Fiber, despite not containing any calories, is a very important food group. Like probiotics, fiber is essential for your digestive health. Fiber provides bulk to the waste material passing through your digestive tract and that means your body doesn’t have to work so hard to push it out of your body and into the toilet bowl. More about fiber at “The importance of fiber“.
Less pressure means that waste moves more quickly through your body and that is as good for you as it sounds. Otherwise your digestive tract could and up looking (and smelling) like a blocked drain!
Also, the less you have to strain to pass waste material out of your body the better. Straining can lead to things like hemorrhoids and diverticular disease – neither of which you want.
Fiber is also very filling and can prevent overeating; it’s a natural appetite suppressant that’s also good for you – what’s not to love?
Processed foods, Why you should avoid processed food, are invariably low in fiber and so it’s vital you seek out extra fiber in your diet. One simple way to do this is to eat more high fiber superfoods. Increase your fiber intake gradually, however, if you want to avoid bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort. Too much too soon can leave you feeling unwell, “Gas and Bloating after Drinking a Superfood Drink“.
Here are five fabulously high fiber superfoods.
Broccoli is a multi-faceted superfood; it’s anti-estrogenic so can help balance your hormones and it’s packed with cancer-fighting nutrients. It’s also low in calories but very high in fiber. A cup of cooked broccoli will fill you up without breaking the calorie bank while providing you with a quarter of your daily fiber needs. Lightly boil or steam and serve with a little sea salt or real butter. You can also eat it raw.
Different recipes, all healthy and all tasty, give it a try:
These cheap but nutritious legumes are a common vegetarian alternative to meat because they contain protein but they are also world-beaters in the fiber stakes too. In fact, lentils contain more fiber per serving than any other food. You can use lentils in soups and stews or cook and mash them in place of potatoes. They are naturally filling and a bag of lentils will remain fresh for ages. Make sure you pick up some during your next grocery shopping trip.
Oats are the perfect breakfast and can also be enjoyed anytime you want a healthy snack. Packed with slow-releasing carbs, they are also loaded with fiber which is what makes them very filling despite being relatively low in calories.
Skip the quick-cook oats and flavored oatmeal – they’re not the real thing. Instead, seek out unflavored steel-cut organic oats. Yes, they take longer to cook but they are immeasurably better for you.
Quick and easy ideas to start enjoying oats. Get inspired:
An apple a day keeps the doctor away and that’s because apples are high in fiber. Apples are the perfect portable snack and with so many varieties to choose from, you should have no problem finding one you like. Eat the skins too – that’s where a lot of the fiber lives. I like mine cut into slices and served with a thin smothering of peanut butter. Yummy and filling!
Peas are an often ignored vegetable that is actually a legume. Peas are very high in vitamin C, are a good source of protein, low in fat and high in fiber. I love peas as a side dish and you can also use them in soups and stews. Frozen peas are ideal – a good example of a frozen vegetable that is every bit as good as the fresh version. Steer clear of canned peas though as they are often packed in salted water and too much salt is not good for you.
For something with no calories, fiber really is important. Make sure you are getting enough by including plenty of high fiber superfoods in your diet.