For years we have been told that eating more fiber makes us healthier. There are many reasons for this. First, high fiber foods make us feel full longer because they take longer to digest. Second, the bulk of fiber comes from vegetables and fruits so you are actually ingesting vegetables and fruit when you eat high fiber foods. Third, most of the fiber is washing away in the process of processing and cooking.
So, why are high fiber foods good for you? They help to control weight, reduce cholesterol, and regulate our hunger. Just because we need fewer calories to survive does not mean we can eat junk every day. Here are some examples of high fiber foods that are recommended daily as a minimum:
Legumes: Whether cooked or in their natural state, beans are very high fiber foods. They can use in chili, stews, and casseroles. The reason that beans are so great is that they are so high in fiber. The average American eats only about three ounces of beans per day, which is about one ounce a day less than the suggested daily allowance of six ounces. If you want to eat beans with dinner, try kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, or adzuki beans.
Chia Seeds: All nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts contain high fiber foods. For starters, chia seeds have a high nutrient content, which means they provide an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chia seeds also have a unique chemical structure that helps them retain water in the cells. When used in combination with the other high fiber foods mentioned above, chia seeds are like a wonder food. They can make your diet not only nutritionally balanced but also healthy and nutritious.
Nuts: Although peanuts are high fiber foods, they are also a bit tricky to incorporate into a diet. Because peanuts are made into sauces, they often have lots of oil and calories. If you have issues with added calories and unhealthy ingredients, you may want to avoid peanuts altogether. However, if you are looking for a snack that is low in fat and calories, peanuts are definitely a good choice. Try sprinkling some on top of some mixed greens for a healthy addition to your diet.
The Key Is To Choosing The Right Varieties Of Fiber
Fiber: Most fruits, vegetables, and nuts have at least a moderate amount of fiber. The key is choosing the right varieties for your lifestyle. Some fruits, such as apples, have very little fiber while others, such as pears, have a lot. It is important to be sure to take a daily recommended fiber consumption per serving. To get the most out of your fruit and vegetable selections, it is best to include them in a high fiber foods list as well.
Vegetables: As with fruits, vegetables can vary in terms of fiber and calorie content. In particular, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale contain the highest amounts of both. Other vegetables that have a high fiber content but low calories include peas and beans, carrots, and corn. When it comes to grains, oatmeal is a great option to add to your diet since it has both volume and fiber.
Cereals: While they are technically a type of grain, cereals typically fall into the category of “quick-to-digest” or “quick to digest” foods. This means they pack a moderate amount of nutrients but will not maintain their shape when eaten. Look for a good quality all-purpose flour such as flaxseed or millet to bake with. Look for low or non-caloric cereals such as buckwheat or almond flour to use in bread and muffins.