More people should befriend fibrous foods. Even though fiber has a reputation for bettering bowel movements, its benefits branch well beyond the bathroom. Too many Americans are missing out on the recommended daily intake of fiber.
In order to ensure that you are not one of these people, learn about the many benefits of fiber, from reducing the chances of stroke and hypertension, to helping fight heart disease and improve overall health.
Here are some of the most popular high-fiber foods, with tasty recipes to match:
High Fiber Foods and Recipes to Improve Your Health
1. Something You Should Know About Split Peas
Split peas are a versatile staple for any fiber-fueled diet. These peas are perfect in stews, soups, and other hearty recipes.
Fiber Content: With a fiber content of 16.3 grams per cup when cooked, split peas split peas are a simple ingredient to fit into many recipes. Check this hearty split pea soup recipe:
Spinach and Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe
Spinach and yellow split pea soup is ideal for anyone wanting a filling, yet nutritious, meal. This recipe is rich in vitamins A, C and K, and it also contains vital minerals such as iron and magnesium. Here is how to make this fiber-filled soup:
- Two cups dried split yellow peas
- One cup chopped onion
- One chopped garlic clove
- Two teaspoons vegetable oil
- One and a half teaspoons finely chopped ginger
- One half teaspoon curry powder
- One quarter teaspoon turmeric
- One quarter teaspoon ground coriander
- One half teaspoon ground cumin
- One quarter teaspoon cayenne
- One half teaspoon salt
- One and a half cups shredded fresh spinach
- Half a teaspoon salt
How to Prepare:
- Combine onion and garlic to oil-filled pot over medium heat until soft.
- Once soft, add cumin, ginger, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne.
- Stir occasionally for one minute until spices are toasted.
- Add eight cups of water and yellow split peas.
- Boil to high heat.
- Lessen heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes.
- Mix in spinach and salt.
- Continue to cook until spinach shrivels, approximately one to two minutes.
- Allow standing for soup to thicken.
2. Fall in Love With the Many Nutritious Qualities of Lentils
Lentils are easily the most malleable of the legumes. They take less time to cook and are more versatile than many other legumes. Utilize lentils in most recipes or even as a side dish.
Fiber Content: Lentils boast 15.6 grams of fiber per cup when cooked. Here is a recipe that turns lentils into a delicious curry:
Red Lentil Curry
- One cup red lentils
- Four cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- One large, peeled russet potato cut into one-inch pieces
- Four chopped medium carrots
- Three tablespoons canola oil
- Two tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- Two cloves chopped garlic
- Eight scallions sliced with white and green parts separated
- One tablespoon curry powder
- Dash of kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Slices of bread and lime wedges for serving
- Warm oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir in ginger, garlic, and scallion whites until cooked.
- Stir frequently, approximately two to three minutes.
- Add curry powder.
- Mix in carrots, potato, lentils, brother, three quarters of a teaspoon salt, and one quarter of a teaspoon pepper.
- Boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Stir occasionally, and cook until lentils are tender, approximately fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Sprinkle curry on top with scallion greens.
- Serve with lime wedges and bread.
3. Find Your Fiber Deliciously in Fresh, Sweet Pears
Fruit tends to be loaded with sugar, but you can also find fiber in pears. The skin alone can contain close to half of your daily-recommended fiber intake.
The skin of the pear also contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant flavonoids and anti-cancer phytonutrients such as cinnamic acids.
Fiber Content: One medium sized pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber.
Here are a few ways you can sneak pears into different meals throughout the day:
Pairing Pears Into Your Meals
The skin of a pear contains most of the fiber, so do your best not to peel the fruit. In addition to simply eating a pear whole, here are a few other ideas for consuming more pears:
- Mix chopped pears with mustard greens, watercress, leeks and walnuts for a delicious, Asian-inspired salad.
- Poach pears to serve with goat or bleu cheese as dessert.
- Stir pears into your oatmeal or porridge to add some sweetness to your breakfast.
4. Add More Avocado to Your Diet to Fulfill Your Fiber Needs
Avocados are the ideal combination of healthy and delicious. Loaded with vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins, Avocado is healthy fat and fiber filled fruit.
Fiber Content: With approximately 10 grams of fiber in every cup, avocados are a scrumptious healthy alternative for many of your meals.
