Do you consume the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber each day? Fiber is good for digestion, lowers blood cholesterol, keeps blood sugar in check, plays a role in maintaining a healthy body weight, and is the “food” of choice for the trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Despite all the positive health benefits of fiber, on average, most people consume just 15 grams a day.
I’m all about baby steps, so if your diet falls short on fiber, boost your intake by adding just 5 extra grams of fiber a day. And here’s the great news: It’s easier to do than you may think. Your gut as well as your overall health will thank you. In fact, I put fiber right up there as one of the best-kept secrets for aging backwards!
5 Foods with 5 Grams of Fiber
Black Beans: Your gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria, and they thrive on a fiber-rich diet. So turn to beans for an excellent source. 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 our black bean enchiladas, add to an omelet, or incorporate into a favorite salad.
Black bean recipe inspiration: Last-Minute Black Bean Soup
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 grain salad, or use as an ingredient in trail mix.
Almond recipe inspiration: Arugula, Apple, Almond, and Brussels Sprouts Salad
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, add to soups, or adorn with a delicious dressing.
Broccoli recipe inspiration: Creamy Broccoli Soup
Pears: 1 small pear has an impressive 5 grams of fiber. (By comparison, 1 small apple has 2.5 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, use as an ingredient in homemade applesauce, or dice into a fresh fruit salad.
Pear recipe inspiration: Pear and Apple 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 bowl, or use as a topping for a chef salad. Heck, you can even make a creamy chocolate pudding or frosty with avocados.
Avocado recipe inspiration: Parmesan Salmon Sticks with Zesty Avocado Dipping Sauce
What’s your secret to adding more fiber to your diet?