At the end of the day, regardless of what else you consume, fiber-containing foods can help you and your microbiome move toward a healthy balance. Only plant-based foods contain fiber – so consider fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), nuts and seeds.
For this holiday season and going forward – go for a plant-slant to counter the sweets. Make a game of it. Start with a daily count you feel comfortable with. For instance, say you’re new to this and you want to start by including 3 ‘plants’ per day. You can have oatmeal with almonds and berries in the morning and you’ve met that goal!
Piece of cake, you say? How about a goal of 5? Add a snack of carrots and hummus or peanut butter and apple slices.
Easy-peasy? Let’s go for 7. How about greens and tomato with whatever you’re having for lunch.
Wanna rock at 10 today? How about adding a bell pepper to or salad, or add a snack of popcorn or nuts later on. And have beans and rice, or lentil soup, or steamed broccoli and sweet potato with dinner?
You can choose any number you like, and have fun meeting your goal, which can advance as you wish. There’s no particular upper limit.
The bottom line is, some fiber is better than none, and the more the better, and especially the more variety the better. Not all fiber sources are alike, and if you vary the foods you eat from day to day, you’ll support a more diverse microbiome in your gut. That is ultimately what is essential for good health, reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and many cancers.
Enjoy the challenge of the game. You’ll want to get more creative with the plant-based foods as you go along. You can find fiber-filled recipes on this website, and on love and lemons and cookie and kate.
If you’re not accustomed to eating much fiber, add it in slowly. It can cause some GI upset otherwise. In the long run, it will be worth it.