Here are a few ideas for serving avocados:
Adding Avocados to Your Meals
- Garnish soups or salads with chopped avocados.
- Mix avocados into any creamy dressings for salads.
- Combine avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantros, lime juice, and seasonings for a healthy version of guacamole.
- Replace mayonnaise with fresh avocados spread with a knife.
- One salad with avocado you will love is to combine sliced avocado with oranges, fennel, and mint. This recipe is easy and delicious, plus it’s loaded with fiber.
5. Boost Your Broccoli Consumption for a Healthier Longer Life
One of the many cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is filled with multiple nutrients. Broccoli is full of vitamins, such as C and K, potassium, iron and manganese. Also, broccoli is a powerful antioxidant that has cancer-fighting properties. Not to mention, broccoli is incredibly high in both protein and fiber.
Fiber Content: One cup of broccoli includes up to two and a half grams of fiber.
One of the easiest, most delicious ways to prepare broccoli is to steam it up. Continue reading to learn how to prepare broccoli quickly yet effectively.
How to Steam Broccoli:
- Place a steamer basket into a medium sized pan. Fill with water up to the bottom of the steamer basket.
- Lightly salt water.
- Bring water to a boil using a tightly fitting lid.
- Place one piece of cut up broccoli into the basket, spread out, and cover.
- Steam for only three to four minutes. The broccoli will be bright green in color when done.
- Add light seasoning to taste.
6. Artichokes: The Underrated Vegetable, But Full Of Nourishment
Perhaps you have heard of stuffed artichokes, but chances are that you really do not hear of artichokes gracing the dinner plates of many households. While artichokes are curiously underrated, you should utilize them in the kitchen more often.
Fiber Content: When cooked, artichokes boast up to 10.3 grams of fiber per vegetable.
Here is an easy recipe to incorporate artichokes into your daily meals as a side dish:
Grilled Lemon Garlic Artichokes
- Four artichokes
- Two lemons
- Three cloves of chopped garlic
- One tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- One teaspoon oregano
- One teaspoon thyme
- One teaspoon rosemary
- One tablespoon red wine vinegar
- One tablespoon parsley
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fill large pot with water over low heat.
- Stir in juice from one of the lemons, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
- Place artichokes into pot and cover.
- Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until stem is tender.
- Drain and cool the artichokes.
- Slice artichokes in half length-wise, and scoop out the choke.
- Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and parsley into a bowl, and add the sliced artichokes.
- Cook artichokes over medium heat, preferably on the grill, for five minutes or until there is a light char.
- Add the remaining lemon juice and sea salt before serving.
7. Why It’s Best for You to Bulk Up on the Brussels Sprouts
Consider Brussels sprouts the cousin of broccoli. Similarly to broccoli, Brussels sprouts are unbelievably full of fiber.
Fiber Content: When boiled, Brussels sprouts boast over four grams of fiber per cup.
Some might scoff at eating this circular vegetable, but here is a roasted Brussels sprout recipe that no one can resist.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Onions
- One and a half pounds of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- One tablespoon olive oil
- One and a half pounds of red onions, sliced thickly
- One quarter cup balsamic vinegar
How to Cook Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Warm your oven to 450°F.
- Layer nonstick foil onto a large baking sheet.
- Line up the Brussel sprouts in a single layer on the pan, and toss in oil.
- Place the sheet in the upper third section of the oven, and stir occasionally for 12 minutes.
- Combine onions onto the pan and roast until vegetables are tender, approximately 10 more minutes.
- Drizzle with vinegar, mix ingredients up, and roast for two more minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
8. There is Something Healthy About Barley for Your Body
Barley is one of the most nutritious grains available. In fact, barley contains more fiber than brown rice or oatmeal. You can use it in soup, salad, or tea.
Fiber Content: One cup of cooked barley contributes six grams of fiber to your recommended daily fiber intake.
While drinking beer brewed from barley hops will not do the trick, there are some other delicious ways to sneak more barley into your diet.
Here are some tips for anyone wanting to add barley to their diet:
Tips for Preparing Barley
- Always rinse barley, and all grains, under running water to remove of any dirt or debris.
- Use one-part barley to three and a half parts boiling broth or water for cooking.
- Bring liquid to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer.
- Pearled barley will take close to one hour to simmer, and hulled barley will cook for approximately 90 minutes.
