Fiber fatigue? How to get over it and improve your health

Fruits are a good source of dietary fiber
photo: bluewakiki

A diet rich in fiber may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

I know what you are thinking: is this really news?  Your fiber fatigue is warranted.  The benefits of a diet rich in fiber have been broadcasted, blogged, tweeted, facebooked, and journaled about ad nauseum.

But have you changed your eating habits?  Clearly, there is something to this "importance of a diet rich in fiber" thing.

The Institute of Medicine's recommended fiber intake for women is 25 grams per day.  Recommended intake for men is 38 grams per day.

Fiber is found in whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.  Here are a few ideas to help you increase your fiber intake, today.  And, yes, they are both easy and quick.

  1. If you like to eat cereal for breakfast, load it with fruit: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches are all good sources of fiber.
  2. Most Americans don't consume vegetables at lunch time.  Try to add them to your favorite lunch meal.  Top sandwiches with spinach, sprouts, cucumbers, sliced zucchini, and tomatoes.  Add broccoli, chickpeas, and beans to soup.  Eat a salad loaded with vegetables and topped with beans.
  3. Experiment with whole grains.  Instead of white rice, try cooking quinoa, barley, or amaranth.
  4. Did you give up on whole grain breads because of the taste?  Taste test the whole grain breads at the grocery store again.  They aren't all tough to swallow.  Manufacturers now make lots of light, soft breads that are also whole grain.
  5. Make some great side dishes with beans.  Saute onion and garlic with rosemary.  Then add cannelini beans and a bit of the juice from the can.  Chop tomatoes, onions, and celery and toss with black beans.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  
How do you get fiber in your diet?  I'd love to see your tips.

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