Backed up? We’re not talking about being stuck in traffic, we’re talking about staying regular – you know, bowel movements. And fiber (a type of carbohydrate) can help to keep things flowing, but that’s not its only benefit. Because fiber is so important to your health, we searched the web to compile here a list of the best fiber-rich foods, according to nutrition experts.
There are two types of fiber: soluble, “which dissolves in water [and] can help lower glucose levels as well as help lower blood cholesterol,” and insoluble, “which does not dissolve in water [but] can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation,” according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health also notes: “Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.” They go on to say that “children and adults need at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day for good health, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day.”
Many people can name at least a couple of foods that contain fiber, but most do not know which foods are highest in fiber. So, let’s get to that list of the top five foods you can add to your diet to help meet your daily fiber requirements. Of course, we want to know which fibrous foods you eat to keep your systems in check, so comment below to let us know!
The List: Best Fiber-Rich Foods, According to Experts
Healthline notes that raw avocado has 10 grams of fiber in one cup. But the benefits don’t stop there: “The avocado is a unique fruit. Instead of being high in carbs, it’s loaded with healthy fats. Avocados are very high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and various B vitamins. They also have numerous health benefits,” writes Healthline.
Toast, anyone? “When you think of avocados, your mind may go right to guacamole and avocado toast, but there are plenty of other ways to put them to use. ‘Avocados are a nutrient-dense, versatile fruit that can be eaten alone or used in a variety of tasty recipes from soups to salad to smoothies,’ says Marisa Moore, RDN, who’s based in Atlanta,” writes Everyday Health.
Here’s another tasty side dish that can be paired with many other foods. Or if you’d prefer to make it a main dish, that works just as well. Beans are great sources of fiber for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
WebMD says, “think three-bean salad, bean burritos, chili, [and] soup.” We think we like the sound of all those. And you don’t have to stick to any one type of bean because they all contain fiber. So, mix and match to get some variety if you like.
“One cup of cooked black beans contains 15 grams of fiber and about 15 grams of protein, according to the USDA,” writes Health. They also note that beans contain “many nutrients and antioxidants” as well. Beans certainly pack a healthy punch.
Eat the skin! Much like apples, most of the fiber is in the skin, so don’t go peeling it off. One of these sweet treats (medium-sized) will provide you with about six grams of fiber.
Cleveland Clinic says that “compared to many other fruits, they’re particularly high in soluble fiber, which slows digestion and lowers cholesterol.” Remember that soluble fiber breaks down in water, so, as many websites recommended, be sure to drink plenty of water as well.
“Apples aren’t the only high-fiber fruit in the game! Pears, though often overlooked, pack plenty. To make a satisfying snack, pair them with almond butter or something savory, like cheese,” writes Women’s Health.
Berries in general made their way onto all lists we reviewed but these little gems were the most recommended. One cup of raspberries contains about eight grams of fiber, with some of it coming from those little seeds.
And if one cup doesn’t sound like enough: “About two cups of raspberries a day gets you the daily fiber you need. They’re a delicious treat all by themselves, baked into your favorite dessert recipe, or blended in a smoothie,” writes Meta Mucil.
“While all berries are a healthy choice, raspberries (and blackberries) come out on top with just under 9 grams of fiber per cup, not to mention a healthy dose of vitamin C. While still delicious and fiber-rich, strawberries have only 3 grams of fiber per cup and blueberries have 4 grams,” writes Eating Well.
Yes, popcorn. We wanted to cut you some slack incase the rest of the list was looking a little too, well, healthy. But really, this actually is a good source of that all important fiber.
“Popcorn packs plenty of fiber and is one of the highest antioxidant snacks available. One study actually found that popcorn may contain more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables,” writes Real Simple.
Though this can be a fun snack, a good reminder from Benefiber: “There’s one gram of fiber in one cup of popcorn, and the snack (when natural and not covered in butter, like at the movies) is a whole grain that can satiate cravings with a hit of fiber. It’s even been called the King of Snack Foods.”
You may also be interested in:
- Best Tea For Stress
- Best Fruit For Weight Loss
- Best Healthy Cooking Oils
- Best Foods for Protein
- Best Foods For Hangovers
- Everyday Health
- Cleveland Clinic
- Women’s Health
- Meta Mucil
- Eating Well
- Real Simple
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