September 12, 2017 Living Well 8 Easy Ways to Get More Fiber in your Diet Did you know that about 90% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of fiber in their diets? That’s a lot. Simply put, the American diet has more of a focus on convenience and fast foods than nutritious whole foods than other countries. That diet trend is leaving most of us with serious fiber deficiencies! So, why is this bad? Well, fiber is a pretty important part of keeping our bodies functioning at their best. A high fiber diet is essential because it helps remove toxins and used up hormones from our body faster which helps to regulate hormonal imbalances and keep your digestive system working at it’s best. If you’re not getting enough, and chances are you’re not, I definitely know I could use some more, don’t overdo it at first. Overloading your body with tons of fiber when it’s not used to digesting that much can cause, well, other problems if you know what I mean. Here’s a few ways to start easily adding more fiber into your diet: High Fiber Foods & Healthy Tips 1. Flaxseed & Chia Seeds Every morning I add 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed (I use this one) and 1-2 tsp of chia seeds to my fruit. These are two foods high in fiber. I shared my go-to healthy breakfast last Friday and this is a big part of it! Ground flaxseed and chia seeds pack a big fiber punch without adding much! You can also easily add either of these to your smoothie for extra fiber! 2. Make Vegetables with Dinner Instead of opting for only grains or potatoes, make a green veggie one of your sides. They’re easy to cook, fresh and add great color to your plate. In a hurry, my favorite way to make them is to simply steam or sauté them and then squeeze fresh lemon juice over them—yum! 3. Pick the Side Salad When you go to lunch and your sandwich order gives you the option of fries or a side salad, pick the salad. I know, it’s hard, but just do it. Getting those extra greens will leave you feeling better at the end of the meal and give you some extra fiber. 4. Eat Avocado Who else eats avocado every day?! Yes, they are fatty, but they’re full of good fats that your body needs and they keep you full longer. Plus, every avocado has about 13g of fiber in it—talk about a fiber rich food! 5. Start Your Day with Veggies I eat eggs every morning, but I make sure to add chopped veggies to my scrambles and serve them with avocado. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a breakfast salad! I had one at Southport Grocery a few weeks ago and it was really delicious, filling and made me feel like I had started my day on a really healthy note! 6. Go Vegetarian Once Each Day If you eat a lot of animal protein, try making at least one meal per day vegetarian. But, don’t just fill up on pasta or cheese and crackers. Instead try a grain bowl filled with veggies and legumes! They’re super filling, tasty and can be customized so many different ways. 7. Cut out Processed Foods & Carbs Instead of buying white bread, white pasta, white rice, opt for brown rice, sprouted grain breads, and pastas made from quinoa, brown rice or lentils (there’s so many options these days). Whenever I buy bread, I try to buy from the grocery’s bakery section. These breads typically aren’t made with any preservatives and added stuff. Our favorites are the 12-grain and seeduction loaves from Whole Foods. 8. Snack on Nuts & Dried Fruit Snacks have become my new best friend through pregnancy and one of my favorites to munch on are nuts and dried fruit. They both have lots of fiber and you get protein from the nuts too! Nuts are high in fat though, so just make sure you’re not overindulging! So, do you get enough fiber in your diet? What other tips do you have for getting enough of this necessary nutrient? BTW, 6 healthy foods I eat everyday, and what I typically buy at the grocery.