When you hear the word fiber, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably cardboard, bran cereal, or potty talk. However, fiber is an oh-so essential nutrient in maintaining overall health! The recommended daily intake for adults is 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Unfortunately, the average adult consumes less than 15 grams a day. Fiber is an essential nutrient for staying regular, which keeps you from feeling sluggish or uncomfortable. Not only does fiber keep your intestines healthy and clean, but it also works hard to remove excess LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol.
Now, how do you meet your fiber goals without eating cardboard? Have no fear! There is an abundance of fiber-rich foods, any of which you probably already enjoy. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can meet your fiber needs with 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables. Try adding high-fiber foods like whole grains, black beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, avocado, and berries at every meal. Yes, your avocado toast on whole-wheat bread can add up to a whopping 8-10 grams of fiber! Talk about food #goals. If you are a smoothie bowl aficionado, adding in one tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seeds will add about 3-5 grams of fiber and heart-healthy omega-3s! And when eating fruits or veggies, don’t forget about the skin – it holds most of the fiber. So don’t peel your apples or pears! But please, peel your banana.