If you're like most Americans, you don't get anywhere near the recommended 30-45 grams of fiber per day. So 75 grams may seem like a serious stretch. But that's about how much our early ancestors ate-and, in some cases, even more. Fiber (from plant sources) lowers cholesterol, reduces blood sugar, promotes weight loss, and decreases the risk of some cancers.
So even if you think 75 grams is a little too much, if you focus on five to seven of the foods listed below, you can easily hit your healthy daily fiber target:
1Navy beans. 1 cup = 19 grams.
Eat more: Purée navy beans with roasted red peppers, rosemary, and garlic to make a savory dip.
2Blackberries. 1 cup = 8 grams.
Eat more: Toss blackberries with spinach leaves, cashews, red onions, lemon juice, and olive oil for a salad.
3Chia seeds. 1 ounce = 11 grams.
Eat more: Add chia seeds and blueberries to your morning waffles.
4Lima beans. 1 cup = 13 grams.
Eat more: Simmer lima beans with chopped tomatoes, diced zucchini, corn kernels, and black pepper.
5 Avocado. 1 medium = 9 grams.
Eat more: Mash avocado with egg yolks for healthier deviled eggs.
6 Chickpeas. 1 cup = 12 grams.
Eat more: Toss chickpeas with diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, minced parsley, and feta cheese. Or purée with artichoke hearts, black olives, and olive oil for a twist on hummus.
7Broccoli. 1 cup = 6 grams.
Eat more: Sauté broccoli florets in olive oil with shallots, pine nuts, and minced red pepper.
8Asian pears. 1 medium = 10 grams.
Eat more: Cut pears crosswise into rounds and sauté in coconut oil and honey until caramelized.
9Pumpkin. 1 cup = 7 grams.
Eat more: Toss pumpkin cubes with maple syrup, cardamom, and chopped pecans.
10Artichoke. 1 medium = 10 grams.
Eat more: Quarter artichokes, toss with olive oil, and grill until tender. Or halve an artichoke lengthwise, remove choke, drizzle with olive oil, and roast, cut side down, until tender.
11Dried apricots. 1/2 cup = 5 grams.
Eat more: Add chopped apricots to chickpeas, slivered almonds, cumin, and cardamom for a Moroccan-inspired side dish. Or purée dried apricots with olive oil and lime juice until smooth for a nutritious dressing.
12Lentils. 1 cup = 15 grams.
Eat more: Simmer red lentils with coconut milk, onions, and curry powder. Or toss French lentils with chopped herbs, minced shallots, and vinaigrette.
13Green peas. 1 cup = 9 grams.
Eat more: Toss green peas with cooked penne pasta, chopped arugula, and shredded Asiago cheese. Or purée peas with basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts for a fresh take on pesto.
14Raspberries. 1 cup = 11 grams.
Eat more: Combine fresh raspberries with chopped mango, diced red onion, minced jalapeño peppers, and lime juice for a fresh, fruity salsa, or purée raspberries with honey for a raw jam.
15Collards. 1 cup = 8 grams.
Eat more: Steam whole collard leaves, and use as a wrap for cooked beans or grains. Or thinly slice collards crosswise, and sauté with olive oil and smoked paprika.
Lisa Turner is a certified food psychology coach, nutritional healer, intuitive eating consultant, and author. She has written five books on food and nutrition and developed the Inspired Eats iPhone app. Visit her online at inspiredeating.com.
It's our 75th birthday!
Follow along with us this year as we celebrate all things 75 each month. To learn more about how Better Nutrition started (in 1938) and our plans for a special commemorative issue, click here.