Just because you’re trying to incorporate more filling fiber into your diet, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of bran this and bran that. There are delicious, healthy, fiber rich foods that are not only tasty, but guaranteed to assist in smooth sailing… if you catch our dietary drift.
Fiber-Rich Food #1: Chickpeas
Otherwise known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a legume that should rank high on your fiber radar. One cup provides 50% of your daily requirement, and—much like black beans—they make an excellent source of protein for your salad as well. You can also use them to step up the fiber factor of your snacks. Enjoy them in the form of homemade hummus (which you can serve with fresh vegetables or Wasa crackers for even more fiber) or, for something crunchy to munch on, roast them in the oven with olive oil and garlic. While they’re not quite Lay’s potato chips, one thing still rings true: you won’t be able to eat just one.
Fiber-Rich Food #2: Chia Seeds
Considered by many to be the best thing since flaxseeds, chia seeds serve as a simple source of fiber that can be added to just about anything. A mere two tablespoons of chia seeds provide not only a sensational seven grams of fiber (soluble and insoluble), but four grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium and five grams of mood-boosting Omega-3 as well. And the best part? They’re easily incorporated into your diet. Sprinkle them on cereal, stir some into oatmeal and yogurt, or dump a few spoonfuls into a smoothie. All in all, these tiny chia seeds pack a big nutrition punch that’s sure to leave you feeling fuller, longer.
Fiber-Rich Food #3: Black Beans
While not a surprising or particularly unique item on the list, black beans are a dietary staple for anyone trying to incorporate more fiber into their eating routine. One cup of these bad boys packs 15 grams of fiber, and with just as much protein, they serve as a healthy substitution for meat in a variety of dishes. For an absurdly healthy lunch, top a salad with some black beans, or use them as the main event in burritos, tacos, quesadillas or essentially any Tex-Mex entrée under the sun. And if you’re craving something sweet, you can even incorporate them into your dessert in the form of black bean brownies. Trust us: getting your fiber has never been this fun.
Fiber-Rich Food #4: Pistachios
Referred to by some as the “skinny nut” (as they contain fewer calories than other varieties), pistachios are a quick, tasty and portable snack, and one ounce—aka a small handful—boasts three grams of filling fiber. (But unfortunately, the same can’t be said about pistachio ice cream. Trust us, we checked.)
Fiber-Rich Food #5: Quinoa
With nearly twice as much fiber as other grains, quinoa is an easy dietary switch that can provide some seriously big nutritional boosts. (There’s a reason The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations pronounced that 2013 be officially dubbed “The International Year of the Quinoa,” after all.) One cup provides over 20% of your fiber requirement (and many other benefits ), and by simply changing it up and trading white rice or pasta for this power grain, you can easily incorporate extra fiber into almost any meal. And if you need an extra endorsement, take a little bit of history: thousands of years ago in the Andes mountains, quinoa seeds were at times considered more valuable than gold. And if that’s not a seal of approval, we don’t know what is.
Fiber-Rich Food #6: Avocado
A mere two tablespoons of avocado provide two grams of fiber, but personally we advocate eating the entire thing for a tasty ten grams. This fruit isn’t just rich in fiber, though; it also contains mono- and polyunsaturated fats (the healthy kind!) and is known for complexion-boosting benefits as well. And besides the obvious health and beauty bonuses, the smooth and creamy insides of the avocado are undeniably delicious. Switch up your dip game and make a homemade guacamole, slap a few slices on your sandwich, or slather some avocado on your toast as a rich, savory spread that’s way more interesting than boring, old butter.
Fiber-Rich Food #7: Raspberries
Some things are too good to be true, but raspberries, fortunately, don’t fall under that category. This fresh and flavorful fruit is not only full of amazing flavor, but fiber as well—eight grams per cup, to be precise. And the best part? You don’t even need to prepare them. Wash some of these and then watch them disappear, because raspberries, more than anything else, are Mother Nature’s take on dessert.