It's time to eat more fiber. Fiber comes up a lot these days in the world of nutrition, but that buzz is well deserved. Fiber is pretty great stuff. Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods has been linked to reduced risks of heart disease and diabetes. It may also help you lose weight, maintain your weight loss and keep your digestive health in good shape. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber each day, while men should shoot for at least 38 grams. Here are some of the top high-fiber foods, plus easy recipes to help you get your fill.
While all berries are a healthy choice, raspberries (and blackberries) come out on top with 8 grams of fiber per cup, not to mention a healthy dose of vitamin C. While still delicious and fiber-rich, strawberries have only 3 grams of fiber per cup and blueberries have 4 grams. This recipe for Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl is a sweet way to start the day.
Hello fiber! A 1/2-cup serving of black beans offers a hefty 8 grams. That's nearly one-third of the daily fiber recommendation for women. Black beans are also a great source of protein, with 7 grams per serving. Rinse canned beans prior to use to help reduce the sodium. For a filling, fiber-packed and easy lunch or dinner, try this Brazilian Black Bean Soup.
Beyond their heart-healthy fats and super-delicious taste, there is even more reason to love avocados—there are 5 grams of fiber in half an avocado. Holy guacamole! Try this recipe for Avocado Hummus at your next get-together, for a dip you can feel good about serving.
When you think of fiber, artichokes might not be one of the first foods that come to mind, but they should be—1 cup of cooked artichoke hearts contains 10 grams of fiber! Artichokes are also a good source of potassium, a mineral and electrolyte which is important for heart function and can help maintain normal blood pressure. Artichoke hearts star in this recipe for Tomato & Artichoke Gnocchi.
More artichoke recipes:
Kale Artichoke Dip
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Crispy Prosciutto & Walnuts
A member of the legume family, lentils are extremely versatile and have a tender bite when cooked. And, 1/2 cup of cooked lentils delivers 8 grams of fiber. This Lentil & Roasted Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing makes for a flavorful lunch or light dinner that can be made in advance.
Four grams of fiber in one medium sweet potato? That sure is sweet! Sweet potatoes also deliver vitamin A, an important vitamin for healthy vision and immune function. Turn sweet potatoes into a satisfying meal with this recipe for Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes.
A protein-rich ancient grain, quinoa is a go-to quick fiber fix. A 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa provides 3 grams of fiber and tastes great as a base for grain bowls or added to salads and soups. This Tex-Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl makes for a fast and easy dinner with 12 grams of fiber.
Swapping in whole-wheat pasta for white is an easy way to get more fiber in your diet—one 1/2-cup serving of whole-wheat pasta offers 6 grams of fiber compared to the 2 grams you'll get from the same amount of white pasta. Try this One-Pot Italian Sausage & Kale Pasta recipe for a hearty, delicious meal you can feel good about.
This little legume delivers a big fiber punch. There are 6 grams of fiber in 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas. Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a vegan-friendly source of protein. Try this 15-minute recipe for Chickpea Curry.
For a fiber-rich and filling breakfast, reach for oatmeal. A 1/2 cup of cooked oats has 4 grams of fiber and is a satisfying whole grain. This Chocolate Banana Oatmeal is an easy recipe for busy weekday mornings.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away and also gives you plenty of fiber. Snacking on a medium apple serves up 4 grams of fiber in a convenient, ready-to-eat package (be sure to eat the skin). Try this Apple, Fig & Brussels Sprout Salad for a fresh and light meal that can easily be topped with chicken for some added protein.
More apple recipes: