This article has been updated from its original publication date to include more information from experts.
Fiber is an essential plant-based nutrient that greatly helps your digestive health. As you age, it is imperative to eat enough fiber in order to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, fiber has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, so it’s worth noting that foods containing it are smart additions to your diet. We asked health experts for 4 versatile and accessible foods to try this week to hit the recommended 37 grams of fiber per day, as reported by WebMD.
Read on for helpful tips and suggestions from Trista Best, RD, MPH, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior registered dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert. -be for Maple Holistics and Lisa Richards, licensed nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet.
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1. Trail mix
A great aspect of snacking on a trail mix is that you can decide which healthy ingredients to include. Popular high-fiber additions include various nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and granola. “The best snacks are those that contain two qualities; low in calories and high in satiating nutrients; fiber and protein,” says Best. “Trail mix is one of my favorite snacks, especially when I’m on the go, because it provides a quick source of protein and fiber,” she continues. These two nutrients, she says, keep her feeling full and full between meals to prevent overeating at meals, which is helpful for anyone who wants to maintain a consistent weight for optimal, healthy aging.
Cherries are “full of fiber,” Backe says, noting that they can “keep you full longer” (prevent weight gain) while also satisfying your sweet tooth. “The beauty of cherries is that they’re also a great natural source of melatonin,” says Backe, which means they not only help your digestive system, but can also promote better sleep. This “low-fat, all-natural” fruit has the potential to make a “delicious snack,” Backe adds, and it also promotes bowel regularity with 2 grams of fiber, or 7-8% of the recommended amount for the adults. . Eating them as a snack can definitely add more crucial fiber to your diet!
Another great fruit for adding fiber to your day, apples are also packed with essential nutrients and offer many health benefits thanks to their antioxidants and other nourishing contents. “The fiber in apples helps remove cholesterol and fat from the bloodstream and helps you feel full longer, which helps prevent overeating,” says Richards. She mentions that fruit also helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight as you age, as most forms are “generally low in calories, high in fiber, and high in antioxidants.” Apples, which contain about 3 to 4 grams of fiber, can be a great filling snack anytime.
Beets contain 3.4 grams of fiber, which can greatly help relieve digestive issues and help you prioritize your gut health. “Beets are high in fiber and can help with digestion, thanks to their betaine which is a digestive enzyme,” says Hunnes. She notes that it can also help with regularity. “As we age, we tend to drink less and stay less hydrated, which can keep us up at night,” she continues. “Foods high in fiber can really help, especially when they come from fresh vegetables, whole grains, fruits, etc., because they also contain moisture,” she concludes.
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