One of the best ways to do this is by eating fiber-rich foods.

Fiber is found only in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Fiber is actually indigestible, and therefore does not provide us with energy in the form of calories.

Fiber has a number of health benefits. Consuming adequate amounts of fiber (30g of fiber daily) will keep you fuller longer, help control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and prevent gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diverticulitis, certain cancers, and hemorrhoids. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans are only consuming between 8-11g of fiber daily.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Plants contain a combination of both kinds of fiber.

Soluble fiber has a viscous, gummy consistency. It helps lower blood cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber’s primary role is to add bulk and retain water. Insoluble fiber is extremely important in aiding in digestion by helping propel food forward through the digestive tract. In this way, it helps prevent constipation and provide bulk to stools.

If you are looking to increase your fiber intake, be sure to do it slowly. Start by incorporating high-fiber foods slowly, as this will help prevent symptoms like diarrhea or gas. Also, fiber can absorb water, so be sure to be increasing you water intake appropriately as well!

The real trick to long-term, sustainable change is to create an environment that promotes healthy growth around you.

If you are looking to get started, there’s a podcast where we talk about healthy food choices that can help and replace kitchen staples.

E5: Food Swap, Part 2 from The Art of Eating: A Holistic Guide to Healthy Living

Hope this helps!