There are many health benefits to eating foods rich in fiber. Fiber can promote weight loss and help control gallstones, hemorrhoids, diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, hiatal hernia, high blood pressure, and stroke. Some research has even suggested that fiber may decrease the risk of cancer.
Adding fiber to your diet might mean making a few changes to your meal plans, but the benefits to your overall health will make it well worth the effort. Follow the tips below and make it your goal to reach 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Your body will thank you for it!
Tips for Increasing Your Fiber Intake
- Add fiber gradually to reduce the bloating, cramping, and excess gas that can sometimes occur.
- Remember to drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.
- Avoid eating gas-forming vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower at the same time as legumes.
- To reduce the gassiness of legumes, rinse canned beans thoroughly or drain the liquid from soaked beans before cooking with them.
- Remember to slow down and chew food thoroughly to aid digestion.
- Check labels carefully. Not all wheat bread is high in fiber—look for whole-wheat bread to ensure the highest fiber content.
- Crunchy does not always mean high in fiber. For example, celery is crunchy, but it contains less than 1 gram of fiber.