If you’re avoiding gluten – the pesky protein found in wheat, barley and rye – you may not be getting enough fiber in your diet. It can be a challenge to meet the recommended daily amount when you nix the whole-grain breads and high-fiber cereals from your meals. And when you’re deficient in this essential nutrient, you’re at risk for constipation, weight gain, blood sugar fluctuations and sluggishness. No, thank you! Here are some creative ways to give your body the fiber it needs.
Connect with your inner Hawaiian gal
Coconut is a great source of fiber. One cup contains seven grams. So sprinkle this tropical tasty treat on your morning yogurt or lunchtime salad. It’s also great in recipes: Try substituting finely shredded coconut for bread crumbs when making a crusty coating for chicken or fish. Just don’t go crazy for coconut. One cup contains 280 calories and almost half of your recommended daily fat allowance.
Make beans a daily choice (but make sure they are safe)
Beans are loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber. Including a half-cup of black, pinto or kidney beans in your diet every day can contribute nearly 10 grams a fiber to your diet. That’s a healthy start toward the 25 to 38 grams of fiber we need daily. Beans are susceptible to cross contamination – farmers often rotate bean crops with barley or wheat – so if you are sensitive to trace amounts of gluten, look for certified gluten-free beans.
Hide your fiber in your water, iced tea or smoothie
Keep it simple. Add a scoop of Regular Girl to your favorite cool, non-carbonated beverage for a 100-percent gluten-free fiber boost. This prebiotic soluble fiber and probiotic blend won’t change its color, taste or odor. Really! And, each serving contains six grams of Sunfiber, the soluble fiber known to be amazingly gentle on your belly. So, Regular Girl won’t cause the uncomfortable extra bloating or gas common with some of those other fiber sources.
Flex your fiber muscle with flax seeds
A tablespoon of these small, tan seeds, also called linseeds, contains nearly three grams of fiber, plus almost two grams of protein and a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle these gluten-free beauties on your salad instead of croutons for a healthy dose of digestion-pleasing fiber.