Fiber-rich foods that will keep you feeling full all day
If you’re like most people, you don’t get nearly enough fiber in your diet. In fact, the average American gets just 15 grams of fiber each day—well below the recommended minimum of 25 grams per day. It’s essential to get enough fiber in your diet if you want to keep your digestive tract in top shape and ensure that you’re as healthy as possible overall. Fortunately, there are plenty of fiber-rich foods out there that are sure to help you feel full longer than other foods and support long-term weight loss and optimal health.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is simply carbohydrate that cannot be broken down in your stomach, small intestine or large intestine. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, but both can add bulk to your diet—and help with digestion and elimination. They’re also a good source of nutrients. Soluble fiber dissolves in water while insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve; they each have their own health benefits.
Not to be confused with insulin, inulin is a type of dietary fiber that’s commonly extracted from chicory root. It can also be found in bananas, asparagus, garlic and onions.
When we eat beans or other legumes, our body has to work hard to digest them. This is because they contain some soluble fiber, which in turn creates a feeling of satiety and reduces cravings for other foods. Soluble fiber is also found in oats, apples, psyllium and flax seeds. Oats and psyllium are great additions to your daily diet if you want to add more fiber. Just mix a spoonful into your cereal or sprinkle on top of some yogurt.
Many of us have had a bowl of oatmeal at some point in our lives, but when it comes to fiber content, oats are on another level. They’re a great food for weight loss because they fill you up and stave off hunger. Oats also contain soluble fiber, which may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. A 2008 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating three servings per day can reduce bad cholesterol by 4 percent in just two weeks.
Grains are a major source of fiber, and many also contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Whole grains include brown rice and wheat berries as well as popcorn, quinoa, oats, wild rice, millet, buckwheat, spelt (also called dinkel), and amaranth. Try to aim for at least three servings of whole grains per day—one serving is equivalent to 1 cup cooked whole grains or 3⁄4 cup dry.
With a whopping 8 grams of fiber per medium apple, eating one as part of your daily meals is a surefire way to feel fuller. Apple slices can also be used to make quick and easy fruit snacks with nut butter or yogurt on top. Research has shown that people who consume three servings of whole fruits (for example, 1 1/2 cups) per day are less likely to gain weight than those who eat less.
Not only are pears high in fiber, but they also contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which can help boost serotonin levels (1). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood. A deficiency in serotonin is associated with depression, anxiety and insomnia. By including more pears into your diet, you can help improve your mood and sleep better at night. Try adding them to your smoothies or oatmeal for a fiber-packed treat!
These little citrus fruits are packed with fiber, which fills you up faster than other forms of food. One cup of orange juice contains 3.5 grams of fiber and only 90 calories, so go ahead and enjoy some. If drinking straight from a piece of fruit is more your style, add some wedges to your next smoothie for a fruity flavor with added fiber. One medium orange is about 45 calories and contains 2 grams of fiber.