Fibre isn’t just about keeping you regular — it’s a critical part of maintaining great health. A diet that includes high-fibre foods may be able to help you lose weight, lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, lower your risk of colorectal cancer, lower your cholesterol levels, improve your blood sugar levels, protect against breast cancer, and much more.
But despite all the proven health benefits, most of us don’t get it enough of the stuff — adults are recommended to get between 20 and 40 grams of fibre, but the average Canadian intake is a mere 14 to 15 grams.
Getting more fibre into your diet is easier than you think. Here are some easy, high-fibre foods to add to add to your grocery list.
Raspberries aren’t just delicious and nutritious, they’re also a high-fibre food. A single cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fibre, the equivalent of about 3 slices of whole wheat bread. Plus, they’re high in vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoids, and their delicious sweetness makes them great for snacking or as a sweet treat.
Legumes like beans and lentils are wonderfully versatile, high-fibre foods. A cup of cooked split peas has a whopping 16.3 grams of fibre (around half your daily recommended intake), while a cup of lentils or black beans contains a similarly impressive 15.6 grams.
Beans are also rich in protein and low in sugar, which can help you avoid hunger and insulin spikes. Many types of beans are high in antioxidants, and recent studies have suggested that eating beans may help with weight loss. Try to eat three cups of beans per week, or use beans like chickpeas as a substitute for low-fibre carbs like white pasta or rice.
3. Apples And Pears
Apples and pears are both high-fibre foods. A medium pear has about 5.5 grams of fibre, while a medium-sized apple has slightly less, at 4.4 grams. While this may not be quite as impressive as a carton of raspberries or a bowl of beans, if you eat an apple or pear daily, it will certainly add up. In addition to being high-fibre foods, apples and pears also have the benefit of having a high water content. This can help you to feel full and avoid hunger pangs. Don’t peel your apples and pears, as the skins contain large amounts of fibre. However, do wash the skins to get rid of dirt and pesticides.
Speaking generally, vegetables are a great way to add fibre to your diet because they tend to be low-carb, high-fibre foods. However, the artichoke blows away most of the competition when it comes to fibre content. A single medium artichoke contains 10.3 grams of fibre. Plus, artichokes are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and antioxidants. Bake ’em, grill ’em, or eat them in a fresh salad to easily sneak in some added fibre.
Avocados are probably best known as a source of healthy fats. However, with 9 grams of fibre in a medium avocado, they’re also a great high-fibre food. Enjoy them as guacamole, or try adding avocado slices to sandwiches, scrambled eggs or salads.
6. Green Peas
A cup of cooked green peas contains 8.8 grams of fibre, plus, peas are also a good source of iron, vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, manganese and more. And, with more than 9 grams of protein per cup, they’re also a good way to up your protein intake.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds aren’t just good sources of omega-3s. A single tablespoon of chia seeds will give you over 5 grams of fibre. Try adding chia seeds to smoothies, adding them to pancakes or bread, or sprinkling a teaspoon or two of them over yogurt. Alternately, you can try mixing 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut milk and 1/2 tablespoon of honey. Let it chill and set in the fridge overnight. When it’s firm, top it with fruit or nuts, and enjoy a delicious coconut chia seed pudding.
Broccoli is low in calories (50 for a cup), but high in fibre (5 whole grams). Plus, it’s high in antioxidants and may have anti-cancer properties. You can add calorie florets to a salad, add them to a stir-fry, or whip up a delicious broccoli soup.
9. Whole Grains
White bread, white rice and white-flour pasta may be tasty, but they’re seriously low on fibre. Substitute high-fibre options, like quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, bran, barley and other whole grains, to get more fibre in your diet and reap the health benefits.
- Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet
- Find out all the good things fiber can do for you
- 10 Best Sources of Fiber
- Chart of high-fiber foods
- Comparison of Flavonoid Composition of Red Raspberries
- Beans: Protein-Rich Superfoods
- The Amazingly Delicious (and Healthy) Artichoke
- Peas, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
- Low-Calorie and Filling, This Chia Pudding Is a Perfect Breakfast
- The Tasty Tomato: An Antioxidant Power Blast