If you’re trying to shed some pounds, eat more fiber. This nutrient is a “good” carb that the body needs. Without enough fiber, doing number two will feel like a nightmare! Losing and managing weight will also be harder.
Since fiber isn’t digested by the body, it increases satiety and decreases hunger. It’s the ultimate tool for appetite control. At the same, fiber bulks up stool so waste can be eliminated. It also keeps the digestive system healthy, helping enhance absorption of vitamins and minerals.
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the “obvious” sources: fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. But why stop there? These seven foods will take your meals – and weight loss journey – to the next level.
A single medjool date has 1.6 grams of fiber. Eat three and you’ve added almost 5 grams to your intake! This high-fiber natural sweetener also offers vitamin A, folate, and potassium.3
How To Eat Dates:
Toss into smoothies.
Blend into brownie batter or cookie dough.
Chop and mix with granola.
Love nutty textures? Flaxseed is right up your alley. One tablespoon of whole flaxseeds has 2.8 grams, while the same portion of ground flaxseeds has 1.9 grams. You’ll also get folate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.4
How To Eat Flaxseed:
Blend into smoothies.
Sprinkle on top of oatmeal, pasta, or yogurt.
Bake into bread or cookies.
3. Oat Bran
When oats are refined and processed, the bran is left behind. Half a cup of bran has 7.25 grams of fiber, along with calcium, potassium, and zinc.5 Because it’s so rich in fiber, oat bran works against high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and constipation.6
How To Use Oat Bran:
Use as a coating for salmon or lean chicken.
Add on top of yogurt or oatmeal.
Mix into hummus.
4. Wheat Germ
Like flaxseed, wheat germ adds crunchiness and nuttiness to food. Half a cup contains about 7.5 grams of fiber. It’s even got essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and zinc.7
How To Use Wheat Germ:
Use in place of breadcrumbs.
Add to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Mix into pancake or waffle batter.
This popular movie snack is surprisingly healthy. One cup of air-popped popcorn has 1.2 grams of fiber, along with some potassium, iron, and magnesium.8 To keep it nutritious, skip the butter and salt. Flavor with spices or cinnamon instead.
How To Use Popcorn:
Add to granola.
Sprinkle with low-sodium taco seasoning.
Toss with coconut flakes and dark chocolate chips.
6. Split Peas
Split peas have twice the fiber of green peas, making them a stellar choice for weight loss. One cup has 16.3 grams. You’ll also get a dose of zinc, niacin, folate, and vitamin A.9
How To Use Split Peas:
Add to soup, pasta, or chili.
Mix with quinoa or brown rice.
Mash into a dip.
In America, figs aren’t as common as apples, oranges, and bananas. If you’re lucky enough to find some, one large fruit has 1.9 grams of fiber. Other nutrients include potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.10
How To Use Figs:
Pair with cheese, toast, or crackers.
Make fig jam.
Mash and top pancakes, waffles, or yogurt.
While fiber prevents constipation, too much at once can actually cause it. Increase your intake slowly. As you eat more fiber, drink more water as well.11
|↑1, ↑11||Fiber. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.|
|↑2||Lambeau, Kellen V., and Johnson W. McRorie. “Fiber supplements and clinically proven health benefits: How to recognize and recommend an effective fiber therapy.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 29, no. 4 (2017): 216-223.|
|↑3||Basic Report: 09421, Dates, medjool. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑4||Basic Report: 12220, Seeds, flaxseed. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑5||Basic Report: 20033, Oat bran, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑6||Oats. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑7||Basic Report: 20078, Wheat germ, crude. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑8||Basic Report: 19034, Snacks, popcorn, air-popped. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑9||Basic Report: 16386, Peas, split, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, with salt. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑10||Basic Report: 09089, Figs, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|