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Monday, May 11, 2015

6 High-Fiber Foods That Will Fill You Up

Eating a high-fiber diet is a great way to consistently feel full while maintaining a healthy weight. Mayo Clinic states that dietary fiber has a myriad of noteworthy health benefits, including relieving constipation, maintaining bowel health, reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and lowering your cholesterol levels. Men ages 50 or younger should consume 38 grams of fiber per day, while women of the same age should eat 25 grams. Mayo Clinic notes that men 51 or older should aim for 30 grams of fiber each day, and women that fall within that age range should get 21 grams.

Worried you aren’t getting enough fiber each day? Don’t worry — you can easily fix this by eating the right things. Work these 6 foods into your daily diet, and you’ll be hitting your daily goals in no time!

1. Bran
Boost your fiber intake by eating more bran. Today’s Dietitian states there are different types of bran, many of which contain ample amounts of dietary fiber. For example, oat bran is high in soluble fiber, containing 12 grams per 1 ounce. Wheat, corn, and rice brain, containing 12, 22, and 6 grams of fiber per ounce, respectively, are a great source of insoluble fiber, which ensures your digestive tract is healthy and functioning properly, according to Today’s Dietitian.

There are plenty of easy ways to eat more bran: sprinkle some into your oatmeal, start adding it into batters, and eat more high-fiber cereals and bars. Just be careful of some products that tout themselves as bran — they aren’t always healthy. Cooking Light warns that many bran muffins are often far too large, and can contain upwards of 350 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium. Livestrong states that one cup of Raisin Bran, a popular breakfast cereal, contains a whopping 20 grams of sugar.


2. Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
Eating legumes, nuts, and seeds is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough fiber. Mayo Clinic notes that a one-cup serving of cooked split peas has 16.3 grams of fiber, while the same serving of lentils contains 15.6 grams. A cup of cooked black beans has a whopping 15 grams, and the same serving of lima beans has 13.2 grams. If you’d prefer to nosh on nuts and seeds, dry-roasted peanuts, walnuts, and popcorn are all great options. The Help Guide states that ¼ cup of peanuts has 3 grams of fiber, while the same serving of walnuts has 2 grams. In addition, one cup of popcorn will provide you with 1 gram of fiber, so make sure to serve some at your next movie night!

Not only do these foods provide you with a hearty dose of fiber, but they also contain other great health benefits. For example, Health explains that black beans’ dark color signals they have a high content of flavonoids, plant pigments that are powerful antioxidants. White beans, another great source of fiber, contain protein, iron, and potassium, making it a great legume to start incorporating into meals.

3. Vegetables
All vegetables contain fiber, but Web MD notes that the general rule is the darker the color of the veggie, the higher its fiber content. High-fiber veggies include carrots, beets, and broccoli. In addition, collard greens and Swiss chard have 4 grams of fiber per cup, while spinach has 7 grams per ½ cup (Popeye clearly knew what he was doing).

Artichokes are one of the most fiber-filled vegetables available, with one medium-size artichoke containing 10 grams. Best Health recommends working Brussels sprouts into your daily diet, as ½ cup cooked has 3 grams, in addition to parsnips, which have 2.7 grams per ½ cup.

4. Fruit
Fruits and Veggies — More Matters explains that fruit labeled as “high in fiber” must have at least 5 grams of fiber. Apples, blackberries, pears, and raspberries have all been deemed high-fiber fruits, while bananas, blueberries, dates, figs, kiwi, oranges, and dried plums are all considered to be “good sources of fiber,” meaning they contain between 2.5 and 4.9 grams of fiber, according to Fruits and Veggies — More Matters.

Looking for ways to eat more fruit every day? Stop snacking on chips and replace them with fruit, top your morning bowl of oatmeal or cereal with a few berries, whip up a fresh, fruit-filled smoothie, or incorporate them into your baked goods.

5. Whole Grains
For an easy way to up your fiber intake, use whole grains in place of the refined carbs you typically eat throughout the day. Toss your sugary cereals and replace with healthy options, like Uncle Sam Original Whole Wheat & Flaxseed Cereal, make whole-grain pasta dinners, and use whole-wheat bread instead of its white, more refined counterpart.

Health states that you’ll get 5.8 grams of fiber in two slices of dark rye bread, but only 1.9 grams from the same serving of white bread. Moreover, there are 5.5 grams of fiber per ½ cup uncooked brown rice. To compare, there are 2 grams in uncooked white rice and a measly 0.7 found in a serving of instant rice. It’s important to note that not all whole grains are high in fiber; Health suggests sticking with oats, barley, and bulgur.

6. White Potatoes
Surprised to see this starchy spud make the list? Poor potatoes are often labeled as unhealthy, but the truth is, they can keep you feeling full for hours. Livestrong reports that one medium potato contains 20% of your daily fiber needs. This does not, however, mean you should pig out on potato chips and fries. Instead, try baking, boiling, steaming, or roasting them, Courtney Grove, RD, told Livestrong.

It’s important to always make sure the potato hasn’t sprouted and isn’t soft or shriveled; these are signs that your spud is past its peak. In addition to being a fantastic source of fiber, Live Science states that as long as they’re prepared properly, potatoes contain a wide array of other vitamins and minerals. They’re a good source of vitamins C and B-6, manganese, phosphorous, niacin, and pantothenic acid. 

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