February is National Fiber Focus Month. Usually, when you think of fiber, images of your grandparents may come to mind. It’s associated with sweaters, wrinkle cream, and perhaps dentures. But who’s to say fiber can’t be “the new black,” the latest hype, or the hottest college trend? Here are a few simple reasons why fiber should be on the top of your food list:
- Appetite control: Fiber has a way of making you feel full even after a small serving size. It helps curb cravings and decrease overall food intake.
- Blood sugar control: In the afternoon, so many students are hit with that “2:30 feeling” that makes you want to curl up in bed and take a nap. Fiber, however, can help fight the fatigue by maintaining your blood sugar for a longer period of time. And on a busy college schedule this leaves you wishing for fewer naps and more time for getting things done.
- Skin health: Eating fiber can help remove certain toxins from your body and your skin, which helps prevent acne and other skin blemishes.
- Enhance immune function: As college students, it is imperative to keep from getting sick and stay in the game. Eating fiber supports your immune system and keeps sick day assignments from piling up.
Fiber is not just for keeping you “regular” anymore. It has multiple functions that benefit older and younger generations alike. In addition to having many fantastic health benefits, fiber is easy to find, and don’t worry, prune juice and bran muffins are not required to maintain healthy fiber intake. Here are a few delicious, fiber-filled foods.
- Black beans have become a new staple in the modern diet. They are found on salads, in burgers, and even at Chipotle.
- Hummus is made of chickpeas, in which there is a substantial amount of fiber. Pair hummus with some wheat pita bread, and you’ve got fiber as well as a complete protein.
- Avocado is put on almost anything these days. It’s an easy add to a salad or sandwich and a must in classic guacamole dip.
- Edamame is a popular soybean that has can be found at most Asian and sushi restaurants. Edamame can also be found in the frozen food aisle and is easily steamed for a quick fiber addition to dinner.
- Raspberries can be blended in a smoothie, added to cereal, or just popped as a snack.
Katie Nahay is a junior at Auburn University majoring in nutrition dietetics. She plans to become a registered dietician and then continue on to physician assistant’s school or continue writing in the nutrition field.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Goodman