If you live in America, chances are you aren't getting as much fiber as your body needs. With so many processed, refined, and stripped-of-fiber foods, it's hard to meet the recommended requirements. But we should try harder!
Benefits of fiber include creating a feeling of fullness that in turn possibly helps fight obesity. It also helps protect us from heart disease and colon cancer, as well as keeping, ehrm, things... running smoothly in the body. Fiber has so much to offer, so the last thing we should do is deny it.
While many foods have added fiber these days, there are plenty of natural sources with significant amounts. As you'll see, you don't have to go heavy on the grains or artificially fiber-rich foods to fulfill your daily fiber needs.
1) Split Peas16 grams per cup, cookedYes, you could eat oodles of split peas all on their own, but I could probably count on one hand the number of people who'd desire to do that. I love them in this cozy Split Pea Soup with Rosemary. That whopping amount of fiber definitely gives me the warm fuzzies.
2) Black Beans15 grams per cup, cookedWhether mixed in with a salad or used as an omelet topper, I always have this fiber source on-hand. The Santa Fe Black Beans (pictured above) work well as a dip or on its own as a savory side dish.
3) Green Peas8.8 grams per cup, cookedIf it's that green, you know it's going to be good for you. Add in all kinds of vitamins and protein with your fiber like this Green Pea and Asparagus Soup has done, and your body will love you forever.
5) Avocados6.7 grams per half, rawAll hail the avocado! But really—they’re superstars. Full of healthy fats and fiber, they can stand alone or be added to just about anything. If you're not a fan of the plain flavor, whip up a batch of Easy Guacamole and a pitcher of margaritas. Cheers to some fiber!
6) Chia Seeds5.5 grams per tablespoon, rawI like to say these "play well with others." They're great added to smoothies, yogurt, pudding, and even baking dishes if you need an egg substitute.
- The Skinny on Added Fiber
- How to Meet Your Fiber Needs with Food
- True or False: The more fiber you eat, the better.