So we all know that fiber is good for us, right? Sources range from all kinds of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and grains. There are studies showing it reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, promotes weight loss, boosts metabolism, reduces risk of colon cancer, keeps you “regular”, reduces cholesterol, can help control blood sugar levels, and can promote a healthy gut by “feeding” the good bacteria in your intestines. In fact, there is a lot of research right now linking your gut health with chronic diseases related to inflammation and depression. I will delve into that more another day!
For now, back to fiber, the magical substance in a variety of foods that our bodies are not capable of breaking down. It is typically in the form of cellulose, lignans, or pectins, but whether it is soluble or insoluble fiber, our body exerts energy trying to break these foods down in our digestive tract. How cool is that? You get to eat food AND burn calories at the same time by making your body work to digest it. So how much do we need, and how do we know were getting enough of it daily? The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for women is 25-35g/day and for men is 30-38g/day. The average American only eats 17 grams per day!!! Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:
1. Add flaxseed meal and/or chia seeds to your oatmeal, salads, smoothies, yogurt, basically anything!
One tablespoon of flaxseed meal = 2g/fiber and one tablespoon of chia seeds = 4g/fiber. You can purchase chia seeds and flaxseed meal at fry’s, Safeway, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. Here is a link to my delicious and SUPER EASY Chia Seed Pudding recipe. And another link to my ALL TIME FAVORITE SNACK: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Fiber Balls. You can thank me later 😋
2. GG’s Crackers
These little crackers are kind of amazing. By themselves, they are very plain and resemble cardboard, but if your toppings are delicious they make for a fantastic snack! If you pair 3 crackers with 1/2 a mashed avocado, (my favorite) you get a whopping 18 GRAMS OF FIBER! Each cracker is 4 grams of fiber and only 20 calories (half an avocado ~6g/fiber, depending on size). They are called the “appetite control cracker” but this is just because they are jam packed with fiber, and fiber fills you up! One way you can enjoy these crackers is with a tofu scramble like I did today 😋 but the variety of things you can do with these crackers is endless. I purchase these from Whole Foods, but you can also get them from Amazon Here.
3. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables for the week, and immediately wash and chop them when you get home.
This is a big one guys! How many times have you purchased fresh fruits and vegetables off of your well planned out grocery list, just to put them away and forget about them as you call a local restaurant for take-out? Seriously, I’m guilty of this one too! If you leave it in those little plastic baggies in the bottom drawer of your fridge, theres a good chance they will end up spoiling before you remember to use them. SOLUTION: when you get home from the grocery store, take everything out of the bag its in, wash it, chop it so it is ready to eat, and put it in a bowl or in a tupperware container on the first or second shelf for easy access! Not only will you have less food waste, but you’ll save money, you’ll have healthier snacks, and… it’ll help you reach your fiber goals!
I hope this information was helpful to you all! What tips and tricks do you have to make sure you’re getting enough fiber every day?! Share them with me!
Hi, I’m Dana! Creating delicious plant-based meals and nutrition is my passion! Thanks for visiting!