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Aug 11

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Ways To Increase Dietary Fiber Intake

How to increase fiber intake in your diet.

Fiber

Fiber and weight loss are connected, with increase in consumption of fiber weight loss chances go high. Daily recommended fiber intake is 20- 30grams and people don’t even eat that much and this is the main cause of high rate of obesity in America. People in America eat too less of recommended daily intake of fiber.
Fiber should be increased in diet gradually to prevent excess gas and bloating and to allow your gastrointestinal tract time to adjust.
Fiber is of two type-soluble and insoluble. Everybody needs both kind of fibers. Soluble fiber, found in cucumbers, blueberries, beans, and nuts, dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber may help with weight control.

Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through the digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

How to increase dietary fiber intake?

1 Start your day with a fruit- make it a habit. The time you wake up, have a glass of water and after brushing your teeth eat a fruit. Best time to eat fruits is when you are on empty stomach and the other reason we suggest to have fruit as first food of the day is because it is packed with nutrients and provides fiber which is good for digestive track and overall health. The fruits high in fiber include apples, berries, prunes, pears and oranges.
Fruits whose skin can be eaten should be taken along with the skin as it contains maximum fibre.

2. Make your breakfast fibrous
Start your day with the right food. Choose breakfast cereals like oat meals, bran flakes with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving ( if you are choosing packed breakfast) or go for healthy wheat toast, or grab some fruits like papaya, berries, apples. Aim for 5-7 grams of fiber in the breakfast.

3. Pick whole grain foods over refined carbohydrates
Whole grain foods are a natural source of dietary fiber. Whole grains food are those foods which retain fiber rich outer shell along with the grain. Which we call bran. To identify whole grains, look for these ingredients on labels: whole wheat, hard red winter wheat, barley, triticale, oats, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, and bulgur. Read carefully the labels to identify the fiber content for whole grains.

4. Eat more of legumes and whole pulses
Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are best source of fiber. Add more of legumes in your diet to increase fiber.

5. Pick high-fiber snacks for In between meals
Avoid high calorie and low fiber foods . Look for better healthy options. For in between meals snack on nuts, fruits, whole grain crackers, pop corns. Learn to snack smart.

6. Nuts, seeds and dry fruit
Normally we ignore the importance of tiny seeds which can actually be too beneficial for weight loss as they provide too much of nutrients along with fiber. Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds provide good amount of fiber and nuts like almonds, raisins, dried figs, walnuts, soy nuts are nutritious too.

7. Vegetables
Vegetables are rich in fiber. Daily 3-5 servings of vegetables are recommended. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and swiss chard, broccoli,cauliflower, eggplant, squash, celery, green peas, tomatoes are high in fiber and should be included in the diet.

Water
Don’t forget to hydrate
As you increase your fiber intake, increase your fluids as well. Fiber pulls water into the intestines. Without adequate hydration, fiber can actually aggravate rather than alleviate constipation. So try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Add fiber slowly and gradually in your diet to avoid unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas,and cramps.

With a little creativity and some pre-planning, you can achieve your health goals. So stay healthy and be wise with your diet.

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