Fiber Friends

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Why Fiber?

Fiber is something the body needs but never actually digests—in fact, it remains more or less the same from plate to toilet. It comes in two varieties, soluble and insoluble, and most plant-based foods contain a mixture of the two. Soluble fiber turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, remains unchanged all the way to the colon, making waste heavier and softer so it can shimmy through the intestines more easily. Regardless of these differences, neither type of fiber is ever absorbed into the body.

Skipping out on a daily dose of fiber often leads to constipation, which can make going to the bathroom painful and uncomfortable—hence the term “backed up.” Eating too little fiber can make it tough to control blood sugar and appetite because fiber regulates the speed of digestion and contributes to satiety (aka feeling full). There can be too much of a good thing, though. Overdoing it with fiber can move food through the intestines too quickly, which means fewer minerals get absorbed from food. It can also result in uncomfy gas, bloating, and cramping, especially when fiber intake is dramatically increased overnight .

So what’s the magic amount? The Institute of Medicine recommends that men under 50 eat about 38 grams of fiber each day and women consume 25 grams. Adults over 50 require less fiber (30 grams for dudes and 21 grams for ladies) due to decreased food consumption. To put that into perspective, a young man is supposed to eat the same amount of fiber found in 15 slices of whole-wheat bread every day.

But fear not! Despite common preconceptions, whole grains are hardly the best source of fiber around. Read on to learn about a few of our favorite, fiber-rich foods, plus a tasty recipe to help get ‘em on the table.

The Best High-Fiber Foods

Note: The amount of fiber in these foods can vary slightly between the raw and cooked versions.

Legumes

1. Split Peas
Fiber: 16.3 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Spinach and Yellow Split Pea Soup
A staple in Indian cooking, split peas form a terrific, protein-rich base for soups, stews, and dhals. This South Asian recipe is the best kind of comfort food: healthy, satisfying, and super filling.

2. Lentils
Fiber: 15.6 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Sautéed Mushrooms
Lentils are kitchen all-stars—they take less time to cook and are more versatile than many other legumes. This recipe takes advantage of their slightly meatier taste and turns them into a juicy patty that’s held together with lemon juice, cilantro, and walnuts.

3. Black Beans
Fiber: 15 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Sweet potato pairs perfectly with the smokiness of chipotle peppers and adds even more fiber to this hearty bean dish. Loaded with complex carbs and protein, this cold-weather stew makes a perfect post-workout meal.

4. Lima Beans
Fiber: 13.2 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Leek and Lima Bean Soup with Bacon
Lima beans might sound unappetizing, but when cooked in bacon fat, paired with leeks, puréed into a soup, and topped with sour cream, they’re pretty darn delicious.

Vegetables
5. Artichokes

Fiber: 10.3 grams per medium vegetable, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Roasted Artichokes for Two
Packing more fiber per serving than any other vegetable, artichokes are curiously underused in most people’s kitchens (perhaps because they look a bit… prickly). Get creative and try this simple recipe with lime, garlic, and black pepper.

6. Peas
Fiber: 8.8 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Scallops on Minted Pea Purée with Prosciutto
Puréeing veggies is a great way to squeeze extra nutrients into any meal—this recipe comes together lightning-fast and is filled with protein, omega-3s, and, of course, fiber.

7. Broccoli
Fiber: 5.1 grams per cup, boiled.
Go-To Recipe: Paleo Broccoli Fritters
This caveman-friendly dish is pretty simple. To make these fritters, just combine onion, garlic, broccoli, eggs, and almond meal. Once they hit the table, you’ll be surprised how much broccoli gets finished in one sitting.

8. Brussels Sprouts
Fiber: 4.1 grams per cup, boiled.
Go-To Recipe: Hoisin Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Try this Asian twist on the old standard—this meal carries tones of ginger, sesame, and peanut that will keep you coming back for seconds (and maybe thirds).

Fruit
9. Raspberries

Fiber: 8 grams per cup, raw.
Go-To Recipe: Raspberry, Coconut, and Oat Macaroons
Raspberries aren’t a hard sell—they’re basically nature’s candy. With the help of coconut, oatmeal, and vanilla, they make a relatively healthy dessert that pleases any palate.

