Do you get enough fiber in your diet? Chances are you don’t. And chances are even better that if you ask your doctor about getting more fiber, he or she will tell you to take an over-the-counter concoction. I will bet you all know me well enough to know I am going to suggest nature’s best remedy — real food.
Just what does fiber do in and for our bodies? Studies show fiber lowers your risk of heart disease as well as your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Those are both terrific reasons to eat more fiber. Need another? Fiber fills you up and keeps you feeling full, so you are likely to lose weight. Better health and weight loss? Sign me up!
The way fiber works in our bodies is interesting. The fiber slows the digestive process, so you feel full longer. Most fiber- rich foods are low in calories and fat, so that is certainly a win-win.
Considering many health experts say most Americans should double their fiber intake (and some say triple), let’s get right to the best foods to load up on.
Avocados. Don’t get caught up thinking avocados are too full of fat to be healthy. They are loaded with good fat and have 7-8 grams of fiber to boot. Mash them up with some garlic, onion, cilantro and limes for the best guacamole ever.
Raspberries. Besides being delicious and making me feel like I am eating candy, raspberries are low in calories, high in vitamin C and fiber. Toss them in smoothies, salads, or mix with other fruit for a refreshing fruit salad.
Quinoa. Pronounced “keen-wa,” this ancient grain is loaded with iron, protein and fiber. It is terrific served hot as a substitute for rice, or cold in a salad.
Sweet potatoes. High in fiber and low in fat, sweet potatoes are a terrific way to up your fiber intake. If possible, eat the peel.
Almonds. Crunchy and delicious, almonds are a great snack and are loaded with fiber and other nutrients. Toast them in a skillet with a little oil and sprinkle them with some sea salt. You can also grind them up and use them as the “breading” on chicken or fish.
Pears. A medium pear has 5-6 grams of fiber. Try adding them to salad or spreading slices with almond butter.
Edamame. Opt for organic edamame when possible. Great as a snack or tossed in a stir fry or in a salad — edamame are fiber dynamos.
Oatmeal or steel cut oats. Don’t use the quick cooking kind. Loaded with protein and fiber, these make a super healthy breakfast which will keep you feeling full all morning long.
Greens. Whether you consume turnip, kale or collard greens, you are sure to load up on fiber and lots of other nutrients when you fill up on greens.
Fiber is certainly something most of us need more of. Check out my food column this Friday where I will highlight some delicious recipes containing fiber.
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.