Fiber has proven to be an excellent ally to improve the health of the body and slow down the absorption of sugars (glucose) in the blood. This fact, in addition to helping to consume less amount of food and helping people to feel full for longer, favors glucose control for people with diabetes.
As suggested, fiber has many benefits, such as fighting constipation, controlling cholesterol levels, and improving irritable bowel syndrome. Moreover, it reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular accidents, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancer.
In general, fiber is a substance found in plants, and, when consumed, it becomes a type of carbohydrate. The suggested amount of fiber is 25-30 grams per day, yet less than half the population meets this goal.
For that reason, it is recommended to follow a balanced diet that allows us to obtain all the benefits of fiber. But how to do it? It is easier than you think! Fiber is present in many foods that we can consume each day. You can even increase your fiber intake through your desserts. Do you want to know how? Read on and find out!
Colorful and sweet fruits!
Did you know that all fruits contain fiber? Some of them are also high in fiber, so consuming them could benefit you enormously. Besides, we all know a good amount of desserts that we can make with fruits, right? Which means we have plenty of delicious options to eat that can provide essential nutrients and fiber to our bodies.
Some of the fruits that represent a good source of fiber are coconuts, apples, bananas, peaches, pears, tangerines, plums, figs, raspberries, berries, and other dehydrated fruits. Therefore, the options are very varied! You can prepare simple desserts like salads or fruit bowls. But, in addition to the classics, there are also other slightly more complete fruit-based desserts that could satisfy anyone's palate while giving their body a good portion of fiber, for example, apple pies or natural plum jam.
Let your imagination fly in the kitchen and include some of these fruits in the preparation of your favorite desserts! You will see how easy it is to make your diet a powerful source of fiber and nutrients for your body!
Grains for more fiber!
Grains are another significant source of plant fiber. Besides, they constitute one of the most important foods in our day to day. For that reason, if you want to increase your fiber intake, experts recommend that you eat more cereals (such as oats, wheat bran, shredded wheat, or puffed wheat), whole grain bread, brown rice, popcorn, and whole-wheat pasta.
It is fundamental to understand that refined grains lose much of their nutritional value, so they are not high in fiber. That is why nutritionists advise people to opt for wheat alternatives that allow the consumption of grains in more natural presentations. Bread, for example, can be made with oats and whole wheat. The result is amazing! And it provides a high amount of fiber to the body.
As for desserts, the options are also very varied. You can bake puffed oatmeal or wheat breads or make bran muffins. Oatmeal can also become a delicious dessert if you eat it cold and add some fresh fruits and nuts. And we also have popcorn! There are many ways to make sweet popcorn, which means there are tons of desserts you can create with them.
Including foods that add fiber to your diet is one of the best decisions you can make. However, as with other foods, you should consume them in moderation. Depending on your age, the amount of fiber you should consume per day varies. Review the information below:
- Women age 50 and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day
- Women over 50 should consume at least 21 grams of fiber per day.
- Men age 50 and younger should consume at least 30 grams of fiber a day.
- Men over 50 should consume at least 30 grams of fiber per day.
Also, if you are not eating a healthy diet, you should start making changes slowly and gradually. Try not to add too much fiber to your diet at one time to avoid symptoms such as bloating, cramps, or gas.
It is also very important to drink more liquids as the amount you consume increases since they help digest fiber. Experts recommend drinking around eight glasses of water a day, but this can vary from person to person.
Tips to increase fiber intake.
As explained, it is essential to start making dietary changes little by little to help the body get used to the changes and not cause discomfort of any kind. Once you understand that, you can start implementing the following:
- Consume at least two cups of fruits a day. Remember that you can include them in your desserts. A diet does not have to be boring!
- Replace refined white bread with whole wheat bread. Do the same with pasta and cereals. For example, try swapping white rice for brown rice in one dish a week, then try it two days a week and increase the frequency until it's fully included in your diet.
- Check the nutritional information labels of the products you buy. Some processed products also provide dietary fiber, and it is good to know the amount. Specialists advise buying those that provide 5 grams of fiber per serving.
- Add ¼ cup of wheat bran to food. You can mix it with cooked cereals, with an apple puree, or with your cakes.
- Increase your intake of vegetables and beans (including white, red, pinto, black, lime, and white).
Do you see how easy it is to increase your fiber intake through your desserts? You only need to make a few small adjustments to enjoy all the wonders that fiber can bring to your life!