Creative Barley Dishes
- You can combine barley flour with wheat flour to make baked goods, such as bread and muffins.
- Cracked barley or barley flakes make a satisfying hot cereal.
- Cook hulled barley, chill, and mix with chopped vegetables for a filling salad.
- Add barley to stew or soup for additional heartiness.
9. Supercharge Your Meals With Fiber-Filled Oats
Oats, also known as Avena sativa, are one of the heartiest options in the grain department. Even though oats are hulled after being harvested and cleaned, they never lose their ample source of fiber and other nutrients.
Fiber Content: One cup of cooked oats contains four grams of fiber.
You can cook oats in many several ways, and there are quite a few different variations of oats. Here’s how you can add oats to your diet:
Cooking Different Types of Oats
- All types of oats are best when you add them to cold water and cook over low heat.
- Rolled oats and steel-cut oats require two-parts water to one-part oats.
- Rolled oats cook in approximately 15 minutes, whereas steel-cut oats require approximately 30 minutes.
How to Serve Oats
- Combine oats with your favorite fruits or nuts for a hearty oatmeal breakfast.
- Oatmeal cookies are always a mouthwatering, yet wholesome idea.
- Sprinkle oat bran onto cereal, muffins, and bread.
10. The Sweetest Potato You Will Ever Eat for Your Fiber Needs
Sweet potatoes are deliciously sweet and still packed with nutrients. They contain large amounts of beta-carotene, and B-vitamins.
Fiber Content: One medium sized boiled sweet potato boasts 3.8 grams of fiber.
Not to mention, this tuber can be ridiculously easy to prepare. Here is how:
- Simply clean off one medium sized sweet potato, and wrap in a damp paper towel.
- Pop into the microwave for a total of seven minutes, making sure to flip the potato over half way through.
- You will have a perfectly baked potato in less than 10 minutes.
Here is a much more sophisticated sweet potato recipe:
Golden Spinach and Sweet Potato Sauté
- Two cups of peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
- Six ounces of spinach
- One medium chopped onion
- Four medium minced gloves of garlic
- One cup and one tablespoon of broth, chicken or vegetable
- One half teaspoons of turmeric, coriander, cumin, and cardamom
- One tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Two tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Create the Spinach and Sweet Potato Sauté:
- Let chopped onions and minced garlic sit mixed together for five minutes.
- Heat the one-tablespoon of broth in a large skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic mixture for four to five minutes.
- Mix in seasonings and lemon juice thoroughly.
- Add the rest of the broth and sweet potatoes.
- Cover, simmer, and stir occasionally.
- Potatoes should be tender after 15 minutes.
- Uncover and allow sauce to thicken for up to five more minutes.
- Drain any water from the spinach and add to the skillet.
- Cook uncovered for up to four minutes, or until sauce is thickened to desired consistency.
- Add cilantro, salt, and pepper before serving.
11. Quinoa: A Fantastic Fiber Option No One Can Pronounce
Quinoa, pronounced keen-wha, is growing in popularity amongst health nuts everywhere. The reason why is mostly due to the dense nutritional value in quinoa. It contains fiber, in addition to other nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc and magnesium.
Fiber Content: One cup of cooked quinoa contains 1.6 grams of fiber.
Quinoa might be difficult to pronounce, but it doesn’t have to be difficult to cook. Here is how you should cook quinoa:
How to Cook Quinoa
- Combine one-part of grain to two parts liquid, whether water or broth, into a saucepan.
- Boil, simmer, and then cover.
- One-cup quinoa takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Quinoa will appear translucent when cooked completely.
- To cook the quinoa, add one part of the grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan.
- After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover. One cup of quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare.
- Quinoa can be dry roasted before cooking. To dry roast, place the skillet over medium low heat and stir consistently for five minutes before adding any liquid.
Different Ways to Enjoy Quinoa
- Mix chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions, and coriander. Add seasoning to taste for a southwestern-styled salad.
- Create breakfast porridge by adding quinoa, nuts, and fruit together.
12. Find Fiber in Corn to Boost Your Nutritive Eating
Corn gives you ample of chewing satisfaction, and its high ratio of insoluble-to-soluble fiber is mainly the reason. By consuming more corn, you can boost your daily fiber intake easily. It also helps to keep your colon clean.
