With the digital world and social media, so much information is readily available at the click of a few buttons. This has dramatically influenced food decisions too, with people having more knowledge about cruelty practices, organic feed, benefits of different diets, and more. People are taking the time to research about food and plan their diets out accordingly. While the talk of vegan and protein-based keto diets grabbing focus, the many health benefits of simple fiber may go overlooked.
Fiber is essential for healthy bodily functions. It reduces constipation and helps with weight maintenance. Some fiber types are prebiotic, and they promote healthy gut bacteria, leading to better digestive health. They also help in lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risks of diabetes and heart diseases.Most people in the current age are not getting enough fiber in their diet due to consuming processed food. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily fiber consumption of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Yet, the average American fiber consumption is only 16 grams per day. There is a good chance that you are not getting enough fiber in your diet. So, how can you increase your daily fiber intake?
Well, here are some easy ways to up your fiber consumption:
- Eat whole-food carbohydrates because fiber is a type of carb found in plant-based foods. Foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are whole-food carb sources.
- Include vegetables in your meals and eat them before the meal because you can increase your fiber consumption this way. Non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber.
- Eat popcorn as a snack because it is low in calories and contains over a gram of fiber per cup of popcorn.
- Another snack option is fruit because it tastes great and has fiber; fruits like pears, apples, and berries are high in fiber.
- An easy way to increase your daily fiber consumption is by switching refined grains with whole grains. With their germ and bran intact, whole grains contain more fiber than processed grains.
- Chia seeds are a great way to promote normal digestion because they deliver insoluble fiber. You can consume them by adding them to drinks and smoothies.
Fiber is vital to good gastrointestinal health, so it’s something you should definitely prioritize in your diet. Plus, increasing your fiber intake is easy – just start eating some of the fiber-rich foods we mentioned above.