Fiber is an essential nutrient which is found in fruits, vegetables and grains. Everyone requires a daily dose of fiber because they help in proper digestion of food and proper functioning of digestive tracts. Deficiency of fiber can lead to constipation, hemorrhoids, and increased levels of cholesterol and sugar. Conversely, excess intake of fiber can lead to a bowel obstruction, diarrhea and dehydration. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men under the age of 50 should consume 38 grams of fiber every day and women should eat 25 grams of fiber. However, an average person should consume 15 grams of fiber a day. Following are some fiber rich foods and tasty recipes that contain them:
1. Split Peas
Fiber: 16.3 grams per cup, cooked
Split Pea is a tasty, versatile and cheap source of fiber. They are high in protein and low in fat. They are commonly used to make split pea soup and dhal. The above mentioned recipe is healthy, nourishing and super filling South Asian recipe so try out.
Fiber: 15.6 grams, per cup cooked
Recipe: Lentil Quinoa Burger
Lentils origin from Asia and North America and is one of the oldest sources of fiber. They also are an excellent source of proteins, vitamin B, iron and other minerals. They can be used in side dishes, soups, salads and main courses. There are different types of lentils, so you need to choose lentils depending on the way you want to use it. Different types of lentils are as follows
- Green and brown lentils are used for warm salads and stuffing as they can maintain their shape even after cooking.
- Puy lentils are expensive and are thought to be superior in texture and taste.
- Red split lentils are excellent for thickening dishes such as soups and casseroles. They are often cooked with spices to prepare Indian dishes.
- Yellow lentils are similar to red split lentils which are used for adding colour to the winter dishes.
- Lentils take less time to cook. However, their cooking time varies depending on the type of lentils.
3. Black Beans:
Fiber: 15 grams per cup, cooked
Black Beans are a combination of fiber and protein which provides help to balance and regulate blood sugar level. Black Beans are also a good source of magnesium, copper, vitamin B1 and iron. The seed coat of black beans is an excellent source of flavonoids. They are commonly referred to as turtle beans due to their shiny, dark, shell-like appearance. They are rich in flavour that are compared to mushrooms and have a velvety texture. The above recipe is loaded with complex carbs and protein, making it a perfect post-workout meal.
Fiber: 10.3 grams per medium vegetable, cooked
Recipe: Roasted Artichokes
This edible thistle is packed with fiber and are also rich in silymarin – an antioxidant that improves liver health. Fresh globe artichokes are available year-round. They are mostly underused. Be creative and try the above recipe with lime, garlic and black pepper.
To prepare artichokes for cooking:
Slice off the stem and snap off the outer leaves that are near to the stem. Trim the pointed top portion of the leaves and then cut off the thorny tips of the outer leaves using a pair of scissors. Rub all cut edges with lemon to avoid the discoloration. Before cooking, soak the artichokes in acidulated water for an hour to improve their colour and tenderness.
Fiber: 4.1 grams per cup, boiled
Recipe: Paleo Broccoli Fritters
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which provides cholesterol-lowering benefits and enhances detoxification. It is also known to have cancer-preventing properties. Broccoli plays an important role in the health of eye and skin. It is an excellent source of vitamin K and Vitamin A. If you are cooking broccoli, the steaming temperature should be 212°F (100°C), and it should be cooked for 5 minutes. Stems may take a longer time to cook, so they can be prepared separately before adding the florets. Many people don’t eat the leaves, but they can be eaten as they contain large amounts of nutrients.
6. Brussels Sprouts
Fiber: 4.1 grams per cup, boiled
Recipe: Hoisin Glazed Brussels sprout
Brussels sprout are found best during winter months and are cultivated in Belgium. They must never be cooked for long because they may lose a large amount of nutritional value. The leaves cook faster than the core. So, when you are cooking sprouts as a whole, cut an X in the bottom of the stem for even cooking. Depending on the size, cooking time should not exceed 7 to 10 minutes whether you are steaming, braising or boiling. Keep these tips in the mind and try the above recipe which contains tons of ginger, sesame and peanut.
Fiber: 8 grams per cup, raw
Raspberries are nature’s superstar as they are an excellent source of phytonutrients, flavonoids, vitamin C, Vitamin K, dietary fiber and potassium. Try the above recipe which includes coconut, oatmeal and vanilla. There are few other ways to enjoy raspberries, which are as follows:
- For your breakfast, you can mix raspberries in with creamy millet porridge.
- You can try this flavour combination by mixing raspberries with balsamic vinegar.
- You can make homemade raspberry coulis, which can be used as a sauce for sweet desserts.
Fiber: 6.7 grams per half, raw
Recipe: Grapefruit Avocado Salad
Avocado is regarded as a “super-food”, as it is jam-packed with the array of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, sodium, sugar and healthy fats. Different ways through which you can enjoy avocados are as follows:
- You can garnish, chopped avocados on black bean soup.
- When making a sandwich, you can spread ripe avocados on a bread instead of mayonnaise.
- For making an exceptional salad, you can combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.
Thus, increase your fiber consumption by eating these high fiber foods and reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension and heart disease. Include these legumes, vegetables and fruits in your daily diet and you would be one step ahead than others in living a healthy life.