Fiber Facts & How to Get More!

Studies from the American Dietetic Association suggest that most Americans don’t even come close to consuming the recommended 25g-38g of fiber each day. In fact, the average American consumes just 14g of fiber daily with most taking in less than that. Today, we’ll take a look at ways you can increase your fiber intake the natural way!

What is fiber?
Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body is unable to break down and digest. While eating a non-digestible substance may sound strange, eating fiber actually helps promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation.

There are two basic types of dietary fiber: Soluble fiber, which can help lower glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, and insoluble fiber which helps foods move properly through your digestive tract.

Why do we need it?
In addition to the digestive benefits, eating plenty of soluble fiber can reduce the risk of stroke as well as type 2 diabetes. Soluble fiber is also helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels and controlling blood sugar.

Insoluble fiber can aid in weight loss as well. High-fiber foods generally require more time to chew which, in turn, will give your body a bit more time to register that you’re no longer hungry. High-fiber meals also tend to make a meal feel larger and “stick to your ribs” a bit longer, so you’ll stay full for a greater amount of time.

How do I get more of it?
While supplements can be great resources for adding fiber to your diet, there are plenty of foods that do the job just as well! Here are some fiber-filled foods as well as some quick and easy ways to add fiber to your daily meals:

Almond butter (1g per tablespoon)
Asian pears (4g per pear)
Popcorn (8g per bag)

Orange it up. A single peeled orange has nearly 3g more fiber than even the pulpiest orange juice.

Add some flax. Sprinkle a little ground flaxseed over your cold cereal or into a cup of yogurt. Two tablespoons of flaxseed is an extra 2g of fiber.

Dress up your eggs. Add 1/2 cup of broccoli to an omelet for a 2g fiber boost.

Fiber in the spice rack. Oregano and basil each have 1g of fiber per teaspoon. If you’re having Italian for lunch, mushrooms will add an easy 1g as well.

Bean there, done that. Half a cup of beans lands you a whopping 6g of fiber! Consider beans as a substitute for meat in Mexican cuisine.

Don’t skip the sauerkraut. Every 1/4 cup of sauerkraut is good for 1g of fiber.

Chickpeas in the pot. Tossing in 1/2 cup of chickpeas to your soup or stew will add a good 6g of fiber to the dish.

Potato swap. Sweet potatoes have about 2g more fiber than a regular spud. Eat the skin of either for another 1g fiber boost.

Oats over crumbs. When you’re making your next meatloaf, use uncooked oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs for an 8g boost to the fiber count.