Ah, fiber. When most of us hear the word, we immediately think about the digestive benefits, and for good reason: Fiber is one of the best ways of promoting digestive health.
But experts say there are plenty of other healthy reasons to like fiber -- reasons that are often overlooked.
"The benefits go far beyond digestion," registered dietitian Karen Ansel, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and co-author of The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life, tells The Huffington Post.
"It can help you feel fuller, longer and it can help with diabetes," she says, adding that fiber has also been shown to regulate blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol levels.
"Fiber, in my mind, is one of the most underrated nutrients," Ansel says.
To get those benefits, the Institute of Medicine recommends individuals eat 14 grams for every 1,000 calories of food, which means most of us should be getting between 25 and 40 grams daily. But, as the National Institutes of Health reports, we tend to fall way short -- the average American gets only about 14 grams per day.
Fortunately, with just a bit of planning and know-how, it is relatively easy to work fiber into your diet. And while people often think of standbys like whole-wheat bread, greens and oatmeal, there are many other ways to work more fiber into your diet.
So without further ado, here's a list of seven more surprising (or overlooked) ways to get your daily dose of fiber. Think we left any of the list? Let us know!