New reports state that the average Canadian consumes anywhere from 4.5 grams – 14 grams of fiber each day. That is shockingly low but not surprising considering so many of us are lead to believe we are getting more of this key nutrient than what we really are. Our world now is made for us to live in convenience and mother nature’s super foods have been replaced with fast, hot, sweet, maybe salty, drive-through items.
When you get enough fiber you literally will feel satisfied. This will not only lessen any temptation to reach into the cookie jar, but will keep your blood sugar levels more stable so you are ‘balanced’, and will lessen the amount of fat that trickles onto your waistline.
Here are some tips to add more ‘fiber’ to your day
Eat the plant whole.
Whether it is a grain or a fruit or vegetable – eat it in whole form. On your label shop for ‘whole’ grains, wheat’s or oats. If you do not see the word whole in front of the grain then part of the husk has been removed (the fiber) and then digests faster and causes a greater fluctuation in our blood sugar. With fruits and vegetables start the new habit of NOT removing the skin and including that on your plate. Maybe orange and banana peels do not count but I will admit… I have had one mom say to me that she even eats the kiwi peel. Good for her I said, that is true dedication.
Grind this up.
Ground salba seeds or flax seeds are a great omega 3 food source with a great deal of fiber too. My advice: add 2 tablespoons of either of these to your morning hot or cold cereal, shake or even salad.
Uncover the ‘magical fruit’.
Beans and lentils hold great fiber and so many people steer from these pulses. A great way to start this addition is make it a new habit to cook one meal a week with beans, legumes or lentils as your base. This could include a chick pea salad, maybe a vegetarian chili or bean quesadilla. There are countless ways you can get beans into your day. Here is a chili recipe to get you started – but maybe skip the ground turkey.
Try to focus your snacks with a raw fruit or vegetable as your base item. Some of my favourite picks are baby carrots, broccoli, zucchini slices, raspberries, apples and pears. Then you can compliment this produce with something you enjoy like yoghurt.
Do not forget your water. Water helps fiber do its job. Pay attention to how many glasses you drink in a day and start this week by adding 2 glasses more. Gradually build this up until you hit the minimum recommended level.
Do you have a trick you find useful in getting more fiber? Please share!