Fiber is one of those nutrients that you should eat every day without fail. It is recommended for women to consume a daily 21 to 25 grams of fiber and for men to get between 30 and 38 grams of fiber per day. Fiber not only keeps your digestive tract on track, but research shows it can also have a positive effect on heart health. Best yet, most of the foods you already love have fiber, so simply eating a few more servings a day will deliciously benefit your heart and overall health.
What Foods Have Fiber?
There are so many delicious options for getting your daily recommended dose of fiber that you have no excuse to fall short.
Fruits and vegetables: Every fruit and vegetable has fiber, with some being more fiber-rich than others. A good example of a high-fiber fruit is raspberries, which provide eight grams of fiber per cup. When it comes to veggies, a whole artichoke has about 10 grams of fiber while peas provide about nine grams of fiber per cup
Beans, legumes and nuts: Beans, legumes and nuts are excellent sources of fiber. Lentils and black beans, in particular, have a whopping 15 grams of fiber per cup. Beans and legumes can easily replace animal protein a few meals per week to help you reach your recommended intake of fiber (meats and other animal proteins contain zero fiber). Nuts have about three grams of fiber per ounce, depending on the nut.
Whole grains: Whole grains are a great source of fiber. Whole wheat pasta and barley have about six grams of fiber per cup while bran flakes have about five grams of fiber per cup. Some breakfast cereals even have up to 13 grams of fiber per serving. Oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, and whole wheat breads can contain anywhere from two to eight grams of fiber per serving. Always read labels on whole grain products and choose the brands that provide the most fiber.
Up your fiber intake
To get your daily recommended amount of fiber per day simply incorporate one piece of fiber-rich food in every meal and snack.
Here are some quick tips to up your daily fiber intake:
- Have a bowl of oatmeal, bran cereal or another high-fiber cereal for breakfast.
- Top hot or cold cereal with fruit and nuts.
- Mix whole wheat pasta and lightly cooked vegetables for lunch or dinner.
- Combine brown rice and black beans for a savory meal.
- Add a side of Brussels sprouts or another high-fiber veggie to dinner.
- Nosh on air-popped popcorn for a late night snack.
- Always choose whole grain bread with at least three grams of fiber per slice.
Even though high-fiber foods are beneficial for health and help you meet your daily fiber needs, keep portion control in mind. Always measure your servings because some of these foods, like nuts, contain a lot of fat and calories and need to be eaten modestly.