When it comes to dropping pounds, feeling full can make it easier to cut back on the amount of calories you eat in a day. And when it comes to feeling full, fiber is your new best friend. It’s generally recommended to get 30-40 grams or more of fiber daily to promote weight loss; but the reality is that 60+ grams of fiber per day may be required in order to have highly significant effects in producing weight loss in overweight individuals.
But most Americans only get five to 15 grams of fiber per day! And that’s a problem. Fiber is essential for weight loss in more ways than just feeling full. It also slows digestion, which ultimately helps us to burn more calories. It also helps support colon health and regularity. And it has even been shown to lower our LDL “bad” cholesterol and help to ward off chronic illnesses and diseases.
Here are five excellent (and colorful!) sources of fiber:
1. Beans and legumes. Black, white, navy, kidney, red, lima— they all are super rich in fiber, not to mention protein, healthy carbs, antioxidants and other important nutrients such as iron, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium and the B vitamins. Plus, they’re really affordable!
2. Fruits. Eating plenty of fresh, colorful fruits is one of the best ways to up the nutrient density of your fiber consumption. Aim for variety with apples, apricots, oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mangoes, and pears. And eat the skins when you can/want to!
3. Berries. While berries are technically fruit, they’re worth noting separately. Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries have seeds and skin that contibute to their high fiber content. And they boast powerful benefits from antioxidants, too, especially the darker ones.
4. Nuts. Almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, and cashews are fiber-filled and even pack some omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Vegetables. Veggies are truly essential for anyone who wants to eat healthy. Just like with fruit, choose a wide array of crunchy, fresh, colorful vegetables such as artichokes, broccoli, peas, avocados, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and especially the leafy green vegetables like spinach.
Still don’t have enough? Fiber can also be taken as a supplement, usually a clear, tasteless powder or a chewable. Learn more about Weight Loss Supplements from our latest Tumblr post.
Where do you get your fiber? Any sources we didn’t think of? Let us know in a comment!