The benefits of fibre are clear: It helps you feel full longer and can lower your cholesterol, reduce the risk of certain diseases and improve your digestive health. However, trying to increase your intake of fibre can feel like a chore.
Try these simple ways to add high-fibre foods to your diet to reap the benefits without having to make major changes to your eating habits.
Make the swap
Switching white pasta, bread and rice for whole-grain varieties can more than double your intake of fibre. Just make sure the packaging says whole grain and not just multi-grain, because whole grain means you’re getting the whole grain — and all the fibre. If you don’t like the taste of whole-wheat pasta or rice, try mixing half whole wheat and half white. Or try rye bread instead of white bread; it has almost twice as much fibre. If you prefer a bun, look for one topped with seeds for increased fibre.
Choose fibre-rich snacks
Swap your afternoon granola bar for a tasty fibre-rich bar like All-Bran bars, which contain 16 per cent of the recommended daily intake of fibre. Instead of chips, try popcorn. Popcorn is actually a whole grain, and 3 cups of popped popcorn contains about 4 grams of fibre. If you’re craving something sweet, drizzle melted chocolate or caramel over your popcorn, or grab a bag of kettle corn. A homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit is another great option.
Sprinkle it on
You have plenty of options for adding a boost of fibre to what you’re already eating. Try blending fibre-rich flaxseed into a smoothie. Or sprinkle nuts, seeds or a fibre-rich cereal like All-Bran Buds onto yogurt or salads. These toppings can also be added to a bowl of cereal to increase the fibre content. Herbs, particularly rosemary, thyme and oregano, are also a surprising source of fibre. Sprinkle them on pizza, pasta or salads for extra flavour and fibre.
Add fibre to baked goods
By making some simple tweaks to your muffin or cookie recipes, you can increase their fibre content. First of all, replace half the white flour with whole-wheat flour. Once you get used to the taste, increase the amount of whole-wheat flour used. Another option is to add wheat bran or flaxseed to your baking. Try 1/4 of a cup to start, and increase if necessary.
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Spread it on
Spreads are a great way to add fibre to foods you already eat. Instead of mayonnaise, spread hummus or avocado onto sandwiches and wraps. Nuts, including nut butters, are also good sources of fibre. Top toast, crackers or even pancakes with peanut or almond butter.