Do you want to get rid of the extra flab because you care about your health? Then the best way to lose weight without the hassle of counting calories or lifting weights is to include fiber-rich foods in your diet.
Fiber is essentially carbohydrate (we thought carbs were bad!) that cannot be digested by humans. It helps with bulking up and with stool formation, while it also increases the digestion and absorption time in the large intestine. It helps to improve metabolic rate, cleanses the bowel, and increases satiety.
We have handpicked 20 best Fiber-rich foods and prepared a diet chart that will help you slim down and improve your health.
But first, let’s find out what to look for when you buy fiber-rich foods.
Fiber is of two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, depending upon the property to dissolve in liquids.
When soluble fiber comes in contact with water, it converts into a viscous material and slows down food absorption in the large intestine.
This makes you feel full for a longer duration. The insoluble fiber helps to trap the fat molecules and acts as a stool bulking agent and prevents the absorption of fats. It is more helpful for those suffering from constipation as it increases bulk and promotes bowel movement. Therefore, it is clear that if you want to lose weight, you should look at food sources that are rich in soluble fiber along with a good amount of insoluble fiber. Now, let’s find out how fiber aids in weight loss.
Fiber and weight loss – what is the connection? Fiber aids weight loss by boosting satiety and also by increasing the number and varieties of good gut bacteria in the intestine. You must have heard that good gut bacteria helps in digestion and promotes overall health. These gut bacteria present in our intestine help to digest the soluble fiber with the help of a specific bacterial enzyme. So basically, soluble fiber acts as food for the gut bacteria and the bacteria helps to digest the soluble fiber and produce short chain fatty acids. Short chain fatty acids help to reduce belly fat by increasing fat metabolism. Also, this whole interaction of soluble fiber with gut bacteria increases the variety and number of gut bacteria. The presence of different types of good gut bacteria is linked to the reduced risk of Type II diabetes, heart disease, reduced levels of bad cholesterol, etc. But does this mean you can have unlimited amounts of fiber? You will find out in the next section.
For women below 50 years of age 25 gm daily fiber consumption is recommended. For women above 50 years of age, 21 gm daily fiber consumption is recommended.
Read on to know which fiber-rich foods will help you reduce weight.
The total dietary fiber in avocados is 10.5 gm per cup. Green avocados are mostly from Florida and are high in soluble fiber as compared to the California dark skinned avocados. Avocados are also rich in healthy fats that help reduce inflammation in the body. This is why avocados should be your go-to fruit for breakfast with eggs or in a salad for lunch or dinner.
Total fiber present in raspberry is 8.40 gm per cup and it is also a rich source of vitamins C, A, E, K, and folate. Raspberries improve bowel movement and prevent bloating. You can have a raspberry smoothie for breakfast or toss in a few raspberries in oatmeal to give it a different flavor.
Flax seeds are high in dietary fiber and healthy fats. A cup of flax seeds contains about 13 gm soluble fiber and 12 gm insoluble fiber. Therefore it can act as a bulking agent as well as increase your satiety levels and make you eat less. You can grind flax seeds at home to retain maximum nutrients and add it to your smoothie, oatmeal, salad, or to your glass of fat-free milk.
Oat bran is another high-fiber food known for its weight loss properties. It contains a total of 14.50 gm fiber out of which 6.80 gm is soluble fiber. Have 2 tablespoons of oat bran for breakfast or lunch for favorable results in just a few weeks.
This sweet and granular textured fruit is one of the best sources of dietary fiber. It contains 24.30 g fiber per cup and is rich in other nutrients such as vitamins A, K, folate, and protein. You can have figs for dessert to give it a healthy spin or add figs to your lunch salad.
A cup of prune contains 6.50 g soluble fiber and 5.60 g insoluble fiber. Prune juice helps treat constipation, and due to its high soluble fiber content, it is also a good weight loss agent. You can have prune juice in breakfast with oatmeal or add prunes to your grilled duck for dinner or make your dessert extra special by adding a few dried prunes to your low-fat yogurt.
