Fibre is great for you - your breakfast cereal boxes even say so. Think you're eating enough of it? Most people aren't. Fiber deficiency is a present-day problem that affects thousands around the world. While women and men are urged to respectively consume at least 25 and 38 grams on a daily basis, average intake hovers at a paltry 10-12 grams per day.
Why you should add more fiber to your diet
Let's get back to basics. Fiber is never broken down during the digestion process. Your body actually fements it and produces gas — when you eat beans, vegetables and fibrous produce, you feel more 'gassy' than usual. There are two types of fiber; soluble fiber; the kind that liquefies into a gelatinous consistency and slows down digestion (making you feel fuller for longer), and insoluble fiber, the kind that adds volume to your waste matter (responsible for regulating your bowel movements).
For those who track their daily macronutrient and micronutrient intake with food tracking software like MyFitnessPal, eating enough fiber is simply a matter of picking foods that will help you reach your goal for the day. For those who don't calculate their macros, it's more of a balancing act. You need to consistently choose fruits, vegetables and whole grains for your key meals and everything in between. Though this sounds obvious, fiber is something that's easy to overlook.
Fool-proof ways to add more fiber to your diet
Swap concentrated breakfast juice for whole fruit
The pulpiest fruit juices don't contain nearly as much fiber as the fruit itself. Instead of drinking juice from concentrate, opt for whole apples (5g per serving), pears ( 5g per serving) or raspberries (8g per half a cup).
Add ground flaxseeds and chia seeds to your oats or smoothies.
A tbsp. of flaxseed contains around 3.8g of fiber, and a tbsp. of chia seeds contains 5.5g of fiber. When it's ground up and blended into your smoothie or stirred into your oats, you'll hardly be able to taste it.
Snack on fat-free popcorn.
This voluminous snack will keep you feeling full and add to your fiber goal. The average serving of popcorn is around 3 cups, which translates to 4 grams of fiber! Make better choices by flavouring your popcorn with olive oil rather than butter, and by going light on the salt.
Include legumes in your lunch.
Get creative! Not only legumes good sources of fiber, they’re also an excellent source of protein and minerals. Try mixing chickpeas or lentils into your salad, and you're good to go.
If all else fails, try taking fiber supplements.
It is always best to get your nutrients from food. But if fiber deficiency becomes a persistent issue, there are plenty of natural powders, gummies and pills that can also help you reach your goal. This should be a last resort, so make sure you speak to your medical professional before using supplements.
About the author.
Valentina Selviz is a food and fitness blogger getting her degree in Nutrition, and a certification in Personal Training. Check her out on her social media accounts and her blog for macro friendly recipes and fitness inspiration!
Instagram/ Pump Up: @valselviz