The Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Fiber (3:06)
New reports about fiber suggest that in addition to promoting healthy digestion and keeping cravings in check, the essential nutrient may also help reduce inflammation and chronic stress in the body. Some of the fiber you eat, from meals and snacks, feeds the good bacteria in the gut, which in turn, fights back against inflammation. With less inflammation, you’ll lower your risk for major health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot developed this 28-day high-fiber plan that will help you eat more fiber and lower inflammation in less than a month.
Eliminate Inflammation-Causing Foods
Kick off your healthy-eating diet makeover by avoiding inflammation-causing foods. The top foods to avoid include alcohol, artificial sweeteners, dairy, fried foods, foods made with refined flour, and sugar.
Day 1-7: Start With a High-Fiber Breakfast
Oftentimes, when you add too much fiber to your diet too quickly, the digestive system may not be able to keep up and you may experience gastrointestinal discomfort or feel unwell. The key is to incorporate more fiber gradually and drink more water, giving your body time to adjust to the increased fiber intake. To ease into the high-fiber plan, begin by swapping your breakfast with a high-fiber one. Zuckerbrot suggests a “faux-meal,” or “fake oatmeal,” made with fiber-rich bran buds. When you top a bowl of bran buds with fresh fruit like berries, you’ll boost the fiber content to up to 21 grams of fiber...all before lunchtime!
Day 8-28: Continue With Cabbage Soup
After your first week has been successfully completed, you can start enjoying cabbage soup for lunch, in addition to the faux-meal breakfast. Cabbage is rich in inflammation-fighting antioxidants and low in calories, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a classic and guilt-free recipe.
Day 8-28: Have a Hearty Dinner
For the last twenty days, your dinner should include a half portion of beans and a half portion of meat. Zuckerbrot’s recommended options include a bean and turkey chili and a bean and beef burger. You’ll get at least 13 grams of fiber in your last meal of the day.
Snack on Fiber-full Treats
The aim for the entire 28 days is to work yourself up to eating at least 28 grams of fiber per day. To help you meet your daily recommended fiber intake, you can also snack strategically. High-fiber snacks, like a cup of raspberries, can offer four grams of fiber or more, making it easy to reach your goal in no time.