This humble grain is rich in dietary fiber. 1 cup sorghum contains a total of 26.50 g fiber. It is for this reason that sorghum is called “the new quinoa.” You can add it to your brunch veggie salad or have a light yet filling sorghum risotto for dinner.
Black beans are a great source of dietary fiber and protein. A cup of black bean contains 12.2 gm of fiber. You can include it in your diet by simply soaking it overnight and boiling it the next day. Have it for your lunch just by adding some fresh veggies, cilantro, and a dash of lime. You can also cook it chili-style and have it for dinner.
1 cup of lima beans contains 7 gm soluble fiber and 6.20 gm insoluble fiber. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other phytonutrients. You can add lima beans to your quinoa for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch or to your grilled salmon for dinner.
Acorn sprouts are an excellent source of fiber, and a cup of acorn sprouts contain 6.20 gm soluble fiber and 4.60 gm insoluble fiber. Make sure to process the acorn sprouts before eating. Add them to your chicken or lentil soup for dinner or grind them with dates and add this mix to your sour cream and fruits dessert.
1 cup of lentil contains about 15 gm fiber. Lentils are also a good source of protein, and minerals like manganese, thiamin, potassium, and iron. You can include lentils in your diet by boiling it and adding it to salads or having lentil soup with or without veggies for dinner.
This is a nutritious and gluten-free grain found in brightly flowered perennial plants. A cup of amaranth contains about 29.60 gm of fiber. It is also a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron. You can add it to your sauteed veggies for lunch or dinner. You can even grind it to make gluten-free flour, or prepare porridge for breakfast. You could also use amaranth to bake muffins, cookies, and other sweet treats.
This is another high-fiber grain. A cup of barley contains about 31.20 gm fiber. It is also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and iron. You can make barley porridge or add with oats for breakfast or add barley in your chicken or turkey stew for dinner.
This delicious nut is also a high-fiber food. A cup of chestnut contains 16 gm fiber. It is a rich source of vitamin C, folate, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and monounsaturated fatty acids. You can have a handful of chestnuts as a snack, or add them to your meat for dinner or give your low-fat frozen yogurt an extra crunch by topping it with crushed chestnuts.
Gooseberries are also a good source of fiber. A cup of gooseberry contains 6.50 gm fiber. They are also rich in vitamin C and phytochemicals that help maintain optimum health. You can have 2-3 sun-dried gooseberries right after lunch to help suppress hunger. You can also make sweet gooseberry marmalade and add it to your dessert or just have a spoonful of this marmalade to curb your sweet cravings.
This sweet tropical fruit is a great source of fiber. A cup of guava contains about 9 gm fiber and also loaded with vitamins C and A, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and many phytonutrients. You can have guava as an evening snack or make guava juice for breakfast.
This beautiful aromatic fruit is a wonderful source of soluble and insoluble fiber. A cup of dried peach contains 6 gm soluble fiber and 7 gm insoluble fiber. It is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. You can add dried peaches to your breakfast oats or add it to your smoothies or roasted turkey or chicken.
A cup of green peas contains about 9 gm fiber. It is also an excellent source of vitamins, A and C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. You can add green peas to stir fried veggies for dinner or lunch, add it to your breakfast quinoa or add it to chicken or mushroom stew.
Pumpkin seeds taste sweet and nutty and are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. A cup of pumpkin seeds contains 2.40 gm soluble fiber and 6.40 gm insoluble fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of healthy fats, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. You can add pumpkin seeds to your breakfast smoothies or porridge, or add toasted pumpkin seeds to salad or casseroles.
This sweet and granular tropical fruit is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. One medium sapodilla contains about 5 gm soluble fiber and 9 gm insoluble fiber. It is also agreat source of calcium, potassium, and folate. You can add sapodilla to your breakfast smoothies or juices or have a sapodilla as dessert with a cup of low-fat frozen yogurt.
These 20 fiber-rich foods will help you reach your target weight and also improve digestion and bowel movement. Now, I have designed a fiber-rich diet chart for you to make the most of the foods mentioned above. You can also try your own version of diet chart but make sure to include high fiber foods for weight loss and strike a balance between the soluble and insoluble fiber.
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