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The Fiber-Fueled Lifestyle: 10 Delicious Ways to Boost Your Intake

In the quest for optimal nutrition, fiber often takes a back seat to protein. However, neglecting this essential dietary component comes at a cost. A recent Lancet study revealed the profound impact of a high-fiber diet on preventing deaths and heart disease. Another systematic review with over 350,000 subjects underscored the role of dietary fiber in reducing the risks of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, and cancer-related mortality by over 20%.

The benefits of fiber extend beyond longevity, encompassing improvements in cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, inflammation reduction, and support for the gut microbiome. Research indicates that feeding our beneficial gut bacteria with fiber leads to the production of compounds like short-chain fatty acids, enhancing immunity and cognitive functioning.

While incorporating more fiber into your diet, you’re not just promoting longevity; you’re also adding a wealth of nutrients. Unfortunately, a staggering 95% of Americans fall short of the recommended daily fiber intake, highlighting the need for practical strategies to bridge this nutritional gap.

To ensure you meet your fiber requirements, consider these 10 easy and tasty ways to elevate your fiber intake:

Two Types of Dietary Fiber: Soluble and Insoluble

Before diving into fiber-rich additions, it’s crucial to understand the two main types of dietary fiber:

  1. Soluble Fiber: This type forms a gel in the digestive tract, slowing down digestion, improving blood sugar, and promoting a feeling of fullness. Foods like legumes, some whole grains, fruits, and seeds are excellent sources.
  2. Insoluble Fiber: Adding bulk to stool and promoting bowel health, this type does not absorb water. Whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and certain fruits (with skin, like apples and pears) are rich in insoluble fiber.

10 Easy Ways to Boost Fiber Intake:

  1. Coconut Flour in Oatmeal: Enhance your daily oatmeal with coconut flour, a gluten-free powerhouse offering 5 grams of fiber per 2-tablespoon serving. It also brings a taste of the tropics and contains less saturated fat than coconut milk or oil.
  2. Frozen Raspberries in Protein Shakes: Amp up your post-workout shake with frozen raspberries, providing a substantial 6 grams of fiber per cup. The seedy texture adds a delightful crunch, and the berries are rich in antioxidants.
  3. Cacao Nibs in Yogurt: Elevate your yogurt bowl with cacao nibs, delivering 8 grams of fiber in a 3-tablespoon serving. These sugar-free chocolate nuggets also provide essential minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
  4. Green Peas in Pasta: Boost the fiber content of your pasta by adding green peas, supplying over 4 grams of dietary fiber per half cup. Frozen peas offer a fresher taste compared to canned alternatives.
  5. Mashed Parsnips with Steak: Incorporate mashed parsnips as a fiber-packed side to your steak. With 6 grams of fiber per cup, parsnips also provide vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
  6. Hummus in Sandwiches: Replace traditional spreads with hummus in your sandwiches for an extra fiber kick. A 2-tablespoon serving offers 2 grams of fiber, making it a wholesome alternative to mayo or mustard.

Pro tip: Use hummus to create creamy salad dressings for additional fiber in your salads.

By adopting these simple yet effective strategies, you can effortlessly enhance your fiber intake, promoting both digestive health and overall well-being. Don’t just fuel your muscles; fuel your body with the fiber it craves!”

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