By now, most of us know we should be eating more fiber. But in case you haven’t heard, here’s a quick primer on why dietary fiber is good for you:
Not only can it normalize bowel movements and relieve constipation, it can also control blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, lower so-called “bad” cholesterol levels, and help people maintain a healthy weight. These benefits can be found in plant-based foods such as legumes, whole grains, and fresh produce.
But a person can only eat so many beans before they start to question whether eating a high-fiber diet is actually worth it. So if you know you should be consuming more fiber but you’ve been resisting because of the flavor factor, take heart: You can have your daily fiber and enjoy it, too. Just turn to these six delicious sources.
For the most part, it’s smart to limit sugar consumption. But you can satisfy a sweet tooth the healthy way—and sneak in some extra fiber—with good old fresh fruit. Eat your favorite fruits out of hand or chop them up and add them to salads, cereal, oatmeal, pilafs, and so on. Pair fresh fruit with a few nuts for an additional fiber boost.
Many of us associate breading with deep-fried treats that veer pretty far off the “healthy” track. But a few creative swaps can up your fiber intake while allowing you to enjoy breading in a healthier way. Switch out regular breadcrumbs or flour and instead coat poultry or fish in whole-grain breadcrumbs, crushed nuts or whole grain cereal, or shredded wheat.
If you start to feel uncomfortably full after a few servings of raw veggies each day, why not try consuming those veggies in liquid form? EBOOST’s SPRUCE Energizing Whole Greens powder is a great-tasting, energizing source of fiber than can be added to water, milk, juice, protein shakes, or smoothies. Not only is it tasty, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than buying fresh-pressed veggie juice every day.
When it comes to fiber content, American food pales in comparison to many international cuisines. So treat your taste buds to something new and exciting—and increase your daily fiber intake in the process—by regularly experimenting with Mexican, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Dishes (to name a few). Think bean salads, tabbouleh, black bean burritos, and exotic grains such as triticale and amaranth.
Experiment with Fillings
Why consume one source of fiber when you could consume two? Cooked whole grains make great stuffing for bell peppers, halved fruits, lettuce wraps, meat dishes, and so on. Fill grilled nectarine halves with quinoa, dried fruit, and chopped nuts; stuff peppers with brown rice and ground meat and bake in the oven; or experiment with other whole-grain fillings that satisfy your taste buds.
Ditch the refined-flour cake and opt for whole-grain desserts instead. Turn black rice into pudding; mix millet together with honey, yogurt, and dried fruit; make cake batter out of quinoa; or swap in whole-grain flours in sweet bread recipes. There are endless ways to incorporate whole grains into your desserts so long as you’re willing to get a little creative in the kitchen.
Not only will implementing these ideas on a regular basis increase your fiber consumption, but it’ll also add diversity and flavor to your diet and make your kitchen a more exciting place to be.