ANKENY, Iowa — Reaching the recommended 25 to 30 grams of daily fiber should be on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Although fiber is typically associated with healthy digestion (ahem, regularity), it actually hosts a whole slew of health benefits. Fiber aids in weight management, blood sugar regulation, healthy cholesterol, and it may even help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Try these five easy ways to add more fiber to your day.
Beans are high in fiber and mild in flavor, so you can add them to almost any dish to boost fiber and plant-based protein. Not sure which beans to try? Turn to page 18 for more on the health benefits of beans!
Eat the entire fruit or vegetable
The edible skin of fruits and vegetables contains fiber and antioxidants, so think twice before you peel. While not all skins are edible, the skins of apples, cucumbers, potatoes, kiwis and pears (just to name a few) can all be safely enjoyed for more nutrients and less food waste.
Choose whole grains
Whole grain breads, pastas and cereals contain the fiber-rich bran that most refined carbohydrates are missing. To make sure you’re getting whole grain-goodness, always check the ingredients. A product’s main ingredient should say “whole” or “100%” under the nutrition facts panel.
Minced, pureed, spiralized or sautéed vegetables can be hidden almost anywhere to boost fiber—out of sight, but not out of your digestive system. Try pureeing cauliflower to add to potatoes, sautéing finely minced mushrooms for tacos or spiralizing zucchini to mix with pasta.
Sprinkle on chia seeds
Don’t be food by chia seeds’ tiny size—they pack a healthy punch. In fact, one serving (about 2 tablespoons) provides 11 grams of fiber, almost half of your daily needs! Chia seeds are virtually flavorless and don’t require any cooking or grinding, which means you can sprinkle them on everything from yogurt to vegetables.