Four Filling Fiber Foods

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Fiber. It’s one of those things that sometimes escapes the mind when thinking of nutritious essentials, but it’s darn important!


It’s a special type of carbohydrate found mainly on the outer layer of plants that helps fuel the body. Why so unique? Well, it passes through the human digestive system nearly unchanged–that’s right, it never breaks down.


Yes, fiber is virtually indigestible. While this may sound like a bad thing, it’s actually great! Its hard-to-process nature makes you feel fuller, which is great if you tend to overeat. Since high fiber foods are bulkier and stay in the stomach longer, eating them leads to more satisfaction after a meal and prevents the midnight munchies.


This nutritious substance also slows the eating process since foods high in fiber need to be chewed more thoroughly. Because fiber slows digestion, absorption of nutrients is also slowed, allowing glucose (sugar) from consumed food to enter the bloodstream more slowly. This helps keep blood sugar levels even and prevents the crash that comes after a sugar high.


There are two kinds of fiber — soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is beneficial to the body’s chemistry (cholesterol and blood sugar levels, etc.). The insoluble variety, as you may have guessed, cannot dissolve in water, and serves as an effective natural laxative because it passes through the digestive tract smoothly.


A diet high in fiber helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes (as well as having many other health benefits!) so everyone should consume the proper amount in their daily food routines. Women should shoot for 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should eat about 30 to 38 grams.


Here are some great high-fiber foods!


1. Fruit: 1 cup of raspberries (8g), a medium pear with skin (5.5g), a medium apple with skin (5g), 1 cup of strawberries (4g), a medium banana (3g)


2. Vegetables: 1 medium avocado (11g), 1 medium cooked artichoke (10g), 1 cup of cooked peas (9g), 1 cup of cooked kale (7g), 1 cup of boiled broccoli (5g), 1 cup of cooked sweet corn (4g), 1 medium baked potato with skin (4g)


3. Cereals, Grains, Pasta: 1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta (6g), 3/4 cup of bran flakes (5g), 1 cup of regular or instant oatmeal (4g), 3 cups of air-popped popcorn (3.5g), 1 slice of whole wheat or multigrain bread (2g)


4. Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: 1 cup of cooked split peas (16g), 1 cup of cooked lentils (15.6g), 1 cup of cooked black beans (15g), 1 cup of canned baked beans (10.4g), 1 cup of cooked soybeans (8g)

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