Ways To Add Grains and Fiber Into Your Diet!
I love grains for their texture and complexity. Grains are good for us because they’re made up of carbohydrates, which give our bodies energy.
It’s recommended that half the grains we eat should be whole grains. This means that the grains haven’t been processed as much, leaving more nutrients and fiber.
I like recommending to my cooking students that they visualize the colour brown when it comes to choosing foods with whole grains. So instead of white rice, go for brown rice. Instead of white bread, choose brown bread. Instead of white pizza dough and pasta, look for their whole wheat alternatives. It’s easy to increase your whole grains when you simply think of the colour brown.
Other sources of healthy grains are oats, oat bran, barley, bulgur, quinoa, farro, and whole wheat couscous. These grains are really easy to incorporate into your diets. For instance, for breakfast you can have porridge in the morning or granola, or whole grain cereal and brown toast.
For lunch try a salad with whole wheat couscous, bulgur wheat, or quinoa. These grains also make great side dishes for dinners.
Not only are grains good for us because they give us energy, they’re also a fabulous source of fiber.
Fiber is excellent for our bodies because it keeps them running smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that we only eat half the amount of fiber that our bodies actually need.
Fiber is only found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Examples of legumes are kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans and lentils, often found in vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Fiber is awesome because it fills us up, which is helpful for maintaining weight. Think about eating an apple and then compare that to drinking a small glass of apple juice. Which one fills you up more? The apple! That’s because apples are filled with fiber. Apple juice has been processed, and the fibrer has been removed.
Most of us should increase the fiber in our diets, myself included. This is why it’s a great idea to snack on apples. The next time you are hungry in-between meals, hopefully you’ll grab an apple instead of a cookie, because the apple will sustain you longer and provide a healthy source of daily fiber.
When increasing your fiber intake, it’s important to do it slowly. Your body needs time to adjust to the extra fiber. Otherwise, you’ll experience the opposite effect: you’ll become bloated and constipated.
I once had a fellow in one of my classes who liked to eat hamburgers at fast food restaurants. One day, he came into class really angry because he had listened to the fiber talk and decided to give up hamburgers and eat salads all week. Well, he was bloated and very uncomfortable because he did not increase his fiber slowly.
When you increase your fibre, you also need to drink a lot of water because our bodies need the water for the fiber to work properly in our bodies.
It’s easy to add fiber into our diet. Just think of the colour brown and serve more grains. Add veggies to side dishes, and try munching on veggies and nuts to your snack menu. Also, try adding a few vegetarian or vegan meals with legumes to your weekly meal plan.
To help get you started, here are some delicious recipes to try:
Three Bean Salad Recipe