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The exact amount of fiber needed in one’s diet is in dispute, but the general recommendation is that people need 14g for every 1,000 calories. Women tend to need less fiber as they age. Getting enough fiber benefits the digestive system by helping to keep the intestines cleared and the bad bacteria eliminated.
Fiber also can help to slow the absorption of blood sugar, which is beneficial for people with diabetes, and it can also help to control weight. Adding fiber to your diet can be done in fun, tasty ways.
Add in whole, preferably raw, vegetables as much as you can.
Eating whole veggies is a wonderful way to get fiber while limiting calories and getting other nutrients. You don’t have to eat raw vegetables alone. Pair them with salsa, hummus, or other dips. For an extra fiber kick, make a quick guacamole. Avocados are an excellent source of fiber. Enjoy a side salad before your evening meal and experiment with the toppings to get variety.
Don’t forget the popcorn while you watch a movie!
Many people eat absent-mindedly while they watch television. That habit isn’t a good one to have, but if you are going to snack, make it fresh-popped popcorn. This whole grain is packed with fiber. Avoid the butter, and instead of covering it with salt, add a sprinkle of other herbs and spices for a light evening treat.
Switch over to brown rice and whole-wheat bread.
Grains are an excellent place to add fiber to the diet. Quinoa, millet, and barley are some of the most versatile grains, but for people who are not ready to try out these less common grains, start with ensuring that grains you do eat are whole grain. Replace white rice with brown rice. Try out sprouted grain or whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta. These quick changes will add more substance to your meals while also making them healthier.
Add seeds to any dish possible.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds both have significant fiber, but don’t add much taste. Chia seeds are small, black “dots,” and they can be tossed on salads, in soups, or as a part of any side or main dish. Flaxseeds can be eaten whole, but they are most commonly ground and added to any food with a sauce or batter. Toss a tablespoon of flaxseed meal into a scrambled egg mix or gravy as you’re cooking to get healthy fiber without any change to the taste of food.
Other whole nuts and seeds are also wonderful sources of fiber. Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are great choices for an afternoon snack while pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be added to salads, burgers, or trail mixes.
Stick with the peels!
Whether you are eating fruits or vegetables, keep the peels on as often as possible. Cucumbers and potatoes are two examples of veggies that often get peeled before eating, but keep those peels on! They add fiber without changing the food you’re already eating. The same idea applies to apples, kiwi, and other fruits. Any fruit, such as strawberries, that has edible seeds is also high in fiber. The best part about using peels to add fiber is that you have to do less than you’re currently doing to get healthier.
Many people who eat modern diets do not get enough fiber, but there are such simple ways to add fiber to their diet that are delicious and simple.