The Key to Improved Digestion Convenience tends to rule the fast-paced American lifestyle, leading many people to choose fast food and dinner-in-a-box on a regular basis. as a result, the majority of Americans don’t eat enough fiber, according to the National institutes of Health.
Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps regulate the digestive system. Some studies have also linked adequate fiber intake to lower risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and certain cancers, and it may even aid in weight loss.
“Fiber has exceptional health benefits that can reduce the likelihood of people developing many health problems,” explains Melissa Allen, R.D., L.D., dietitian at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman. “Fiber is primarily found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”
Another great benefit of fiber is that it helps you feel full or satisfied longer after each meal. Fiber-rich foods add mass or volume to a meal or snack without packing on the calories.
These simple adjustments can help you incorporate more fiber into your everyday diet.
• Jump-start your morning. Eating a breakfast high in fiber is a great way to begin each day. You can make it easy on yourself by
choosing cereals, for example, that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (although many cereals now contain more than
• Pack a fiber-rich snack. In case you get the afternoon munchies, having a fiber-enriched snack can help curb your hunger later. Choose snacks that are easy to store, grab and eat on the go, such as apples, pears or or snack-size bags of almonds.
• Bring on the beans. Beans, an excellent source of fiber, are versatile and available in a wide assortment. Consider adding beans to a variety of dishes, such as tacos, soups, casseroles or salads, for an extra dose of fiber.
Want to add more fiber to your diet? The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine recommends men should eat approximately 38 grams of fiber each day while women should consume around 25 grams. Here are some foods that can help you reach your daily fiber intake goals.
• Almonds (24 nuts = 3.3 grams)
• Apples (one = 3.3 grams)
• Black beans (1 cup = 15 grams)
• Blueberries (1 cup = 3.5 grams)
• Lentils (1 cup = 15.6 grams)
• Pears (one = 5.1 grams)
• Peas (1 cup = 8.8 grams)
• Popcorn, air-popped (3 cups = 3.6 grams)
Find healthy and delicious new recipes to incorporate into your diet at TexasHealth.org/Recipes.