Easy Ways To Add More Fiber To Your Diet
I found out recently that my iron is in the toilet. I was supposed to continue taking iron supplements postpartum, until I stop breastfeeding. I somehow thought I could stop once I was no longer pregnant. WHOOPS! So I am back on the big-dog iron supplements. The kind you have to get from behind the counter at the pharmacy. The biggest problem with taking iron supplements is constipation. Constipation is also a problem for many pregnant women. It can also be a symptom of anxiety! Women typically need around 25 grams per day. High fiber foods also help you lower blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight, and lower your cholesterol. I'm not one to just snack on fruits and veggies, so I've been trying to sneak in fiber in unsuspecting places. Here are a few ways you can sneak fiber in without noticing.
- Nutella Coconut Brownies: I jokingly call these "Nutella laxatives". They are so so delicious, and they really get things moving. The recipe is simple: 1 egg, 1 cup coconut flour, 1 cup Nutella. Bake at 375 for around 15-20 minutes (until a toothpick comes out dry). 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, which is about what's in one brownie, has 5 grams of fiber. That's 20% of your daily need right there!
- Navy Bean Smoothies: I know, beans in a smoothie, GROSS. I tried this high fiber, high protein banana milkshake smoothie from Pop Sugar. I ended up doubling the recipe and substituting a cup of blueberries for one of the bananas, and it disguised the navy bean texture better. Navy beans are flavorless, and high in both fiber and protein. This particular smoothies has 13.6 grams of fiber (and a little more by substituting blueberries).
- Cheerios and other whole grains: What mom doesn't have Cheerios around? They are healthy, non-chokeable, portable O's of energy (and they're now gluten-free!). My kids eat them a lot, and I find myself snacking on them too. Good news is the original Cheerios have 3 grams of fiber per cup, which equates to 12%. Eating whole grain bread helps too. Breccan loves peanut butter and banana sandwiches and French toast. Making them out of whole grain bread is an easy way to sneak in more fiber.
- Popcorn: I love popcorn as an evening snack. It's low-carb enough that I could have 2 cups with a pepperoni stick when I had gestational diabetes. And, turns out, it's got a decent amount of fiber in it for what feels like a binge snack (1.2 g per cup).
- Nuts: Nuts are a great snack to satisfy a salt tooth, and they are packed with fiber. Based on a 1 cup serving, almonds and peanuts are the stars with 12 g, pecans have 10 g, walnuts have 7g, and cashews have 3.3 grams. When I had gestational diabetes, they were my go-to protein for meals. I have tried to make it a habit to have a handful if I have a treat. Walnuts taste great with ice cream, peanuts with chocolate, and almonds with cookies! Pecans in yogurt are also delicious.
The Mayo Clinic has a extensive list of high fiber recipes. Here's a quick, 3-day meal plan to get your 25 grams before dinner!