10. Blackberries
Fiber: 7.6 grams per cup, raw.
Go-To Recipe: Blackberry Lemon Salad
Successfully mixing sweet and savory isn’t for the faint of heart, but this salad makes use of blackberries, lemon, scallions, and dill to great effect.

11. Avocados
Fiber: 6.7 grams per half, raw.
Go-To Recipe: Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado and Radish Salad
Few foods deserve the title of “superfood” more than the avocado, which is jam-packed with vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. Pile it on top of this low-carb, Mexican-inspired salad to add some creamy goodness.

12. Pears
Fiber: 5.5 grams per medium fruit, raw.
Go-To Recipe: Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pears
This recipe is a simple and inexpensive way to experiment with an unusual flavor combination. Pork works well with sweeter flavors, and the high sugar content of pears makes them easy to caramelize.

Grains
13. Bran Flakes

Fiber: 7 grams per cup, raw.
Go-To Recipe: Vanilla, Honey, and Yogurt Smoothie with Bran Flakes
Short on time? Whip up a nutritious smoothie and take breakfast to go. This shake is a healthy and delicious way to get plenty of fiber and a hefty amount of protein, all in one glass.

14. Whole-Wheat Pasta
Fiber: 6.3 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Avocado Pesto Pasta with Peas and Spinach
With the right sauce, whole-wheat pasta is indistinguishable from its high G.I., white-flour cousin. Mix in avocado to add a wonderful creaminess to your pasta without using dairy.

15. Pearled barley
Fiber: 6 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Pearl Barley Risotto with Roasted Squash, Red Peppers, and Rocket
It’s not just for making beer—barley is a chewy, nutritious grain that contains more fiber than oatmeal and brown rice. It can be used in soup, salad, or tea, but try it out in this tasty risotto with seasonal fall vegetables.

16. Oatmeal
Fiber: 4 grams per cup, cooked.
Go-To Recipe: Carrot Cake Oatmeal
With just one tablespoon of maple syrup per serving, this breakfast is a guilt-free way to indulge in the morning. Plus, it’s packed with fiber-friendly oats, carrots, and coconut.

Sneaky Tips to Add More Fiber to Any Meal

  • Add flaxseed meal to oats, smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods—you can even try breading chicken or fish with it. A two-tablespoon serving contains 3.8 grams of fiber and a dose of omega-3 fatty acids to boot.
  • Chia seeds have a whopping 5.5 grams of fiber per tablespoon. When they meet with water, they form a goopy gel that is great for thickening smoothies, making healthy puddings, or replacing eggs in cakes and cookies.
  • While spinach and carrots aren’t as high in fiber as the veggies mentioned above, they can easily be sliced or grated and snuck into many dishes without much hassle: Try adding some to banana bread, shakes, eggs, or even a homemade pizza base.
  • Food processors are fiber’s best friend. Purée some cooked vegetables and add them to sauces and stews, or swap out rice for chopped-up cauliflower.

http://greatist.com/health/surprising-high-fiber-foods

4-053-50FiberRichFoods-1 4-053-50FiberRichFoods-2

Top Fiber-Rich Foods
1. Get on the Bran Wagon
One simple way to increase fiber intake is to power up on bran. Bran from many grains is very rich in dietary fiber. Oat bran is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Wheat, corn, and rice bran are high in insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods,from hot cereal and pancakes to muffins and cookies. Many popular high-fiber cereals and bars are also packed with bran.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Oat bran, raw 1 ounce 12 g
Wheat bran, raw 1 ounce 12 g
Corn bran, raw 1 ounce 22 g
Rice bran, raw 1 ounce 6 g
Fiber One Bran Cereal 1/2 cup 14 g
All-Bran Cereal 1/2 cup 10 g
Fiber One Chewy Bars 1 bar 9 g

2. Take a Trip to Bean Town
Beans really are the magical fruit. They are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber, as well as protein, lysine, vitamins, and minerals, in the plant kingdom. It’s no wonder so many indigenous diets include a bean or two in the mix. Some people experience intestinal gas and discomfort associated with bean intake, so they may be better off slowly introducing beans into their diet. Encourage a variety of beans as an animal protein replacement in stews, side dishes, salads, soups, casseroles, and dips.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 14 g
Adzuki beans, cooked 1 cup 17 g
Broad beans (fava), cooked 1 cup 9 g
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup 12 g
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Cranberry beans, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Black turtle soup beans, cooked 1 cup 17 g
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Navy beans, cooked 1 cup 19 g
White beans, small, cooked 1 cup 19 g
French beans, cooked 1 cup 17 g
Mung beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Yellow beans, cooked 1 cup 18 g
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g

