Fiber is an important component in your diet because it aids in digestion, lowers blood cholesterol and is a great way to help you control your weight. There are several natural, great-tasting foods that you can consume on a regular basis to improve your diet and your overall health.
One of the easiest ways to add more fiber to your diet is to increase your intake of bran foods. One ounce of corn bran contains 22 grams of fiber; in addition, there are several bran cereals that you can sprinkle into your favorite foods.
Beans, The Magical Fruit
In addition to fiber, beans add essential proteins, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Use beans in stews, salads, soups, casseroles and dips or even serve them by themselves as a side dish. You are sure to get a great deal of fiber from them as well; a cup of cooked navy beans contains 19 grams of fiber.
Bunches of Berries
Sweet, juicy and natural, dietitians are currently touting the antioxidants in berries as their major nutritional resource. However, fruits still offer a reasonably good source of fiber; one cup of raw raspberries has eight grams of fiber.
Other fiber-rich foods include whole grains, sweet peas, squash, nuts, seeds, brassica vegetables, potatoes and a number of everyday fruits and vegetables. In addition, there are many manufactured foods that come with fortified fiber and can give you your daily requirement of fiber if you are too busy to prepare food; you can even fortify your favorite foods and drinks with fiber powder. However you get your fiber, it is important to get it consistently every day to ensure that you stay healthy.
By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor