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Employee Wellness: Easy Ways to Increase Your Daily Fiber Intake




Did you know that most people do not meet the daily recommended intake for fiber?  Fiber plays an important role in our health and well-being. Adequate fiber intake is and important part of a healthy diet and linked to many healthy benefits such as improved blood sugar management and weight management. Fiber has also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and digestive issues. According to the Academy of Food & Nutrition, women should aim for 25g, and men should aim for 38g, this is based off for every 1,000 calories 14g of fiber is recommended. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all great sources of fiber to add to your diet.


Keep reading for some easy and fun tips to help you increase your fiber intake. 

 

1. Start in the morning

Starting early can help you meet your fiber goals for the day. Here are some ways to add a boost of fiber to your breakfast:

  • Add fresh fruit to your oatmeal 

  • Add fresh fruit to your yogurt 

  • Add ground flaxseed or chia seed to your yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies 

  • Opt for whole grains when available (for example, a whole wheat English Muffin vs. a white English Muffin)

Adding fiber to breakfast will also add satiety, meaning your fiber-filled breakfast will keep you feeling fuller longer.


2.  Choose whole grains  

The fiber content will vary widely depending on what types of grains you select. 

Terms to look for are whole grain, whole wheat, whole grain oats, bran, barley, and whole corn. If the nutrition label shows “Dietary Fiber: 5g” this means it contains 20% daily value (DV), which is considered high in fiber or a good source of fiber. 


Continuing to choose whole grains throughout the day is a great way to boost your fiber intake. Some great whole grain options include: 

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Quinoa 

  • Wild rice, black rice, brown rice, red rice, 

  • Millet  

  • Farro  

  • Bulgur  

  • Barley 


3. Make baked goods healthier 


Swapping out ingredients for more fibrous options is a great way to give your sweet treat a fiber boost. For example, black bean brownies swap out white flour for black beans. you can make baked goods with pureed fruits and vegetables like:


Replacing white flour with one of the following whole grain options not only adds fiber to your treat but also provides B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin E, and iron. 

  • Whole wheat flour 

  • Whole Wheat flour 

  • Oat Flour 


Nuts and seeds are also a great way to add fiber, texture, and micronutrients as well. Nuts and seeds can be sprinkled on top of your bakery treat or mixed in. Some examples include: 

  • Pumpkin Seeds  

  • Almonds 

  • Peanuts 

  • Cashews 

  • Flaxseed 

  • Hemp Seed 

  • Chia Seed  


4.  Do your best and what works for you with fiber!  


Not everyone has the same taste profile. That is ok! Some of us may be able to add whole grain rice to our meals but not whole wheat flour to our baked goods. One swap is not better than the other but an opportunity for finding healthier habits that can last long term.


It may take some trial and error to find which fibrous additions or ingredient swaps work best for you. Be sure to honor your preferences, this will make it more likely you'll continue to incorporate fibrous foods into your daily routine.


5. Start slow and increase over time

When you add fiber to your diet it is important to add it slowly and gradually. It is also important to make sure you are consuming enough water to help prevent GI issues like constipation and bloating.  
 


Incorporating more fiber to meet the daily recommended amount is one way you can improve your health and well-being.

 

Learn more about healthy lifestyle choices and other programs offered by Wellness Workdays


Written by: Elizabeth Skillens, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern 



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