If it’s one food type you need to start including in your diet, it’s fibrous foods. Americans should consume between 25-50 grams of fiber a day, and yet so many people are skimping on this essential food. Fiber helps you feel full, ameliorate digestion, and ultimately shed pounds. It’s also been linked to lower cholesterol levels and a decreased risk of heart disease. If you’re looking for something to help you lose weight and improve your health, fibrous foods are something worth incorporating into your diet. Check out these seven delicious fiber-rich foods you can easily eat to meet your daily fiber quota. Some are classic starches; others are foods you wouldn’t think of. All are absolutely delicious!
Many people love to start their day with fibrous foods like oatmeal. The whole grains and blood sugar-stabilizing fiber makes oatmeal a great choice for breakfast. Because oatmeal keeps you nice and full, you’ll be quite focused and can tackle the day like no other. For some people, oatmeal also makes a great snack in the late afternoon. Just make sure you’re making plain oatmeal and adding your own sweetener and/or fruit. Pre-made Instant oatmeal varieties usually pack a ton of sugar that will lead to weight gain. If you’re worried you won’t have enough time in the mornings, try making a large batch of oatmeal over the weekend and storing it in the fridge. Scoop out and reheat portions as needed throughout the week.
2. Black Rice
Surely you’ve heard of brown rice. But have you heard of black rice? With as many antioxidants as a cup of blueberries, black rice is all the rage right now in the food world. It’s a fiber-rich choice instead of traditional white rice. Feel free to substitute black rice for white rice in a variety of dishes. Whether it’s a casserole, a curry, or a stir-fry, black rice is a high-fiber choice that is perfect for any savory lunch or dinner. If you feel like getting creative, you can even use black rice as a hot breakfast cereal, adding sweeteners like agave nectar or all-natural maple syrup and fruit for a playful spin on a fibrous starch.
3. Garbanzo Beans
One of the reasons I love garbanzo beans (chick peas) is their versatility! From hummus to soups and stews, you can make a ton of different fiber-rich dishes with garbanzo beans. Remember that garbanzo beans aren’t the only beans full of fiber. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, even lentils and other legumes are all very rich sources of fiber. So next time you’re at the salad bar, feel free to load your plate with these little bundles of joy!
Did you know that one pear can pack up to 25% of your recommended daily fiber intake? Often overlooked in the fruit world, pears have some of the highest fiber levels. They’re usually in season and available year-round, making them an excellent and affordable choice for anyone looking to up their fiber intake. Better yet, pears can be used in a bunch of different dishes. Enjoy them with hot cereals, fruit salads, and even on their own! If you have some free time, bake your pear in the oven with a little cinnamon and some raisins for a guilt-free dessert anyone can enjoy.
5. Red Quinoa
Quinoa has been all the rage for some time now. Foodies like me love how it’s rich in protein and B vitamins. Quinoa is also a high in fiber, making it a total superfood! I like red quinoa specifically—the rich red color indicates a higher nutrient and antioxidant content compared to its traditional white counterpart. Eat red quinoa so you can get your protein, antioxidants, and fiber all in one dish of piping hot goodness.
6. Chia Seeds
Are you an avid fan of smoothies or fresh pressed juices? Consider adding chia seeds to your daily drinks. If you like to juice, remember that you’re removing a lot of the fiber by removing the pulp of the fruits and vegetables. Chia seeds are a great way to add fiber back into your juices, keeping your fuller longer and your energy levels stable throughout the day. And if you like using the whole fruit or veggie in a smoothie, adding chia seeds simply gives you an extra boost of fiber that everyone can benefit from.
Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables. Turns out she was right! Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are great sources of fiber and protein. Did you know broccoli has more protein gram for gram than steak? Adding a cup of steamed or lightly sautéed broccoli is an easy way to add more protein and fiber to your lunch or dinner. Try stocking up on frozen broccoli when it’s on sale at the grocery store and quickly steaming it for a simple and nutritious side.
Fiber is such an important component to a healthy diet. Yet few people are eating the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of it. What are some of your favorite ways to sneak fiber back into your diet?