When you consider that the average American only gets around 15 grams of fiber every day, you probably have some room for improvement, so here are some simple suggestions to help you increase your fiber intake:
- Eat more beans and nuts. Beans are easy to add to soups and stews; nuts can be tossed onto a salad and make a great snack.
- Keep frozen berries handy. They’re great for tossing into smoothies and on top of cereal.
- Eat whole-grain bread and pasta instead of white bread and semolina pasta.
- Eat a higher-fiber breakfast cereal. Look for one with at least 4 grams per serving and no added sugar. A lot of tasty choices qualify, not just the “Colon Blow” cereals.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, particularly if you eat the peel whenever possible. Think about having some apple slices with a little bit of peanut butter. What about blending in a banana with a smoothie or dipping one into some cocoa powder for a snack? Perhaps add some bell pepper slices, zucchini chunks, or onion onto a grill skewer? Bake a sweet potato instead of a white potato? Keeping cut-up veggies such as carrot sticks in the fridge makes it easy to have a fiber-rich snack. Adding veggies to pasta sauce boosts the fiber and adds flavor as well. If you don’t feel like munching on these for a snack, think about some popcorn instead.
Increase your fiber intake slowly over a period of a few weeks. This will allow your body time to adjust and avoid problems such as bloating and gas from adding too much fiber too quickly.