Fiber plays a paramount role in a healthy digestive system. It helps our bodies digest food more quickly and makes it easier to get rid of body wastes. Also since our bodies cannot digest fiber, it makes us feel full longer.
How to get more fiber in your diet
Fruits and vegetables
Juicing these can be an excellent way to incorporate more fresh produce into your diet but often the wasted pulp is where much of the fiber is. Another alternative is to use a blender to make smoothies. You can make “green smoothies” that use juice, ice, leafy greens, and any combinations of fruits and vegetables as a way to drink several servings offruits and vegetables every day while still keeping all of the fiber.
Dairy based smoothies can be made with low-fat, natural milk or yogurt if you cannot stomach the idea of green smoothies. Remember to use whole foods and limit chemicals and refined sugars in your smoothies. Try and use natural fruit juice, raw sugar, or natural sweeteners to sweeten your smoothies if you need to.
High fiber breakfast
Rolled oats, whole grain cereals, an apple and other fruits, and nuts are all foods that can kick start your digestive system in the morning. Use high fiber foods as snacks. Rather than a candy bar, pack an apple or carrots sticks into your lunch. Throw in a serving of nuts or fiber rich seeds for a late afternoon snack to get you through the day.
Cook with fruits and vegetables
Raw produce is best for fiber and antioxidants but cooked is better than nothing. Learning how to use more fruits and vegetables will allow you to have more variety and stick to a healthy diet. Produce also has the added benefit of generally being cheaper than meat.
Eat a lot of beans. Canned beans can be expensive and are usually very high in sodium. Learning how to soak and hydrate dry beans can be a healthier and cheaper alternative. They are good for your heart, low in fat, high in fiber, and are as filling as any starch you would usually eat. They can be a great addition to soups, salads, sauces, or other meals.
Eating whole foods which are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while eliminating processed foods, refined sugars, artificial chemicals, and unhealthy fats can help you increase fiber and improve your overall health.