Let’s talk about the F-word… Fiber, of course. If you’re unfamiliar, fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, and it does wonders for your health, from regulating your body’s sugars to keep hunger and blood sugar in check to serving as “roughage” and helping things go a little smoother in the digestive department. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, children and adults need 20-30 grams of fiber a day, and while this may seem like a daunting task, there are actually plenty of delicious, fiber-rich foods that make meeting this quota both easy and enjoyable—five more of which we’ve compiled in a list for you here (for more ideas, see our previous list of 7 high-fiber foods you'll love).
1. Whole Wheat Pasta
Between anti-carb movements and gluten-free diets, over the past few years, pasta’s developed a pretty bad rap. But just because you’re making an effort to eat healthy, it doesn’t mean you have to say sayonara to spaghetti, peace out to penne, or see ya later to lasagna. The key is swapping typical starchy, white pasta for its more nutritious equivalent, whole wheat. According to The Mayo Clinic, one cup of whole-wheat spaghetti (cooked), has 6.3 grams of fiber, making it a suitable way to score some bonus points in the nutrition department while still being able to enjoy your favorite Italian dishes. Trust us: both your taste buds and your digestive system will say gratzi.
This underrated vegetable isn’t just an awesome dinner appetizer whose pull-and-dip deliciousness can’t be denied; it’s also a fiber-packed powerhouse. According to health.com, one artichoke alone boasts 10.3 grams, making it an excellent accompaniment to lunch that’s sure to keep those stomach grumbles at bay all afternoon. Alternatively, if you’re in the market for a more low-maintenance artichoke option, a half-cup of hearts is loaded with 7.2 grams and serves as an excellent add-on to any salad. Or, you know, some of that whole-wheat pasta…just saying.
One of nature’s most super snack foods, there’s no denying the health benefits of almonds, and when hunger hits, it’s hard to imagine a better thing to grab a handful of than this nutrition-packed nut. And not only are almonds awesome for reducing heart-attack risk and boosting brain power, but they’re also full of fiber—3.5 grams per ounce, to be precise. Oh, and by the way, one ounce equates to roughly 24 almonds…which we may or may not recommend ingesting in chocolate-covered form.
Though not the most glamorous food in the world (by far), every octogenarian in the world is right about the power of prunes. One cup of this dried fruit rings in at 7.7 grams of fiber, making them a sweet, healthy snack that will keep you full and your digestive system on track. (No word on what they’ll do to your street cred, though.)
5. Air-Popped Popcorn
Too good to be true? Nope. Crunch your way through three cups of this addictive snack, and in no time you will have upped your fiber intake for the day by 3.5 grams. However, one thing to emphasize is that, when discussing the healthy aspects of popcorn, we’re strictly referring to the air-popped variety. So no, this isn’t an excuse to opt for the extra-large bucket when you go see Godzilla at the movie theater this summer. Sadly, we’re still waiting on someone to discover the nutritional benefits of butter.