If you want to improve your health, eating more fiber is a great way to do it. This could involve researching recipes for healthy biscuits and cookies or changing up what you have for breakfast. In exchange for a few small changes, you can enjoy a wide range of health benefits. In this article, we will discuss 7 different ways to add more fiber to your diet.
What is fiber and what are the health benefits?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest, so it passes through the digestive system relatively unchanged. It is found in plants, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance. This type of fiber slows digestion and can help regulate blood sugar. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps bulk stools.
The health benefits of consuming both types of fiber include:
- improved digestion, regularity and bowel function
- lower cholesterol levels
- increased feeling of fullness, which can help with weight management
- this reduces the risk of heart diseasestroke and some types of cancer
1. Have oatmeal for breakfast
Oatmeal is a type of coarse flour made from oat groats that have been shelled and steel cut or ground. It is usually boiled in water or milk and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Its high fiber content keeps you feeling full longer, reducing the temptation to fill up on unhealthy snacks later in the morning.
You can also try adding fruits or vegetables to your oatmeal for extra fiber. Oatmeal can also be baked to make oatmeal cakes, granola bars, cookies, and other treats. If you visit specialized websites for buy oat flakes online you can find out more about what it is, how to cook it, and why it’s good for you. You can choose between coarse steel cut oatmeal or fine/medium stone ground oatmeal.
2. Eat fiber-rich snacks
Unhealthy snacks are usually high in calories, fat and sugar and low in nutrients. Examples of fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and cereals, legumes, and nuts.
Eating more fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. It can also help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight.
Here are some specific examples of high fiber snacks:
- An almond butter apple
- A pear
- A cup of raspberries
- A carrot with hummus
- A handful of almonds
- A slice of whole grain bread with avocado toast
- Half a cucumber sliced and topped with Greek yogurt and chia seeds
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a perfect source of fiber. Some key examples include apples, pears, oranges, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, prunes, apricots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Here are some meal ideas that incorporate some of these elements:
- Slices of apple or pear with peanut butter or almond butter
- Banana with oats or granola
- Strawberry smoothie or shake
- Raspberry chia pudding
- Blackberry avocado toast or salad garnish
- Blueberry muffins or pancakes
- Cranberry sauce or relish
- Dried apricots as a snack or in oatmeal or yogurt
- Broccoli roasted in olive oil and garlic
- Salad or Brussels sprout salad
4. Eat healthy soups
A good example is minestrone soup. This classic Italian meal includes a variety of vegetables, beans, and pasta, all of which are great sources of fiber. Another delicious and nutritious soup is black bean soup. Black beans are not only a good source of fiber, but they are also packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Other soups to consider include:
- Lentil soup
- chickpea soup
- vegetable soup
- Split pea soup
5. Prepare a salad rich in fiber
Another easy way to incorporate more fiber into your diet is to make a salad for lunch or dinner. Start with dark leafy greens like spinach or kale. Then add other vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and peppers.
For even more fiber, add a cup of cooked lentils or black beans. Top it all off with a healthy dressing and you have a fiber-rich meal that’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Some other salads to consider include:
- Quinoa and black bean salad
- Kale and Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Lentil and feta salad
- Chickpea and avocado salad
6. Switch to brown rice
White rice is a refined grain and does not contain as many nutrients as brown rice. It is also stripped of its fiber content. Brown rice, on the other hand, is a whole grain and an excellent source of fiber. It usually provides 1.8g more fiber than a comparable amount of white rice. Here are some meals to choose from that can use brown rice:
- milk rice
- rice and beans
- jumped up
To cook brown rice, you have to simmer it longer than white rice, but the nutritional benefits are worth it. It has a fluffier texture than white rice, so some people prefer to mix the two together. You can also try other types of brown rice like black or wild rice.
7. Switch to wholemeal bread
The problem with white bread is that it is made from refined flour, which has had its bran and germ removed. This process not only removes many nutrients, but also leaves the flour less fibrous. Wholemeal bread, on the other hand, is made from whole wheat flour which includes the bran and germ (with all its benefits).
Here are some meals you can eat with wholemeal bread:
- Whole grain toast with avocado and egg
- Whole grain sandwich with chicken, salad and cheese
- Whole grain wrap with falafel, tzatziki and lettuce
The information given above clearly shows that anyone will be able to find something that appeals to them when they want to increase their fiber intake. You can include it in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as in your snacks. Besides enjoying the many tastes and flavors, you will be happy to know that it benefits both your body and your health.