Fiber might not be a popular subject, but Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, and author of The F-Factor Diet, says it's the unsung hero of nutrients. Case in point: It lowers inflammation, promotes healthy gut microbes, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Perhaps its biggest claim to fame, though, is its ability to rev up metabolism.
"Most diets slow down your metabolism, and that's why people end up plateauing," Zuckerbrot tells Well+Good, referencing juice cleanses as a major culprit. Fiber, however, is hard for your body to break down, so it burns more calories in the process. She references a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where participants increased their metabolism by 92 calories a day when they swapped refined grains for whole grains, which contain a ton of fiber. Take note: People with a fast metabolism have forged these three simple habits, says a fiber expert.
They Eat the Skin of Fruits and Veggies
Don't peel your fruits and vegetables—you might be missing out on the most nutrient-dense part. "The skin of fruits and vegetables is often where a good portion of the nutrients live, as well as the fiber," says Zuckerbrot.
They Use Spiralizers
Zucchini, carrot, and parsnip are all high-fiber foods that make a great pasta substitute. "These vegetables provide a low-calorie base to be paired with protein, more vegetables, and sauce," she says.
They Sprinkle Chia Seeds Liberally
One tablespoon of chia has a massive six grams of fiber, making it a quick and easy way to boost your intake.