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Don’t Fear Fiber

A variety of beans

 

I often tell my clients to increase their fiber consumption to 25 to 35 grams per day.

Why?  Because fiber is vital to so many aspects of our wellbeing: cardiovascular health, intestinal health, diabetes management and prevention.

Fiber Promotes Gut Health and Weight Management

But many people hesitate to add it; afraid of unpleasant side effects such as bloating, cramping, or, ahem, gas.

Fear not!

7 Tips for Enjoying a Fiber-Rich Diet.

Below are a few tips to help you enjoy the benefits of a fiber-rich diet.

  1. Start gradually

Don’t jump from 0 to 35 grams in one day. Build up to your goal gradually, adding about 5 grams every 1-3 days. Listen to your body: if you are experiencing discomfort, wait a day or two for it to pass, and then continue adding fiber-rich foods.

  1. Chew slowly

Swallowing air as you eat can increase bloating.

  1. Cook thoroughly

Help your digestive tract by allowing cooking to do some of the work.

  1. Clean your beans

Soak dry beans overnight and throw away the water before cooking. Choosing canned? Rinse beans thoroughly before enjoying.

  1. Drink plenty of water

Fluids including water are key to prevent constipation and its associated discomforts. Skip soda and other carbonated drinks. Bubbles are fun to drink, but are known culprits for bloating and gas symptoms.

  1. Include insoluble fiber, too

Soluble fiber is great for your heart, but insoluble fiber keeps things moving. Most fiber-rich foods have a mix of both, but brown rice, whole wheat bread, fruit skins, green beans, and dark leafy vegetables are particularly rich in insoluble fibers.

  1. Don’t give up

Most people are perfectly capable of digesting 25- 35 grams of fiber daily with no discomfort. It’s simply a matter of allowing your body time to adjust and learn to work efficiently on this healthful material.

A Few Fiber-Rich Foods

Lentils 16 g per cup, cooked
Black beans 15 g per cup, cooked
Chick peas 12 g per cup, cooked
Avocados 9 g per ½
Blackberries 8 g per cup
Raspberries 8 g per cup
Pears 6 g per fruit
Broccoli 5 g per cup, cooked
Spinach 4 g per cup, cooked
Green beans 3.4 g per cup, cooked
Almonds 4 g per oz
Bran Cereal 10 g per ½ cup
Oatmeal 4 g per ½ cup, cooked

Author:Penelope Nutrition Intern for Sweet Life Wellness
Penelope
Nutrition Intern for Sweet Life Wellness