Got Fiber? 5 Ways to Add 5 Extra Grams to Your Diet
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This wonderful guest post comes courtesy of registered dietitian nutritionist Liz Weiss of Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen.
Fiber is a critical component of a healthy diet. Consuming the recommended 25 to 38 grams each day is good for digestion, lowers blood cholesterol, keeps blood sugar in check, and plays a role in maintaining a healthy body weight. Despite all the benefits, over 90 percent of adults and kids fall short on fiber, some consuming less than half the suggested amount. Take one step closer to filling in your family’s fiber gap with these 5 surprisingly easy ways for eating 5 extra grams a day.
Black Beans: Incorporating just a third of a cup of black beans (or any bean variety for that matter!) into your meals and snacks brings you 5 grams closer to meeting your daily fiber goals. Toss beans into your family’s favorite soup, use as a filling in a Tex-Mex omelet, layer into a burrito, add to a salad, or use as a pizza topping. Heck, you can even add mashed beans to fudgy chocolate brownies. Try my recipe for Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowls.
Almonds: Crunchy, versatile, and delicious, almonds are a fiber-lover’s dream with 5 grams of fiber in just a third of a cup. Nibble on almonds as a snack, layer into a breakfast parfait with Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and whole grain cereal, stir into a pasta salad, or use as an ingredient in trail mix. Try my recipe for Quinoa with Almonds and Apricots.
Broccoli: This bright green cruciferous vegetable is popular with families. Even picky eaters seem to love it, especially the florets (AKA “trees). One cup is all it takes to get those 5 extra grams of fiber. Steam broccoli florets and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, toss into stir fries, add to casseroles, serve raw florets with a yogurt-based dip, or cook and puree into a creamy, cream-less broccoli soup. Try my recipe for Creamy Broccoli Soup Makeover.
Pears: 1 small pear has an impressive 5 grams of fiber. (By comparison, 1 large apple also has 5 grams.) Naturally sweet and juicy, you can add a pear to a fruit smoothie, nibble on one at snack time, use in a healthy dessert crisp, or dice into a fresh fruit salad. Try my recipe for Apple Pear Sauce.
Avocados: Did you know that avocados are technically a fruit and that they’re rich in healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber? Eating half a medium-size avocado brings 5 grams of fiber to the table along with a luscious flavor and texture that’s hard to resist. Mash avocados for guacamole, slice and add to omelets, wraps, or a sandwich, blend into a green smoothie, or use as a topping for a chef salad. Try my Avocado Key Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl.*
Image of Taco-Topped Spaghetti Squash Bowl via Liz Weiss.
*Recipe for Avocado Key Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl sponsored by the California Avocado Commission.
How do you add fiber to your daily diet?
Liz Weiss, MS, RDN is one of the nation’s top experts on family nutrition. With fellow Meal Makeover Mom, Janice Bissex, She blogs about recipe makeovers, tips for tackling picky eating, and practical mealtime advice at Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen and has written three cookbooks including her latest: The Smoothie Bowl Coloring Cookbook. Liz co-hosts the popular iTunes radio podcast, Cooking with the Moms, and she also hosts Meal Makeovers, a cooking series which runs on AccentHealth, CNN’s doctor’s office channel.
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