Including fiber in your diet is important. It helps keep your system regular which is important for both health and comfort reason. One of the most common ways that people increase the amount of fiber in their diet is by adding in whole grains. Unfortunately, for those following a paleo or a gluten free diet, adding in whole grains for extra fiber is not a good idea.

Adding Fiber Without Adding Grains

Adding fiber without grains is possible, it’s just more difficult. Fiber is defined as material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin, which are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes. Because they are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes, they move more quickly through your system.

Fruit is one of the easiest ways to add fiber to your diet when you don’t want to eat grains. The best choice is always fresh fruit instead of canned or processed.  The highest fiber fruits are prunes, pears, apples, blackberries and bananas.  Try a big bowl of fruit salad for breakfast each day and start the day off with a healthy dose of fiber.

Legumes or beans are another good source of fiber. Those following the paleo diet cannot eat beans but if you have different dietary constrictions, feel free to add garbanzo, kidney beans, lima beans, or pinto beans to your meals.  How about a big bowl of chili for lunch or dinner?  Sounds delicious to me.

Of course, adding vegetables to your diet is another great way to add fiber without adding grains. Not all vegetables are high in fiber and if you cook them, the fiber content is reduced. Enjoy a garden salad for lunch or dinner with high fiber vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots.  Carrots make great snacks and are very portable as well. I let the kids dip raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots in Ranch dressing for a healthy afternoon snack that is high in fiber.

Adding fiber without adding grains can also be done by including nuts and seeds in your diet each day.  Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are one of my favorite salad toppings.  You can also throw in a handful into your yogurt or breakfast smoothie.  Nuts are great to snack on by themselves.   Choose healthy choices like pistachios and almonds which are good for your heart.

How do you add fiber to your diet?