You’ve probably heard that fiber is good for you, but you may not know why. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. It’s found in plant foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Fiber helps keep your digestive system regular by adding bulk to stool, which makes it easier to pass through the intestines. This can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Fiber also lowers cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Fiber is not just good for your gut health, it’s also important for weight loss and overall health. Here are some easy ways to get more fiber in your diet every day:
1. Eat more whole grains. Whole grains are loaded with fiber and nutrients that can help you feel full longer, improve digestion and boost metabolism. Choose whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals over refined ones. You can also add oats to a smoothie or sprinkle them on top of yogurt or oatmeal for an extra dose of fiber! Eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread. This swap will increase your daily fiber intake by about 3 grams per slice (depending on the brand).
2. Eat beans and legumes often. Beans are a great source of fiber, protein, B vitamins and iron—and they make a delicious addition to any meal! Try these 15 high-fiber beans recipes for dinner tonight!
3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day! These foods are packed with fiber as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that support heart health, promote good gut health and aid in digestion.
Try adding berries (1 cup has nearly 6 grams of fiber) or veggies like broccoli or squash to meals for an extra boost! You can also add spinach or kale to your smoothie. These greens are packed with fiber, so they’ll keep you full longer than other fruits and veggies.