Getting enough fiber in your diet can cut your risk for heart disease, improve your health, and help dieting success in a number of ways. Yet many of us cringe as we visualize a diet full of dry fiber foods like crackers or wheat bran.
This is a common misconception, says registered dietitian Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A lot of people have no idea how to incorporate fiber-rich foods into their diet. They immediately think of whole wheat bread, fiber crackers, or powdered fiber mixed with water as a staple of a high-fiber diet.
“When I tell people to increase fiber, their first response is usually, ‘What fiber supplement should I take?’” says Dr. Turner-McGrievy. While supplements may occasionally be necessary, it’s best to start by incorporating more fiber-rich foods into your diet.
The good news is that many fiber-rich foods are as delicious as they are nutritious. You’ll find that your diet will become more plant-based over time and newly-enhanced with a variety of flavors. Here are 10 of the best natural sources to add more fiber to your diet:
Artichokes. Few fiber-rich foods are more fun to eat than artichokes, and this veggie treat provides you with about 7 grams of fiber.
Pears. Sweet, juicy pears rank high up on the list of surprisingly fiber-rich foods, ranging between 4.4 and 5.5 grams depending on the type of pear.
Berries. Blackberries and raspberries weigh in at 4 grams of fiber per serving and can be very tasty as a topping to breakfast cereal, as a stand-alone dessert, or as a simple, refreshing snack.
Mixed veggies. One-half cup of cooked vegetables delivers about 4 grams of fiber.
Cocoa powder. If you like to make your own hot chocolate, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder in a one-cup serving equals about 4 grams of fiber.