Article and photos by Melanie Flinn, RD
If eating healthier is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you’ll have more success if you break it down into smaller, mini-goals. When you set a big goal, it’s hard to know where to start and it’s easy to get discouraged.
How much fiber do I need? Getting enough fiber and meal prepping are two great mini goals that will lead you to healthier eating in the New Year and can also help with weight management! Win win!
If you don’t know how to increase your fiber intake, use these tips to help. Let’s knock out two goals in one by mastering easy ways to meal prep high fiber meals with figs!
Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, which are a high fiber food, are super convenient to stock your pantry with and fit into any meal of the day!
Before we start prepping, let’s cover the basics….
What is fiber?
Dietary fiber is a plant-based material that cannot be broken down or digested in the digestive tract, and is often referred to as roughage or bulk.
What are the benefits of fiber?
Although fiber passes through the intestinal track relatively intact, it provides many important health benefits. Depending on the type (there is more than one), eating a diet rich in fiber may reduce a person’s risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain intestinal tract disorders, cardiovascular disease.
It does this helping to reduce blood cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure and reducing markers of inflammation. Fiber also helps keep your bowel movements regular, prevents constipation and helps with weight management.
Fiber does a lot of work!
How much fiber do I need?
The recommended intake for fiber is 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women, but the typical American diet supplies much less.
Good sources of dietary fiber contain at least 2.5 g of fiber per serving. Aim to incorporate high fiber foods into each meal and snack you prep!
How to Increase Fiber in the Diet
When it comes to meal prep, it just takes a little planning and designated time each week. Luckily there are a lot of common foods that are good sources of dietary fiber that you can incorporate into your meals.
Note that only plant foods provide dietary fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes. For example, one-quarter cup serving of California Dried Figs has 5 grams of fiber!
Committing to spend some time each weekend to meal plan and prep will greatly increase your chances of eating healthy and maintaining those New Year’s goals!
Take baby steps and pick a breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack to prep for the week. If you have more time, keep going!
Easy Way to Meal Prep High Fiber Meals with Figs
- For healthy breakfasts or snacks, eat high fiber whole grain oats or cereals topped with Dried Figs. Read the labels to find out if a product is whole grain (it should be the first ingredient listed). Overnight oats with Dried Figs is the perfect and easy high fiber meal prep meal.
- Prep yogurt bowls. Add Dried Figs to sweeten plain yogurt and top with wheat germ or granola for extra fiber. These keep well in individual containers for a meal prep snack.
- Prep fruit salad with Dried Figs. It makes an excellent addition to a meal or can serve as dessert.
- Assemble a snack pack with Dried Figs, lean lunch meat, cheese, nuts and whole grain crackers. The figs, crackers and nuts will provide a fiber boost be substantial enough for a mini meal. These snack packs will keep well in the fridge for the week for an easy grab and go meal option.
- Stir California Dried Figs into whole grain salads such as couscous or brown rice to make a satisfying easy make ahead dinner. Grain salads hold up well in the refrigerator and can double as a lunch or dinner option.
- Top your meal prep salads with prepared chicken salad, veggies and Dried Figs for fiber and a little sweetness.
Meal prep some high protein items and give them a fiber boost, like egg muffins with broccoli or Chicken with Balsamic-Fig Sauce https://valleyfig.com/dried-fig-recipes/quick-caramelized-onion-fennel-figs/