Fiber—you know it’s good for you, we all know we need it, but how do you get it, other than scarfing down fiber fortified snack bars and cereals? No thanks! (They’re often packed with added sugars and preservatives.)You can keep on strolling past those fiber bars in the grocery store, thankfully, since there are many healthier (and more delicious) options, you can add to your diet to easily meet your daily fiber quota. And no, you don’t need to be eating beans with every meal… in case you were afraid that’s the only way. We’re sharing five delish ways to add more fiber to your diet.
Why Exactly is Fiber So Important, Though?
The reasons are numerous, but to name a few, fiber can help you with your weight loss goals, it plays a key role in the health of gut flora, helps keep your digestion moving along, and can lower blood sugar.
The ugly truth? Most of us are falling way short of the recommended 25 grams per day (38 for men). In fact, on average, we’re only getting only around 15-17 grams daily, which is largely due to diets high in standard American food that’s been highly processed and stripped of its natural fiber.
Here are a few totally natural and delicious foods to prioritize in order to meet your fiber needs—no beans, bran cereal, or supplements needed!
7 Plant-based Foods to Add More Fiber to Your Diet
Pears are juicy and delicious and readily available this time of year especially—they’re nature’s “fast food.” You’ll get 5.5 grams in just one medium-sized pear, so pick any variety.
This whole grain tops nearly every “should eat” list because it’s a true nutritional star. It’s high fiber content is one of its best perks. Enjoy a delicious, comforting bowl for breakfast or a snack and get a whopping 16.5 grams per cup (grab the old-fashioned, rolled variety which is less processed than instant or quick-cook oats.)
That’s right; you may not have thought of popcorn as a health food, and certainly, the butter-drowned movie theatre type isn’t, but done right, popcorn can be a high-fiber, filling snack. Just make sure you’re snacking on the type not drenched in butter, artificial flavors, or salt. One cup of air-popped popcorn contains 1.2 grams of fiber, and since a serving is several cups, the fiber adds up fast.
#4 Chia Seeds
These tiny black seeds are a darling of the health food scene, and for good reason! In addition to being high in protein, calcium, and magnesium, chia seeds provide 10.6 grams of fiber per ounce, so stir into a smoothie bowl or shake, or top your yogurt with a tablespoon or two.
#5 Brussels Sprouts
A delicious seasonal fall favorite, roast up some brussels sprouts and enjoy 4 grams of fiber per cup, in addition to so many vitamins and antioxidants they also provide.
As if you needed another excuses to nosh on some guac or just dig into an avocado with a spoon (go for it!) they contain an impressive 10 grams of fiber per cup (just watch your intake, since although healthy, they’re still very high in fat.)
You’ve probably heard of at least one health benefit of beets by now, but add high fiber content to the list of reasons to eat them, on a salad, roasted, or plain. One cup provides 3.8 grams, and tons of other detoxing and health-boosting perks.
Get Your Fiber in the Plant-based Way
By focusing on whole foods and choosing to pile your plate with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that come straight from the earth, versus processed snacks and meals, you’ll automatically up your consumption of fiber.
Whether you’re paleo, plant-based, or follow any other dietary style, it’s easy and delicious to get plenty of fiber each day, which will, in turn, help your body run smoothly and keep you feeling your very best.