Fiber does more than merely help with digestion. It's an important nutrient that in many ways helps our bodies.
Fiber is also important for heart health, as well as helping food make its way through our digestive tract; it stabilizes blood sugar levels, supports a healthy gut microbiome, and reduces our risk for colon cancer and some chronic diseases.
If you're like most people wondering how you're going to double your fiber intake, you'll find it's not that hard actually.
Make it a part of your breakfast
It is the main meal of the day, right? So why not make it a nutritious fiber-filled breakfast. Oatmeal is one of the easiest ways of consuming fiber. Oats themselves are packed with soluble fiber but throw in some berries, chia seeds, nuts, or flaxseeds, and you just stepped it up.
Other ways to add fiber to your breakfast include adding a variety of chopped vegetables to scrambled eggs or breakfast burrito, toping some whole-wheat toast with avocado, or pouring a bowl of high-fiber cereal like granola or wheat bran.
Avoid fruit juices, eat fruit instead
Usually, fruit juice removes the plant fiber leaving you with little, if any, fiber in your fruit juice. Juice often contains much more sugar (though naturally occurring sugar) than you can usually find in an entire fruit. This is because producing 1 cup of juice needs a lot more fruit compared to consuming 1 cup of whole fruit. It takes about four medium oranges, for example, to produce 8 ounces of orange juice.
You wouldn't usually sit down and eat four whole oranges in one sitting, but a glass of orange juice in one sitting could certainly be slurped. Choose the whole fruit over fruit juice when you can to get the most nutritious bang to your buck.
Snack on fiber
Instead of getting a bag of potato chips, get some sliced vegetables and dip them into some hummus. Both the veggie sticks and the hummus have dietary fiber to keep you feeling satisfied before your next meal. Other high fiber snacks include energy bites, trail mix, popcorn, fresh fruit, and whole-grain crackers.
Bring it to your smoothies
Enjoy a smoothie full of fiber without even noticing it. It may sound odd, but in a smoothie, vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and leafy greens work well with fruit and yogurt.
If you're not too big on adding all the vegetables to your smoothie yet, for a boost of fiber, you might mix in nuts, avocado, chia seeds, bananas, and rolled oats.