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Add beans to vegetable soup for a healthy, fiber-rich lunch.
Fiber is found in plenty of foods, but most Americans don't get enough of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults need between 25 and 34 grams a day, but getting that much fiber in your diet can be difficult for people who aren't used to it.1.
Consume a high-fiber, whole-grain cereal that includes over 5 grams of fiber per serving for breakfast. Some cereals contain 10 or more grams of fiber per serving, giving you even more of a fiber boost. As other high-fiber breakfast alternatives, you can add high-fiber natural granola, ground flaxseed, and chopped fruit to a bowl of yogurt or eat a serving of plain oatmeal topped with berries.2.
Include fiber in your lunch by consuming a spinach salad with kidney beans, vegetable-and-bean soup, beans and brown rice, or another high-fiber meal that includes beans. Beans contain between 6 and 9.5 grams of fiber per cup, so including them is an easy way to up the fiber content of your midday meal.3.
Add a high-fiber snack to your meal plan, such as a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts or a few cups of air-popped popcorn. A high-fiber snack can help you stay full until dinner and boosts your overall fiber intake.4.
Make fiber an essential component of your evening meal by replacing your usual pasta with whole-wheat pasta or choosing another whole grain side-dish, such as quinoa, bulgur, millet, wild rice or buckwheat. Fill at least half of your plate with vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, squash, sweet potato, green peas, or artichokes, to add another fiber-rich component to your meal.5.
Eat a piece of whole fruit for dessert to add a little more fiber to your total daily intake. Choose a pear or apple with the skin still on, or eat an orange with the pulp to ensure you get the maximum amount of fiber from the fruit.
- High-fiber cereal
- Natural granola
- Brown rice
- Air-popped popcorn
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Whole-grain alternatives
- Start slowly if you aren't used to eating a lot of fiber. Aim for just a few grams a day to start and add a little more fiber every few days over the course of two to three weeks until you reach a total of 30 grams a day. Adding too much fiber to your diet too quickly can cause gas and abdominal cramps.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water or other low-calorie beverages a day to help you better process the fiber in your diet.