Are you eating the American Heart Association’s recommended 30 grams of fiber a day? Increased fiber intake is associated with a reduction in hunger, a reduction in body weight, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lowered risk of developing diseases   . Here are 11 ways you can adjust your nutrition to get more fiber in your diet.
Use Ground Flax Seed
I’ve started putting this stuff in everything. Ground flax seed has 4 grams of fiber in a 2 tablespoon serving. In addition to fiber, it’s packed with essential omega 3 fatty acids. Try sprinkling the flax on top of your salads, or you could add it to your smoothies and shakes.
Sneak in the Spinach
Spinach is my go-to veggie of choice for getting more diet. It’s just too easy to add it to everything. I use it as the base to my salads, but you can also sneak it into your food.
I add it to all of my protein smoothies. I just grab a handful and blend it up. The great thing is that you can’t taste the spinach. Other than the slight green color change to the liquid, you wouldn’t even know the spinach is in there. I also like to add it to my omelets.
Veggies are Your Friend
Most people associate veggies with bad-tasting, flavorless food. That’s too bad, because you can practically eat them to your heart’s (stomach’s) content without worrying about weight gain. They’re just too calorie sparse and bulky to overeat.
Choose Whole Grain
Most people already know to choose whole grain foods over their more processed white alternatives. Whole grains are made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm.
The more refined grain like white bread and white rice remove the bran and the germ. In doing so, it strips the food of fiber and nutrition. Keeping all 3 parts of the grain intact helps keep blood sugar levels under control, and provides your body with more fiber and nutrition.
Eat Your Beans
Beans are a vegetarian favorite, and a very easy way to get more fiber in your diet. As a food group, legumes have more fiber per serving than any other food.
In addition, they are very low-glycemic, which keeps insulin levels lower for more efficient fat burning. If that wasn’t enough, they are also packed with protein – the highest plant-based protein source available. No need to eat beans plain either. You can make some hummus or an edamame dip.
Pick a Better Flour
Not all flour is created equal. While white flour was once (still?) the most popular flour used, you now have several better options to choose from – all of which have more fiber. Whole wheat flour, oat flour, almond meal, and flax meal can all be used to get more fiber in your diet.
Include Some Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are low-carb favorites, and they have a good amount of fiber in them. They also have protein and a high amount of essential omega 3 fatty acids if you pick the right ones.
Walnuts, flax seed, chia seeds, butternuts, beechnuts, pecans, and pine nuts all have a good amount of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Add them to your salads, your protein shakes, or make your own nut butters.
Make Homemade Protein Bars
Sometimes combining several high fiber foods together can make a convenient, high protein, on-the-go snack. Mixing together banana, oatmeal, flax seed, peanut butter, and cacao with some other ingredients can net you a great tasting, high-fiber, homemade protein bar.
Enjoy Some Cocoa Powder
Many people don’t realize this, but cocoa powder is almost all fiber. Besides the many benefits of cacao, it also gives everything a nice chocolate flavor.
Don’t go adding a bunch of sugar to it though. You can still get that sweet chocolate taste by sweetening it naturally with fruit. Add a scoop to your protein smoothies, or even makes some healthy ice cream with nothing other than whipped bananas and cocoa powder (you can add some all natural peanut butter too).
Don’t Remove the Skin
Are you peeling your fruit and potatoes? Drinking fruit juice instead of eating fruit? Don’t. The skin has all the fiber, and it’s also loaded with all those healthy antioxidants.
Keep the skin on your apples and dip them in some peanut butter. Leave the skin on when you cut up your potatoes to make some baked chipotle sweet potato fries. Use whole fruit to make your smoothies.
Spice Up Your Food
Did you know that your favorite spices have fiber in them? While not packed with the same amount of fiber as veggies or other foods, spices still add fiber to your food without the addition of very many extra calories.
Spices like cinnamon, oregano, basil, garlic, and onion all have fiber. Always get the whole food variety over the powder when possible.