Fiber. You need it. You know that. What's a little harder is knowing how to get it. No need to transform your diet: there are plenty of ways to sneak a little extra good stuff into what you're already eating. Try a few of these ideas to up your fiber without losing any flavor (or fun).
- Dress up Your Oatmeal: If you're eating oatmeal you're already a step ahead. Oatmeal is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. But why not take it a step further? Add a tablespoon of flax seed for a few more grams of fiber and a dose of heart healthy Omega-3s. Or add some chia seeds for even more fiber than flax. Just sprinkle them on top of the oatmeal you make regularly and enjoy.
- Go for Avocado: There's no denying that avocado is a great source of fiber. Whether you use it as a creamy alternative to mayonnaise, mash it up into guacamole, or make up a slice of avocado toast, you're treating yourself to over 5 grams of fiber per avocado half. Add in plenty of healthy fats and you have a fruit that's worth its weight in gold.
- Swap Out Your Pasta: Refined pastas are not a great source of fiber. But does that mean spaghetti night is a no-go? No way. Check out alternative pastas like Banza (made from chickpeas) or Ancient Harvest (featuring lentils and quinoa). You'll still get the comfort of pasta, but without the blood sugar spike.
- Reach for Beets: Beets are an excellent source of fiber, and are easy to add to most meals. Just roast 'em up and serve. You'll also get tons of other nutrients, including Vitamin C, Folate, and Potassium. Not sure you're feeling like borscht today? No problem. Add beet root powder to your favorite smoothie for tons of the same benefits.
- Cook Up a Chili: Beans are an excellent way to get tons of fiber without much effort. In fact, a half cup of navy beans has a third of the daily recommended fiber intake for adults. And what better way to enjoy beans than in chili? You'll get fiber and plant-based protein from beans, plus the nutrition of any vegetables you add to the mix.
- Jazz Up Your Salad: If you're looking to eat more fiber, a salad is a great place to start. Greens and other vegetables are potent fiber and nutrient sources, but that's just the beginning. Add bulgur to your salad for a unique texture and 8 grams of added fiber. Depending on what your salad is made of, artichokes, beans, or nuts can all be an extra source of roughage - and flavor.
- Get Grainy: The standard American diet features plenty of wheat, but there's a whole world of whole grains out there to explore. Whole grains like barley, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and brown rice all bring plenty of fiber to the party. Or experiment with less well-known grains like Teff or Kamut. Variety is key, so don't be afraid to get creative and try something new.