Fiber—you know it's good for you. But if you're like many Americans, you don't get enough. In fact, most of us get less than half the recommended amount of fiber each day. Here's a few suggestions on how you can get more fiber in your diet.
- Bulk up your breakfast. Choose a high-fiber cereal (5 or more grams per serving) or make a bowl of oatmeal and top it with nuts and fruit.
- Switch to whole grains. Look for bread that lists whole-grain flour as the first ingredient. Experiment with barley, wild or brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta and bulgur.
- Add a vegetable. Keep a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, spinach or broccoli florets for a quick addition to any pasta sauce or rice dish. Start dinners with a tossed salad.
- Don't forget legumes. Try peas, different kinds of beans (pinto, kidney, lima, navy and garbanzo) and lentils.
- Snack on fruit, nuts and seeds.Grab a piece of fruit such as an apple, pear or banana. Keep some almonds, sunflower seeds and pistachios handy. Low-fat popcorn or sliced vegetables and hummus also make a great snack.
The bottom line is that most of us need to fit more fiber into our day, no matter what its source. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts to add a mix of different fibers and a wide range of nutrients to your diet. A fiber-rich diet can help your health in many ways.