What is all the fuss and bother about this thing called ‘fiber’? Well, bottom line, it is an incredibly important part of your daily diet and essential for your health. Simple.
Fiber, also referred to as roughage or bulk, supports the body to assist the effective functioning of the intestines by stimulating peristalsis, the movement of the muscles of the intestinal walls which helps keep you regular. It contains many helpful dietary substances including pectin, cellulose and ligni that play a significant role in helping our bodies process the food we eat in a healthier manner.1
Other health benefits include:
- Reduce the possibility of constipation.
- Lower cholesterol.
- Promote a healthy heart.
- Regulate blood sugar and lower risk of diabetes.
- Promote healthy gut bacteria and good intestinal health.
- Boost the feeling of satiety which may help with weight loss programs.
All this noted, people are not consuming enough fiber in their daily diet. So here, we list 7 simple ways to boost your fiber intake to help lead you towards a healthier new you!
Go to the Cinema or Sit on Your Couch!
Popcorn and the cinema go hand in hand, with bargain bucket deals being part of the whole cinema experience.
Not only is popcorn one of the healthiest ‘snack foods’ available, it is also packed with fiber.
Popcorn is a whole grain that provides both soluble and insoluble forms of fiber. A 3-cup serving provides 2 grams of dietary fiber which equates to 5.2% of the daily requirements for men, and 8% of the daily requirements for women. 2
Try make sure that the popcorn is air popped or microwave cooked for a healthier version.
In short: So next time you are at the movies, make sure that you opt to go large!.
Consume Whole Fruits And Veggies
Advocates of juicing are not shy to sing the wonderful benefits that juicing has to offer, neither are we. A healthy natural juice can do wonders for the body.
Of course juice has its place, however, the fruits and vegetables are stipped of fiber and contain a lot of sugar. Great for getting your daily dose of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients but not so good for your daily fiber requirements.
If you are an avid juicer, the advice we can give you is this. Make sure that you balance your diet with some wholesome fruits and veggies to make sure that your daily requirement of fiber is fulfilled.
In short: For more fiber and less sugar, switch-up the juice for a whole piece of fruit or vegetable.
Bulk Up Your Bulk with Carbs
Whole-food carbohydrate sources all naturally contain a large measure of fiber, but you have got to choose the right ones.
Many types of carbs work to break down into sugar, but those high in fiber stay intact as it works its way through your digestive system aiding the digestive process and promoting feelings of satiety.
Healthy fiber is found in many plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes.
In short: Select healthy fiber carbs to optimize your health!
Ole Ole! Bring on the Guacamole!
For a very healthy, nutritious fruit look no further than the amazing avocado. Sealed inside its ugly rotund shell is a host of delicious and healthy nutritional benefits.
The rich, creamy flesh is packed with both monounsaturated fatty acids as well as lots of fiber.
In fact, one avocado delivers 10 grams of fiber. 3
They are such a versatile fruit comfortably being added to salads, shakes or simply using the flesh as a spread on fresh bread.
In short: However you use it, just make sure that you do use it! Spread, peeled, mashed, cubed – whatever, avocados are a fantastic way to include fiber in your diet.
Sprinkle Chia Seeds
What seeds? It is only recently that chia seeds have become recognised as the amazing nutritional superfood that they are.
Inside these minute seed pods are a vast array of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, in addition to 10 grams of fiber in only 2 tablespoons.4
There are some other examples of seeds that can be considered as a smart choice for huge nutritional benefits which include flax, sesame, linseed and hemp. They are easy to sprinkle on salads or blend in with your fruit smoothies and they provide excellent benefits for lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function, to name but a few.
In short: For a natural fiber boost, try making your own healthy ‘trail mix’ by mixing various nuts and seeds together for a healthy snack during the day.
Use High-Fiber Flour For Baking
Home baking has never really gone out of fashion and is a healthy option for tasty baked treats. For extra nutrition look for ‘healthy’ flours that are perhaps organic and more natural to use in your recipes.
In short, white flour has much more of the good stuff taken out and contains less fiber. Whole-wheat flour contains almost three times as much fiber than its white doppelganger. For example, 1/2 cup of white flour contains 1.3 grams of fiber, while an equal serving of whole-wheat flour contains 6.4 grams.5
There are some alternative flours that provide even higher fiber contents. Baking with coconut flour is a great way to add protein, fiber and fat, making it a great healthy alternative for those delicious muffin and cake recipes. Research on this very functional food has shown that coconut flour is a good source of dietary fiber with some great health benefits. Just 2 tablespoons of coconut flour contains 10.5 grams of fiber.6
In short: Not only are alternative types of flour very healthy, they are actually much more tasty also.
Take a Supplement to “Supplement” Your Fiber
If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, an organic, vegetarian fiber supplement is one of the healthiest and quickest ways to get more fiber. You can take it in powder form, pill form, or even in a shake.
Companies like Consumer Advisor’s can point you in the right direction as to which supplements are safe and effective. Don’t be afraid to supplement your fiber intake. There are healthy options available.
In short: For a steady fiber intake, try a supplement to make sure you get the right amount of fiber you need.
To Sum Up…..
Fiber is essential for good health. However, if you are like most adults, you’re not eating enough and need to add more to your daily diet. The secret is to make sure you add fiber in healthy ways for optimum benefit.
We hope that some of the above suggestions will help you increase your fiber intake more easily to bring a healthier balance and renewed energy. Give your body what it needs and it won’t let you down!
Jenny Michelle is a blogger, writer, and content creator at AuthorityReports. She has been passionate about health, nutrition and sports since a young age. She is a firm believer that a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet combined is key to live a long and a happy life. Previously, Jenny worked as a content writer for a Marketing company.