10 simple ways to add this heart-healthy, weight-loss-friendly nutrient to your diet.
We’re consistently told that we need fiber for optimal health—about 30 grams a day. And, we consistently fall short. Most of us get about half that amount. Here are 10 ways to add fiber to your diet—deliciously.
- Don’t peel fruits and vegetables. Buy unwaxed, organic produce at the farmer’s market or scrub produce with a clean produce brush under running water. Leaving the skin on can more than double the fiber content of some fruits and vegetables, and it boosts nutrient content, too.
- Buy only breads, cereals, pastas, snacks and baked goods that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Check labels.
- If you bake, add fiber by substituting ¼ to ½ of the white flour with whole wheat. Whole wheat flour has 14 grams of fiber per cup; white flour, only 3 grams.
- If you like chocolate, try making Chocolate Prune Brownies or Chocolate Black Bean Brownies for a blast of fiber. (Some recipes have both.) Look online for a recipe that suits you.
- Make a “creamy” minestrone or tomato soup by adding pureed white beans. Add about ¼ cup of pureed beans per serving of soup (for 3 grams of fiber) or one 15-ounce can to a typical 4-serving soup recipe.
- Add powdered soluble fiber such as Benefiber to drinks and just about anything else. Two teaspoons have 3 grams of fiber.
- Add pureed cooked carrots to meatloaf, spaghetti sauce or canned soups. Red Mountain Resort Executive Chef Dale Van Sky even adds cooked carrot puree to natural peanut butter to boost fiber and nutrients and add sweetness. He uses 2/3 carrots to 1/3 peanut butter.
- Make a fiber-full smoothie by using frozen blueberries (1 cup has 5 grams of fiber) instead of ice.
- Learn to make dahl —Indian-style lentils. One cup of cooked lentils has 15 grams of fiber, half your day’s requirement.
- Make popcorn into a sweet treat. Drizzle three cups of air-popped kernels with one tablespoon each of maple syrup and melted butter for 3.5 grams of fiber.