There are many reasons to increase fiber in your diet. Eating food with a high fiber content can have many benefits to your general health and well being. Maintaining a diet high in fiber can lower cholesterol, help eliminate heart disease and even lower the risk of cancer. The foods that you eat regularly may already be high in fiber, but there are still ways to help get more fiber.
Including more raw fruit and vegetables in your diet will increase your fiber intake. Dietary fiber can only be found in food made from plants, so increasing your intake of raw fruit, especially the raw fruit peel, will help. For the best results, eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Fruits that are excellent sources of fiber include berries, pears, apples and prunes. If you want to increase fiber by eating more vegetables, stick to Brussells sprouts, carrots, potatoes and lettuce.
Many digestive complaints, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis, can be reduced by adding fiber to the diet. Adding bran and whole-grain products to your shopping list will boost your fiber intake. One of the most popular breakfast cereals to increase fiber is bran flakes. There are also many other cereals that have bran added. Buy some wheat bran from health food stores and add it to your favorite cereal. You can also try bran muffins.
Instead of eating white bread, try whole wheat bread. If you eat a lot of rice with your meals, swap to brown rice instead of white. Beans are an excellent source of fiber, and eating cooked beans once or twice a week will increase fiber intake.
For some people, there are a few side effects from a sharp increase of fiber in the diet. Many people suffer from bloating, stomach cramps or gas when they increase fiber. By starting with small changes and increasing foods that are high in fiber over a period of weeks, these effects can be prevented.
Also remember to increase your fluid intake when you increase fiber. If you are not already drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day, then you should consider doing so. When you begin to increase your fiber intake, you should raise your water intake by at least two glasses. This will not only aid digestion, but has also been proven to help contribute to weight loss.