My Fab Five for Fiber
You've heard me sing the praises of fiber, but let me give you a sneak peak into my favorite fiber sources. I try to get at least one of these powerhouse fiber sources into my diet once a day.
The benefits of fiber are immense: not just for staying slim and chic, but also to promote a healthy gut. A healthy gut means less acne, less hormone problems and, according to a new study, better cognitive function.
To be clear, fiber isn't actually a "nutrient" -- it provides very small amounts of energy to our body during fermentation in our gut-- but fiber adds minimal calories to our overall diet.
So here's where you can find high sources of this fabulous nutrient. Here are my five favorite fiber sources:
1) Lentils -- 1 cup of these offers 13 grams of fiber, almost half of your day. While legumes do have a high amount of energy from carbohydrates, the total fiber really slows down the digestion of these little guys. I love combing these with stronger European flavors inspired by France or Greece: think of a feta studded Lentil Salad or a French vinaigrette with goat cheese. It soaks up the flavors and is perfect as a base for the #weeklysalad
2) Garbanzo beans -- I love these beans, not just in hummus, for quick dips, but also roasted in the oven with curry or Indian spices. They are delicious crisp and hot out of the oven and have 17 grams per 1/2 cup.
3) Blueberries -- Even since I was a little girl, I've picked blueberries in bulk during the summer. We freeze quart sized bags of blueberries and use them throughout the winter in oatmeal, in high fiber muffins and in cereal. A mere sprinkle can add a pop of flavor, up the antioxidant level of your breakfast and an additional 3 gram of fiber.
4) Chia Seeds -- Chia seeds are amazing in overnight oatmeal and no-cook puddings. Not only are they a source of fiber (10 grams for 1 ounce) but of healthy fats to balance blood sugars and meal. They can also be sprinkled on yogurt for a crunchy pop.
5) Seeded crackers -- I don't love most gluten-free crackers, but the Trader Joe's GF seeded Norwegian Crispbreads are delicious and I love using them for quick lunches or snacks. Those (or Wasa crisps, if you don't have TJ's) are a great higher fiber, lower carbohydrate alternative snack base. Top these with cottage cheese, guacamole, hummus and then layer protein, cheese veggies, or pickles to make well balanced, quick meal that includes 3 grams of fiber and healthy fats from the seeds.
Of course, always try to add these to your Weekly Salad to boost the fiber and keep you slim + chic.