This weeks challenge is to consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day.
Public health guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise that you eat between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day. Unfortunately, most adults don’t even eat half this much.
Here are just some of the key benefits of consuming at least 25 grams of fiber a day:
- Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control.
- Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attacks, and research shows that those eating a high-fiber diet have a 40% lower risk of heart disease.
- Stroke: Researchers have found that for every 7 grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 %
- Fat loss: Fiber has been shown to enhance weight (fat) loss among obese people, likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness. Fiber actually expands in the stomach and is absorbed more slowly than other foods, which means we feel full and satisfied a lot longer – while taking in less calories, which is the perfect scenario for fat loss.
- Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
- Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40%.
- Digestive problems: A high-fiber diet lowers your risk of hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
- Fights disease: fiber increases bulk in the colon and may dilute carcinogens that are found in food or formed as a result of digestion.
So as you can see, there are many great health benefits of consuming 25 grams of fiber a day or more. Here’s the amount of points you can earn in this weeks challenge:
Consume 25 grams of fiber 3 days this week = 300 points
Consume 25 grams of fiber 4 days this week = 400 points
Consume 25 grams of fiber 5 days this week = 500 points
Consume 25 grams of fiber 6 days this week = 600 points
Consume 25 grams of fiber 7 days this week = 700 points
Bonus points: If on any of those days you consume more than 30 grams of fiber, you’ll earn a bonus 150 points. 35 grams or more and you’ll receive an extra 300 points!
Here’s a list of some of the best high-fiber foods:
1. Split Peas
Fiber: 16 grams per cup, cooked. A staple in Indian cooking, split peas form a terrific, protein-rich base for soups, and stews.
Fiber: 16 grams per cup, cooked. Lentils are kitchen all-stars—they take less time to cook and are more versatile than many other legumes. Here’s a great recipe for lentil stew.
3. Black Beans
Fiber: 15 grams per cup, cooked. Loaded with complex carbs and protein, this black bean soup makes a perfect post-workout meal.
4. Lima Beans
Fiber: 13 grams per cup, cooked. Lima beans might sound unappetizing, but when puréed into a soup, and topped with Greek yogurt, they’re pretty darn delicious.
Fiber: 10 grams per medium vegetable, cooked. Packing more fiber per serving than any other vegetable, artichokes are underused in most people’s kitchens.
Fiber: 9 grams per cup, cooked. Puréeing veggies is a great way to squeeze extra nutrients into any meal—this recipe comes together lightning-fast and is filled with protein, omega-3s, and of course, fiber.
Fiber: 5 grams per cup, boiled. It’s not only a great source of fiber, it’s rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals as well. Here’s a delicious healthy quiche recipe with lots of broccoli.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Fiber: 4 grams per cup, boiled. Try these with olive oil on the BBQ or this delicious brussels sprouts with chestnuts recipe.
Fiber: 8 grams per cup, raw. Try raspberries with shredded coconut, oatmeal, and vanilla. Here’s a delicious raspberry muffin recipe that’s high in both protein and fiber!
Fiber: 7.6 grams per cup, raw. This blackberry crumble recipe has 5 grams of fiber per serving!
Fiber: 6.7 grams per half, raw. Few foods deserve the title of “superfood” more than the avocado, which is jam-packed with vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. Try this quinoa, avocado and shrimp salad recipe for 7 grams of fiber!
Fiber: 5.5 grams per medium fruit, raw. This might sound strange, but try roasting (extra lean) pork with sliced pears. The sugar content of the pears makes them easy to caramelize and the added fiber balances out this high-protein meal.
13. Bran Flakes
Fiber: 7 grams per cup, raw. Try topping Greek yogurt with berries and bran flakes for a well-balanced protein and fiber breakfast or snack.
14. Pearled barley
Fiber: 6 grams per cup, cooked. It’s not just for making beer—barley is a chewy, nutritious grain that contains more fiber than oatmeal and brown rice. It’s great in both soups and salads.
Fiber: 4 grams per cup, cooked. This week I’ll post a recipe for Carrot Cake Oatmeal that I think you’ll love because it’s delicious and a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Here are a Few Tips for Adding More Fiber to Your Meals:
- Add flaxseed to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods—you can even try breading chicken or fish with it. A two-tablespoon serving contains 5 grams of fiber and a healthy dose of omega-3’s as well.
- Chia seeds have a whopping 6 grams of fiber per tablespoon. When they’re mixed with water, they form a gel that is great for thickening smoothies and healthy puddings, and will help you stay full longer.
- Although spinach and carrots aren’t as high in fiber as the veggies mentioned above, they can easily be sliced or grated and snuck into many dishes without much hassle: Try adding some to banana bread, shakes, eggs, or even homemade pizza.
- Food processors are fiber’s best friend. Purée some cooked vegetables and add them to sauces and stews, or swap out rice for chopped-up cauliflower.
I hope you find this information on fiber helpful and are up for this week’s challenge! If you have any questions or concerns, please post them below.
Prize DetailsIn addition to learning new healthy lifestyle skills, by completing this Weekly Challenge you’ll also receive 1,000 FITera points! Be sure to blog about this challenge and keep us updated on your progress. At the end of each week, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with how you did on the challenge, as well as your FITera username.
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Rules & Regulations
Keep us updated on how you’re doing with the weekly challenge by posting blogs on FITera with your progress, questions, or any tips, obstacles, or experiences you’d like to share. There is no minimum number of blogs required, but the more you post, the more support, encouragement, and accountability you’ll receive from others.
Just as you’ll receive support from others, please offer the same kind of feedback and encouragement to your peers. As you’ll soon discover, the more you give, the more you’ll receive.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Every Sunday we'll announce the details of the upcoming week's challenge. Each challenge goes from Monday to Sunday.
COMPLETING YOUR CHALLENGE: At the end of each week (Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday morning), please post a blog on how you did with your challenge for the week, such as what you learned, obstacles you overcame, and your plans for continuing this new healthy habit long-term.