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5 Ways (and Why) to Eat More Fiber

5 Ways (and Why) to Eat More Fiber

Years of research and data support the claim that fiber is good for your health, improving bowel function and reducing the risk of many chronic health conditions. Despite these benefits, nearly 95% of people in the United States fail to meet their daily fiber needs.

At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri, our board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Betsy Clemens, understands the many benefits of eating more fiber, especially when it comes to preventing and treating anorectal disorders like hemorrhoids.

Here, we want to share some tips on eating more fiber and why you should.

1. Include more whole grains

Whole grains like oatmeal, bulgur, and whole-wheat flour are naturally rich in fiber because they contain the entire grain kernel — bran, germ, and endosperm. The Dietary Guidelines recommend making at least half your grain choices whole grain.

Only foods made from 100% whole grains are whole grains. Foods may contain a mix of whole grains and refined grains. When you’re looking to add more whole grains to your diet, read the ingredients list and look for foods that list whole wheat or whole grain as the first ingredient. 

Foods that list refined flour in the ingredients aren’t whole grains.

Whole grains are a good source of insoluble fiber, which is the type of fiber that improves bowel movements.

2. Eat veggies first

You can’t go wrong eating more vegetables. They’re low in calories and rich in many health-promoting nutrients like fiber. People who eat their vegetables during the start of the meal tend to eat more vegetables, according to a 2020 study published in Nutrients.

In addition to helping you get more fiber, eating veggies first may also help with weight management. Veggies are low in calories and filling, so you eat less.

3. Don’t peel apples and pears

Fruit is a tasty and convenient way to get more fiber in your diet. Especially portable fruits that are easy to snack on like apples and pears. To get all the benefits from these fruits you need to eat the peel. Fruit peels are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.

The same goes for the potatoes. Scrub the peel well before cooking to remove all the dirt. 

4. Snack on popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain and a good source of fiber. When air-popped and lightly seasoned, popcorn makes a healthy snack. 

Eating more whole grains may lower your risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. 

5. Add beans to side dishes

Kidney beans, chickpeas, and navy beans provide about 7 grams of fiber per half-cup serving. These beans are also a good source of protein, potassium, folate, iron, and zinc. Beans are so nutritious they’re both a vegetable and protein food. 

Beans are a good source of soluble fiber, which absorbs water as it moves through your digestive tract helping to prevent constipation. Add beans to salad, soup, and side dishes to boost fiber intake.

Eating more fiber offers many benefits, and it’s one of our primary treatments for hemorrhoids and anal fissures

There’s no need to suffer through your anal discomfort. We can help you get relief from your hemorrhoids or anal fissures with lifestyle changes like eating more fiber. Call our office at 636-228-3136 to schedule an appointment today.

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