3. Go Berry Picking
Jewel-like berries are in the spotlight due to their antioxidant power, but let’s not forget about their fiber bonus. Berries happen to yield one of the best fiber-per-calorie bargains on the planet. Since berries are packed with tiny seeds, their fiber content is typically higher than that of many fruits. Clients can enjoy berries year-round by making the most of local berries in the summer and eating frozen, preserved, and dried berries during the other seasons. Berries make great toppings for breakfast cereal, yogurt, salads, and desserts.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Raspberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Blueberries, raw 1 cup 4 g
Currants (red and white), raw 1 cup 5 g
Strawberries, raw 1 cup 3 g
Boysenberries, frozen 1 cup 7 g
Gooseberries, raw 1 cup 6 g
Loganberries, frozen 1 cup 8 g
Elderberries, raw 1 cup 10 g
Blackberries, raw 1 cup 8 g

4. Wholesome Whole Grains
One of the easiest ways to up fiber intake is to focus on whole grains. A grain in nature is essentially the entire seed of the plant made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refining the grain removes the germ and the bran; thus, fiber, protein, and other key nutrients are lost. The Whole Grains Council recognizes a variety of grains and defines whole grains or foods made from them as containing “all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed, the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.â€‌ Have clients choose different whole grains as features in side dishes, pilafs, salads, breads, crackers, snacks, and desserts.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Amaranth, grain 1/4 cup 6 g
Barley, pearled, cooked 1 cup 6 g
Buckwheat groats, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Popcorn, air popped 3 cups 4 g
Oats (old fashioned), dry 1/2 cup 4 g
Rye flour, dry 1/4 cup 7 g
Millet, cooked 1 cup 2 g
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Teff, grain, dry 1/4 cup 6 g
Triticale, flour, dry 1/4 cup 5 g
Wheat berries, dry 1/4 cup 5 g
Wild rice, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Wheat flour (whole wheat), dry 1/4 cup 4 g
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 8 g
Bread (whole wheat), sliced 1 slice 2 g
Crackers, rye wafers 1 ounce 6 g
Spaghetti (whole wheat), cooked 1 cup 6 g

5. Sweet Peas
Peas,from fresh green peas to dried peas,are naturally chock full of fiber. In fact, food technologists have been studying pea fiber as a functional food ingredient. Clients can make the most of peas by using fresh or frozen green peas and dried peas in soups, stews, side dishes, casseroles, salads, and dips.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Cow peas (blackeyes), cooked 1 cup 11 g
Pigeon peas, cooked 1 cup 9 g
Peas, split, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Peas, green, frozen 1 cup 14 g
Peas (edible podded), cooked 1 cup 5 g

6. Green, the Color of Fiber
Deep green, leafy vegetables are notoriously rich in beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals, but their fiber content isn’t too shabby either. There are more than 1,000 species of plants with edible leaves, many with similar nutritional attributes, including high-fiber content. While many leafy greens are fabulous tossed in salads, saut ©ing them in olive oil, garlic, lemon, and herbs brings out a rich flavor.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Mustard greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Beet greens, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Swiss chard, cooked 1 cup 4 g

7. Squirrel Away Nuts and Seeds
Go nuts to pack a fiber punch. One ounce of nuts and seeds can provide a hearty contribution to the day’s fiber recommendation, along with a bonus of healthy fats, protein, and phytochemicals. Sprinkling a handful of nuts or seeds over breakfast cereals, yogurt, salads, and desserts is a tasty way to do fiber.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Almonds 1 ounce 4 g
Pistachio nuts 1 ounce 3 g
Cashews 1 ounce 1 g
Peanuts 1 ounce 2 g
Walnuts 1 ounce 2 g
Brazil nuts 1 ounce 2 g
Pinon nuts 1 ounce 12 g
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 3 g
Pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup 3 g
Sesame seeds 1/4 cup 4 g
Flaxseed 1 ounce 8 g

