sangria. Sangria ingredients may include: red wine, lemon, cut oranges, lime, sugar, orange juice, gin, triple sec, apples, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, etc. Specifically if your sangria includes raspberries (many do), they are in the top ten fruits and vegetables highest in polyphenol antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory ingredients include anthocyanins that improve eyesight and memory.
They also contain a ton of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. They have been linked to cardiovascular and neurological health and may help prevent cancer. Strawberries, which are also a staple in sangria, have a hefty dose of vitamin C, strawberries contain a ton of potassium and fiber.