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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 at—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 getting more of this key nutrient into your diet is important.
Even if you think 75 grams is a little too much, if you focus on 5–7 of the foods listed below, you can easily hit your healthy daily fiber target:
1. Navy beans—1 cup = 19 grams.
Up your fiber: Purée navy beans with roasted red peppers, rosemary, and garlic to make a savory dip.
2. Blackberries—1 cup = 8 grams.
Up your fiber: Toss blackberries with spinach leaves, cashews, red onions, lemon juice, and olive oil for a salad.
3. Chia seeds—1 ounce = 11 grams.
Up your fiber: Add chia seeds and blueberries to your morning waffles.
4. Lima beans—1 cup = 13 grams.
Up your fiber: Simmer lima beans with chopped tomatoes, diced zucchini, corn kernels, and black pepper.
5. Avocado—1 medium = 9 grams.
Up your fiber: Mash avocado with egg yolks for healthier deviled eggs.
6. Chickpeas—1 cup = 12 grams.
Up your fiber: 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.
7. Broccoli—1 cup = 6 grams.
Up your fiber: Sauté broccoli florets in olive oil with shallots, pine nuts, and minced red pepper.
8. Asian pears—1 medium = 10 grams.
Up your fiber: Cut pears crosswise into rounds and sauté in coconut oil and honey until caramelized.
9. Pumpkin—1 cup = 7 grams.
Up your fiber: Toss pumpkin cubes with maple syrup, cardamom, and chopped pecans.
10. Artichoke—1 medium = 10 grams.
Up your fiber: 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.
11. Dried apricots—1/2 cup = 5 grams.
Up your fiber: 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.
12. Lentils—1 cup = 15 grams.
Up your fiber: Simmer red lentils with coconut milk, onions, and curry powder. Or toss French lentils with chopped herbs, minced shallots, and vinaigrette.
13. Green peas—1 cup = 9 grams.
Up your fiber: 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.
14. Raspberries—1 cup = 11 grams.
Up your fiber: 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.
15. Collards—1 cup = 8 grams.
Up your fiber: 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.
make it! Fiber-Fueled Recipes
Sweet Potato Mini Muffins—This updated take on old-school bran muffins is packed with nutrients and flavor.
Raspberry-Papaya Oat Breakfast Bowl—This power-packed breakfast has twice as much colon-healing fiber as oatmeal.
Spinach Salad with Tahini Dressing—Brighten up lunch or dinner with this deceptively simple salad that’s packed with health-boosting nutrients.