Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding constipation. It can make you full faster and goes right through your system for smoother bowel movements. In general, high fiber foods generally share the same benefits like blood sugar regulation, weight-loss, cardiovascular health and cancer prevention. Many people are aware that eating an adequate amount of fiber is essential for living a healthy lifestyle. But what are the best foods you can add to a high fiber diet plan? Here are 10 you can start with:
1. Whole Grains
When it comes to a high fiber diet plan, eating more whole grains is a no-brainer. Whole grains are made up of unrefined grains that still contain their bran and germ, making them a better source of fiber than refined grains. They also contain essential nutrients like potassium and magnesium. You can purchase baked goods, like bread, made from whole grains for a healthy, high fiber diet.
Beans are an affordable way of getting a healthy boost in your daily fiber intake. Not only are they filled with fiber, but they are also a good source of protein, can reduce the risk of certain cancers and help to lower cholesterol levels. The black bean variety, in particular, contains a sizeable amount of fiber. This legume is a great side dish to your regular meals.
Broccoli is just one of those super-foods that can be beneficial to your overall health in so many ways. Not only is it a great source of fiber, but it also contains special plant compounds known as phytonutrients that can help prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Plus, it’s a good source of antioxidants. One of the greatest things about broccoli is that you can add it to virtually any dish. Chop some broccoli into your fettuccini, mix it in with your chicken stir-fry or just serve it steamed as a side dish.
Speaking of antioxidants, raspberries is commonly known for being another great source for antioxidants that can help prevent Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration and certain forms of cancer. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, 1 cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber, which is almost twice as much as a medium-sized apple.
While a medium-sized apple may not contain as much fiber as a cup of raspberries, it is still a nutrient-packed fruit that deserves a place on this high fiber foods list. Like broccoli, apples contain beneficial phytonutrients that can be beneficial for maintaining a person’s blood sugar. Add in antioxidant and cardiovascular benefits, plus all the vitamins and nutrients found in apples, and you’ve got yourself one amazing piece of fruit.
Slightly ahead of apples in the fiber department (there are 5.5 grams of fiber in a medium-sized pear compared to the 4.4 grams in a medium-sized apple according to the Mayo Clinic), pears are another excellent fruit to add to your high fiber diet plan. While improving cardiovascular and colon health, they also help fight cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Plus, they are a sweet and juicy, and provide a softer alternative to a crunchy apple.
7. Brown Rice
Falling into the whole grain category, brown rice is a healthy, fiber-filled substitute for white rice. Aside from fiber, brown rice is also rich in manganese, selenium and magnesium. These factors combined make it a great defense from colon cancer, weight gain and high cholesterol.
8. Green Peas
Peas are a great source of fiber, but more importantly, they’re chock full of vitamins and nutrients, which includes:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- B vitamins
Green peas are also known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities, and they can even help regulate blood sugar levels. If that’s not enough reason to convince you to add them to your high fiber diet plan, keep in mind they are also very affordable.
Not only are artichokes a delicious way to add more variety to your high fiber meal plans, they also contain a myriad of nutrients that carry multiple health benefits. These nutrients include folic acid, vitamin C, manganese, iron and potassium. They also require very little preparation to enjoy, which is one of the main reasons why there were included in this list.
Another food that falls into the whole grain category, bran is actually the outer portion of the grain that is removed from refined grains. In other words, bran is the part of the grain that carries those important nutrients, along with germ. Bran muffins, cereals and flakes are foods you should include in your high fiber diet plan.