Fiber Content: One medium ear of corn contains two and a half grams of fiber.
Here are a few different ways you can add corn into your diet:
How to Cram Corn into Your Diet
Corn on the cob is always a crowd favorite, but here are some other ways to serve it up for more variety:
- Sauté corn with other vegetables, such as onions, chilies and peppers.
- Add corn to a cold salad, such as a quinoa, tomato, pepper and kidney bean salad.
- Utilize polenta, which is a cornmeal, to create pizza crust and other healthy pastry options.
- Add corn kernels to guacamole, salsa, or soup for additional nutrients.
13. Toss the White Rice and Cook Brown Rice for More Fiber
Manufacturers produce brown rice through a process that removes the outermost layer, which does not prove damaging to its nutritional value. When they convert brown rice into white rice, more than half of the nutritional composition is compromised. So, opting for brown rice is the healthier option.
Here are some tips for creating healthy yet delicious brown rice:
Tips for Preparing Brown Rice
- Always make sure to rinse all grains off before cooking. Cold water rinsing will help prevent the rice from sticking.
- Boil one-part rice to two-parts water or both. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
Different Ideas to Enjoy Brown Rice
- You can add brown rice to milk or soymilk to create rice pudding.
- Mix brown rice with your favorite vegetables or proteins for a appetizing mixture.
14. Add Some Flaxseed to Your Diet and See Your Health Improving
Flaxseed boasts high levels of vital nutrients that help it support the intestines. It has omega-3 fatty acids, high-lignan content, and mucilage gums. Mucilage is a water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that can offer enhanced support to the intestinal tract.
Fiber Content: With approximately two grams of fiber per tablespoon, flaxseed is an easy addition to multiple different meals.
Here are some facts to keep in mind when preparing flaxseed:
Tips for Preparing Flaxseeds
- You can ground flaxseeds in a coffee grinder in order to boost digestibility, which also enhances the nutritional value.
- Whenever adding ground flaxseed to a dish, be sure to add it at the end of cooking because it can thicken liquids if left too long.
Different Ways to Consume Flaxseed
- Add a tablespoon of flaxseed to cereal in the morning.
- Sprinkle flaxseed on top of muffins, cookies, or bread.
- Add flaxseed to shakes, smoothies, and other beverages.
15. Beat Low Levels of Fiber with Beet Greens
One of the best sources of fiber, in addition to protein, are beet greens. This extremely uncommon vegetable is full of copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium and calcium, making it one of the healthiest of the leafy greens for you to consume.
Fiber Content: With four grams of fiber per cup of cooked greens, you can easily sneak some more greens into your diet for some additional fiber.
The Best Way to Cook Beet Greens
Boiling beet greens rids of acids without ruining the nutritional value; however, be sure to not use the water as a stock, since it will now be filled with these acids. Here’s how to cook them:
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil.
- Add in one pound of beet greens and boil for one minute.
- Do not cover the pot, as this will rid of more acids.
- Remove greens from the pot and press liquid out with a fork.
- For additional flavor, toss in a salad dressing of your choice.
Why is Fiber So Vital?
Now that you know of different ways to fit fiber into your diet, you should understand why it is significant to reach the daily recommended intake. Fiber comes into your body in two varieties:
- Soluble Fiber: It is turned into a gel form inside of the stomach. This type of fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose.
- Insoluble Fiber: It remains unchanged all through the colon, which causes waste to become heavier and softer. This allows stool to travel through the intestines easily.
Without fiber, the body’s intestines cannot produce healthy stool and rid the colon of waste.
Know Your Correct Daily Recommended Amount
Too little fiber intake causes blood sugar to spike or drop, and your appetite will be off the charges. Fiber helps the body remain sated.
Too much fiber causes food and waste to move through the intestines too quickly. This means that body will not efficiently absorbs the minerals and nutrients within the food. This also causes gas, bloating, and cramping.
So, What’s The Right Amount of Fiber You Need?
Experts recommend that men under 50 consume approximately 38 grams of fiber each day, and women under 50 consume approximately 25 grams. Any adult over 50 should consume approximately 25 grams of fiber due to less food consumption.
There are numerous diseases that you can treat by altering your lifestyle, changing eating habits and adding fiber to your diet. Make these changes today and see the healthy benefits.