Yes, everyone wants to feel full for hours after they eat lunch and never be bloated again. But how? Well, there’s one solution that’s not exactly sexy (your grandma probably swears by it), but it works: fibre.
Okay, yes, so fibre bars can be kind of nasty. But you can (and should) get this stuff from real food, too. Fibre helps keep your bowels regular, naturally lowers your LDL cholesterol and makes you feel fuller for longer.
“High-fibre diets have also been linked to lower rates of colon cancer, and most of us aren’t getting nearly enough,” says registered dietician Alex Caspero.
That said, too much fibre can shock your system, causing bloating and diarrhoea. “If you’re only eating 10g now, please don’t start eating 50,” says Caspero. She recommends adding in 5g at a time every few days over the course of a week until you hit about 30g per day – the sweet spot for most adult women.
And don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep all that bulk moving through your GI tract (otherwise you’ll get gassy and bloated).
Not sure where to start? Here are 12 high-fibre foods that have at least the 5g of fibre you’ll find in a typical fibre bar to help you hit your goal:
Fibre: 7g per medium uncooked artichoke
Artichokes are a great source of fibre – but a pain to prepare. To make life easier, Caspero suggests adding frozen or canned artichokes to salads and frittatas. Or toss into whole-wheat pasta with sautéed sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, chicken and a sprinkle of feta for a fibre-rich Mediterranean meal.
2. Lima beans
Fiber: 12g per one-cup serving
Frozen or canned is your best option to get all the fibre in lima beans; pair with corn to make a savory hash. “Corn gets a bad rap, but it’s technically a veggie and it’s relatively high-fibre,” Caspero says. Or purée lima beans with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a “hummus” for veggie dip or a spread on sandwiches.
Read more: You might be eating way too much fibre – without realising it
Fibre: 16g per one-cup cooked serving
You’ll get tons of fibre and protein in every cup of this vegetarian staple. Buy a bag at the supermarket and forget the soaking; just drop in simmering water and they’re ready in 30 minutes. Caspero recommends using lentils as a filling for tacos or wraps or making a “lentil loaf” (like meatloaf… but with lentils).
4. Black beans
Fibre: 17g per one-cup serving
Caspero suggests lightly mashing black beans and adding to sandwiches, pairing with sweet potatoes and a sprinkling of cheese, adding to soups and salads, or wrapping in a whole-wheat wrap with chicken and hummus.
5. Whole-wheat pasta
Fibre: 6g per one cup of cooked pasta
Pasta is a surprisingly high-fibre food, if you do it right. Take your whole-wheat pasta and toss with about two cups of cooked mixed veggies, plus tomato sauce or olive oil and lemon, and you’ll have a fibre-rich meal.
Read more: 30 healthy high-fibre foods that make you feel full and satisfied
Fibre: 8g per one-cup serving
The season for raspberries is fairly short, and they’re pricey otherwise. But you can enjoy fibre-rich raspberries out of season if you buy frozen, then add to smoothies or fibre-rich oatmeal.
Fibre: 11g per one-cup serving
“I call chickpeas my chicken,” says Caspero, since she swaps the high-fibre, vegetarian protein anywhere she’d otherwise use chicken. Because they’re pretty bland, they marry well in lots of different dishes. Toss them in a blender with mayo, celery and carrots to make a take on chicken salad that’s high in fibre and protein.
Fibre: 6g per one-cup serving (cooked)
You might associate barley with soups, but it works just as well anywhere you’d use rice. Buy a pack of barley and make one big batch that you can keep in the fridge all week. Mix with roasted veggies (like onions, broccoli, and red peppers to get an extra fibre kick), a serving of chicken and dressing for a hearty lunch or dinner.
Read more: Are you really getting enough fibre in your diet?
Fibre: 6g per medium pear
When you think of fibre-rich fruits, you probably think of apples, but you’ll actually get a lot of it in pears, too. Pair it with almond butter for a snack or with almost any savory food, like cheese in a salad.
Fibre: 7g per half avocado
Yet another reason to love brunch’s favourite food! Slather it on toast, dice and toss with your favourite salad, or just slice and put on top of your sandwich to boost your meal’s healthy fat and fibre content.
Fibre: 8g per one-cup serving
Like raspberries, blackberries are a high-fibre food that you should have in your repertoire. Fresh or frozen, you can eat these babies in yoghurt, as part of a fruit salad or just pop them raw.
Fibre: 6g per 1/2-cup serving
Peanuts have a surprisingly-high amount of fibre for such a small, ordinary nut. As if you didn’t have enough reason to love peanut butter already. Toss the nuts into a stir-fry or salad or just eat some peanut butter out of the jar.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
Image credit: iStock