8. Play Squash
Dishing up squash,from summer to winter squash,all year is another way that clients can ratchet up their fiber intake. These nutritious gems are part of the gourd family and contribute a variety of flavors, textures, and colors, as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, to the dinner plate. Squash can be turned into soups, stews, side dishes, casseroles, salads, and crudit ©s. Brush squash with olive oil and grill it in the summertime for a healthy, flavorful accompaniment to grilled meats.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Crookneck squash, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Summer scallop squash, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Hubbard squash, cooked 1 cup 7 g
Zucchini squash, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Acorn squash, cooked 1 cup 9 g
Spaghetti squash, cooked 1 cup 2 g

9. Brassica or Bust
Brassica vegetables have been studied for their cancer-protective effects associated with high levels of glucosinolates. But these brassy beauties, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, are also full of fiber. They can be enjoyed in stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and salads and steamed as a side dish.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Kale, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Cauliflower, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Kohlrabi, raw 1 cup 5 g
Savoy cabbage, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 6 g
Red cabbage, cooke 1 cup 4 g

10. Hot Potatoes
The humble spud, the top vegetable crop in the world, is plump with fiber. Since potatoes are so popular in America, they’re an easy way to help pump up people’s fiber potential. Why stop at Russets? There are numerous potatoes that can provide a rainbow of colors, nutrients, and flavors, and remind clients to eat the skins to reap the greatest fiber rewards. Try adding cooked potatoes with skins to salads, stews, soups, side dishes, stir-fries, and casseroles or simply enjoy baked potatoes more often.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Russet potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 4 g
Red potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 3 g
Sweet potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 4 g

11. Everyday Fruit Basket
Look no further than everyday fruits to realize your full fiber potential. Many are naturally packed with fiber, as well as other important vitamins and minerals. Maybe the doctor was right when he advised an apple a day, but he could have added pears, oranges, and bananas to the prescription as well. When between fruit seasons, clients can rely on dried fruits to further fortify their diet. Encourage including fruit at breakfast each morning instead of juice; mixing dried fruits into cereals, yogurts, and salads; and reaching for the fruit bowl at snack time. It’s a healthy habit all the way around.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Banana 1 medium 3 g
Pear 1 medium 6 g
Orange 1 medium 4 g
Apple 1 medium 4 g
Prunes, dried 1/2 cup 6 g
Raisins 2 ounces 2 g
Peaches, dried 1/4 cup 3 g
Figs, dried 1/2 cup 8 g

12. Exotic Destinations
Some of the plants with the highest fiber content in the world may be slightly out of your clients’ comfort zone and, for that matter, time zone. A rainbow of indigenous fruits and vegetables used in cultural food traditions around the globe are very high in fiber. Entice clients to introduce a few new plant foods into their diets to push up the flavor, as well as their fiber, quotient.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Jicama, raw 1 cup 6 g
Chayote fruit, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Starfruit (carambola), raw 1 cup 4 g
Asian pear, raw 1 fruit 4 g
Hearts of palm, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Guava, raw 1 cup 9 g
Straw mushrooms, canned 1 cup 5 g
Abiyuch, raw 1/2 cup 6 g
Lotus root 10 slices 4 g
Persimmons, raw 1 fruit 6 g
Breadfruit 1 cup 11 g
Avocado, raw 1/2 fruit 9 g
Edamame, frozen 1 cup 6 g
Taro, sliced 1 cup 4 g

13. Fiber Fortification Power 
More foods,from juice to yogurt,are including fiber fortification in their ingredient lineup. Such foods may help busy people achieve their fiber goals. As consumer interest in foods with functional benefits, such as digestive health and cardiovascular protection, continues to grow, expect to see an even greater supply of food products promoting fiber content on supermarket shelves.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Nature’s Own Double Fiber
Wheat Bread
1 slice 5 g
Wasa Crispbread, Fiber Rye 2 slices 4 g
Weight Watcher’s
Flakes ‘N Fiber
1/2 cup 9 g
Silk Soy Milk Plus Fiber 1 cup 5 g
Bob’s Red Mill Organic
High Fiber Hot Cereal
1/3 cup, dry 10 g
Tropicana Orange Juice
With Fiber
1 cup 3 g
Gnu Foods High Fiber Bar 1 bar 12 g
Fiber One Yoplait Yogurt 4 ounces 5 g
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