2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:54
16 ways to increase the amount of fiber in your diet
Fiber should be present in the menu in sufficient quantities. It helps to normalize the digestive tract, get rid of constipation and excess weight. Indigestible fiber, which is regularly supplied with food, is an excellent prevention of diabetes and heart disease. Fiber helps lower blood cholesterol levels. It acts as a natural prebiotic to promote a healthy gut microbiome.
The daily rate of fiber for women is 25 g, and for men - 38 g. In reality, adults receive it 2 times less - about 16 g per day. You can fix the situation if you follow the simple recommendations given in the article.
- Eat Whole Foods
- Include vegetables in your meals
- Popcorn is rich in fiber
- Choose fruits consciously
- Eat whole grains
- Use dietary fiber supplements
- Use flax seeds and chia seeds
- Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of juice
- Add avocado to your diet
- Nuts and seeds are good for snacks
- Eat baked goods made with whole grain flour
- Don't forget the berries
- Legumes are a great alternative to meat
- Do not peel vegetables and fruits
- Store-bought yogurts and cereal bars
- Add fiber foods to breakfast, lunch, and dinner
1. Eat whole foods
Fiber is a source of carbohydrates that enter the body through plant foods. Simple carbohydrates are broken down by cells to sugars, but they cannot break down fiber into molecules. It passes through the digestive tract unchanged. As a result, the person feels full longer. After eating such food, there is no jump in blood sugar levels.
You can get whole carbs from grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
2. Include vegetables in your meals
To prevent the body from experiencing a deficiency in plant fibers, there should be a lot of vegetables on the menu. Their beneficial properties:
- Reduces blood cholesterol levels.
- Contains few calories.
- They are a source of vitamins and minerals.
It is better to eat vegetables before meals, which has been experimentally proven. A group of women were asked to eat a vegetable salad first, and then other dishes. As a result, they began to consume 23% more vegetables with each meal . In parallel, the total calorie intake of foods eaten during the day decreased.
3. Popcorn is rich in fiber
Popcorn, which is essentially a whole grain, can be used as a snack to boost your daily fiber intake. 3 cups of air grains contains about 4 g.
4. Choose fruit consciously
Fruit is a delicious and healthy snack. To get the most fiber out of them, you need to choose pears, apples or berries. For comparison, a small pear of plant fibers contains 5 g, and a cup of chopped watermelon contains 1 g, so the choice must be made consciously.
For a nutritious snack, you can supplement it with protein such as cheese or peanut butter.
5. Eat whole grains
Whole grains undergo minimal processing, so they contain many times more fiber. Peeled grains contain less of it. These foods have a longer shelf life, but lack nutrients and are a source of fast carbohydrates.
Therefore, it is recommended to include whole grains in the diet, including:
- Brown rice.
- Wheat grains.
- Frike (farik) - young wheat groats.
6. Use dietary fiber supplements
If the body receives fiber from food, this is ideal, but it is not always feasible in real life. Therefore, it is possible to increase the amount of plant fiber in the diet with the help of food additives.
Scientists have found that supplements such as:
- Guar fiber. It promotes quick satiety, allows you to reduce the daily calorie intake.
- Psyllium is the main component of metamucil (a fiber used to relieve constipation). Its inclusion in the diet helps to suppress the feeling of hunger, which has been experimentally confirmed .
- Beta glucans. They are found in barley and oats. Once in the intestine, beta-glucans ferment, act as a prebiotic and improve the intestinal microflora.
- Glucomannan. It is found in some dairy products with 0% fat, and also acts as a base for shirataki. Its inclusion in the diet can reduce appetite and accelerate the onset of satiety.
Supplements should only be taken if the menu is truly fiber-deprived. Otherwise, they will provoke flatulence and intestinal discomfort. To reduce bloating, drink less water.
Fiber can slow the absorption of some drugs, so supplements are taken one hour before or 4 hours after taking the drugs.
7. Use flaxseeds and chia seeds
The benefits of chia seeds and flax seeds are obvious. In addition to 11 g of fiber for every 28 g of food, they contain proteins, minerals, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Plant fibers from chia seeds heal the gastrointestinal tract and promote proper rectal function. Their use in food is an excellent prevention of diabetes.
In addition to chia seeds, you can include flaxseed, sesame and hemp seeds in the diet.
8. Eat fruits and vegetables whole, instead of juice from them
Any juices, even fresh juices, contain more sugars than fiber. Therefore, the priority on the menu should be given to whole vegetables and fruits.
9. Add avocados to your diet
Avocados are a source of unsaturated fatty acids and fiber. Half of the fruit contains about 5 g. In addition, avocado is good for the heart. It can be consumed neat, added to salads, used instead of oil, and more.
10. Nuts and seeds are good for snacks
Seeds and nuts are sources of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. 28 g of almonds contain 3 g of dietary fiber, as well as magnesium and vitamin E that the body needs.
Seeds and nuts have an impressive shelf life, they do not require special storage conditions, they are convenient to take with you as a light snack or add to various dishes.
11. Eat whole grain baked goods
For baking, you need to use not regular, but whole grain flour. This will make the usual muffins and pies not only tastier, but also healthier. Wheat flour can be substituted with chickpea, barley, hazelnut, or almond flour. For example, 28 grams of coconut flour contains 11 grams of fiber.
12. Don't forget about berries
Record holders for fiber content among berries:
They contain not only plant fibers, but also many vitamins, so berries can be consumed both fresh and added to cereals, yoghurts and other dishes.
13. Legumes are a great alternative to meat
To enrich your diet with fiber and plant protein, you need to include beans, peas and lentils. One cup of boiled beans is enough to cover 75% of the body's daily fiber requirement.
Legumes are a great alternative to fatty meats. To reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and increase life expectancy, it is enough to eat a portion of peas or chickpeas several times a week instead of meat.
Simple ways to increase the fiber in your diet with legumes:
- Prepare sauces from them, such as hummus.
- Add them to minced meat.
- Sprinkle them over salads.
14. Do not peel vegetables and fruits
Peeling the peel from fruits and vegetables, a person deprives himself of 50% of fiber with his own hands. For comparison, one apple or sweet potato with the skin contains 4 g of dietary fiber, and without it - 2 g. One whole cucumber provides 2 g of fiber, 1 g of which is contained in the skin.
15. Store-bought yoghurts and cereal bars
Even store-bought processed foods can be a source of fiber. To choose the food that contains the most plant fiber, you just need to carefully study the label. They can be found in sufficient quantities in muesli bars, yoghurts and cereals. The presence of fiber in them will be indicated by components such as inulin and polydextrose.
If the amount of fiber per serving is at least 2.5 g, that's a good indicator.
16. Add fiber foods to breakfast, lunch and dinner
Eating the entire daily intake of fiber at one time is problematic. Therefore, this amount must be evenly distributed and eaten throughout the day, during each approach to the table.
An example of a rational menu:
- Breakfast: oatmeal with berries and seeds.
- Snack: Vegetables with legume-based sauce or fruit with nut butter.
- Lunch: salad or a sandwich with whole grain bread.
- Dinner: beans, vegetables, stewed or baked.
There can be many options, because the list of foods rich in fiber is extensive and varied.
The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist
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