10 Ways to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

digestion nutrition Jun 12, 2017

You’ve probably heard that you need to eat more fiber but you may not even know where to start. How much do you need? What foods have fiber? What is fiber? There’s so much to know! Let me help clarify things for you:

What Does Fiber Do?

  • Decreases blood cholesterol, slows glucose absorption (keeping blood sugar lower)
  • Eliminates waste products
  • Keeps the “trains” running on time. Just make sure that you drink plenty of water with your increased fiber load or you’ll end up even more constipated. Think of what happens when you put only a bit of water into cement- it forms a giant, solid plug. Fiber is the same way. Thin it out with lots of water!

Types of Fiber:

  • Soluble Fiber: Dissolves in water, broken down in digestion/absorbed (eg. Legumes, fruit, vegetables)
  • Insoluble Fiber: Attracts water, adds bulk to the stool (Eg. Bran, beans, flax)

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

  • Men: 38g/day
  • Women: 25g/day
  • Many people only get less than 10g/day (That’s not very much!)

Good Sources of Fiber:

  1. Flax Seed– this stuff is easy to sneak into just about anything. Just ask my husband. Actually, don’t. He has no idea what I sneak this into and I don’t want him being even more suspicious than he already is.
  2. Chia Seed– plump up these babies with some water before you eat them. They go great in smoothies, sauces and work great as a thickening agent.
  3. Hemp Seed– has a bit more substance than flax and chia, but tastes great on salads or sprinkled on top of veggies. I also love hemp seed and coconut on fresh pineapple. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts!
  4. Oatmeal– not the instant kind either! This is the stuff that you need to cook in a pot because it has much more fiber than the quick stuff
  5. Nuts– any kind of nuts with their skin on will work. Try soaking your nuts overnight to make them easier to digest.
  6. Beans– the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot! Just like nuts, beans are easier to digest when you soak them. If you are buying canned beans, try to find unsalted ones and rinse them really well.
  7. Berries– all those tiny seeds help to keep things moving along, eat lots of different types of berries to keep things interesting, plus you’ll be getting a rich supply of antioxidants
  8. Apples– make sure that you eat them with the skin on (after washing them really well!). The skin is where the fiber-goodness lives, make sure you don’t cut it off
  9. Artichokes– yup, those weird spiny things you don’t know what to do with. They pack more fibrous punch than most other veggies, so try out some new recipes and include them into your diet more often.
  10. Bran– with so many people being gluten-sensitive these days I’m hesitant to recommend this one, but it does have so much fiber in it. Try alternative bran sources like corn bran that have even a higher fiber content than wheat bran.

Have fun sneaking extra fiber into your family members diet! But don’t tell them your secrets!

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