So how much fiber should you be eating? The National Fiber Council recommends an average of 32 grams of fiber per day, but this amount varies depending on gender and age—and getting even more than that isn’t a bad idea. The average American only gets between 10 and 15 grams of fiber a day. If you fall into this group, replacing lower fiber foods with higher fiber ones may help you lose weight and improve your digestion, helping you to feel better in general. But, a word to the wise, start slowly. Abruptly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can stop up the works (or make it run too quickly), causing gas, bloating, and discomfort. Increase your fiber intake gradually week-by-week until you are comfortably eating the recommended amount.
Fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains contain high amounts of fiber. Take a look through this list of high fiber foods. In addition to the weight loss benefits, by eating them you’ll also experience the myriad of other benefits they offer, including the regulation of blood sugar, the addition of more prebiotics into your diet. How many of them do you eat on a daily basis? It might be easier than you think to incorporate some of these foods into your diet.
1 oz. = 13 g fiber
Wheat bran is one part of the outer layer of wheat that is removed during the milling process. This excellent source of fiber is also rich in vitamins and minerals. Sprinkle it in your oatmeal, cereal, or over yogurt with fresh fruit. An ounce of wheat bran has only 57 calories, 13 grams of fiber, and four grams of protein.
1 oz. = 10 g fiber
This superfood has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Chia seeds contain acceptable levels of all nine essential amino acids needed for building muscle. They’re easy to add to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and many other foods. You can even make them into chia pudding!
1 cup = 8 g fiber
They’re sweet, juicy, and are a tasty way to help you to meet your fiber goal. All the little seeds in raspberries might be annoying when they get stuck in your teeth, but that’s where the bulk of the fiber comes from in this fruit.
½ cup cooked = 8 g fiber
Not only do lentils have plenty of fiber, they’re also relatively simple to cook and can easily be thrown into soups or salads. The nine grams of protein found in half a cup is an added bonus.
1 cup = 8 g fiber
One cup of these mighty berries contains a ton of fiber for the cost of only 62 calories. That alone is pretty great deal, but there’s more. Blackberries are chockfull of antioxidants, which help keep your body in top health.
½ cup = 8 g fiber
Black beans are a great way to ramp up your fiber intake because they can be eaten in so many ways! Scoop them into a burrito, add them to salad, or chilis.
1 cup = 5 to 8 g fiber
If you haven’t used bulgur in recipes before, this might become your new favorite ingredient. It’s a bit like couscous, and cooks just as quickly. A full cup — which will easily fill you up — contains 151 calories. This nutritious whole grain can be eaten like oatmeal, added to salads, or enjoyed as a fiber-filled side dish.
1 cup = 7 g fiber
If you’re in a pinch and need a quick veggie side dish, go for green peas. With only 117 calories, one cup of cooked green peas has seven grams of fiber and eight grams of protein. Aim for fresh if you can, but frozen are OK too. If you have to buy canned green peas, get the kind that doesn’t have any added salt or rinse them before cooking.
2 Tbsp = 6 g fiber
Ground flax seeds are a simple way to sneak more fiber into almost any dish, and they’re loaded with omega-3s. Adding two tablespoons to a smoothie, granola, or a flour mixture for baking provides six extra grams of fiber. Ground flax seed adds a complex, nutty flavor to foods and makes a crispy breading for chicken.
1 medium = 6 g fiber
A medium artichoke makes a great side dish, and any side dish with six grams of fiber is a winner in our book. They also have four grams of protein and only 60 calories. Swap out the melted butter that they’re often served with for balsamic vinegar or Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and garlic.
1 medium = 5 g fiber
The next time you decide to sink your teeth into a juicy pear, leave the skin on! Most of the fiber in fruits is found in their skin, so you can miss out on the good stuff by peeling them. Eating a pear, skin and all, gives you five grams of fiber for only 51 calories.
1 cup cooked = 4 g fiber
One way to make sure you get enough fiber in your day is to start early. Half a cup of oats can get you started on your fiber goal, and it also has a lot of other beneficial nutrients, including 13 grams of protein and 334 mg of potassium.
1 cup = 4 g fiber
Broccoli might not have been your favorite food as a child, but your palate might be more accepting of it now. You can eat this high fiber food as a side dish, in a stir-fry, or mixed into an omelet.
¼ cup = 4 g fiber
Have you ever munched on sunflower seeds during a sporting event? They’re not low in calories, but this snack is a fiber powerhouse. Sunflower seeds make for crunchy salads and they can be a fun addition to a smoothie, all while giving you an extra boost of fiber.
What are your favorite high fiber foods?