Most dieticians and nutritionists stress the importance of having plenty of fiber in your diet, but do any of us really understand why? Most people think of fiber as an important step in maintaining regular digestion, but the truth is, the benefits go far beyond that.
Fiber plays an important role in weight loss because it helps us feel fuller for longer to reduce appetite. Eating more fiber can even cause you to consume fewer calories throughout the day, maximize your gut health, and prevent belly fat gain.
Most vegetables are naturally high in fiber, so if you’re already eating your green vegetables, your fiber count could be good. Some of the highest fiber foods include peas, squash, broccoli, kale, carrots, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, and corn … all of the foods you know you should eat a lot of, but this is probably not the case.
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According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, women should eat 24 grams of fiber and men should get 38 grams – but most of us don’t get enough. Only about 5% of the population gets the recommended daily intake of fiber, so it’s likely that you need more fiber in your diet.
Change is never easy – especially when it comes to food and diet. So to keep things simple, we turned to the experts to find out how to get more fiber in our lives. And it’s not as difficult as you might think.
You can increase your fiber intake by adding three new foods to your routine: chia seeds, kiwi fruit, and ground flax seeds. Scroll down to see why Nutrition With Grace dietitian Grace Clark-Hibbs recommends these foods and how you can incorporate them into your life.
insoluble fiber, which means they help promote regularity by absorbing water in the digestive tract and acting as a bulking agent,” Clark-Hibbs explained.
In addition, its fiber / calorie ratio is remarkable. A single tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains almost two grams of fiber with just 37 calories. And Clark-Hibbs tells us that it also contains protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
“The other advantage of insoluble fiber [like ground flaxseed] is that it is not absorbed by the body, which means that only a fraction of those 37 calories will actually contribute to your energy intake for the day, ”she added.
The best way to eat ground flax seeds
Ground flax seeds have a powdery consistency almost similar to flour, which can be intimidating for those who have never used it before. Still, Clark-Hibbs shared several ways to incorporate flax seeds into foods you already prepare.
She suggests sprinkling two tablespoons on top of cereal, oatmeal, or smoothies, and you can even use flax seeds as an egg substitute for high-fiber vegan cooking.