Nutrition: Top 10 most high-fiber foods

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Integrate these 10 high-fiber foods to improve your digestion, lose weight more easily and maintain a healthy weight.

The health benefits of the highest fiber foods

Foods rich in fiber help regulate blood cholesterol levels. According to Heidi Bates, a professional dietician at Tri-Nutrition Consulting in Sherwood Park, Alberta, fiber has a major impact on our health. “In our body, the fibers act a little like a sponge: they absorb the elements that drag in our digestive tract and help to make them disappear,” she says. That’s why they say they fight bad cholesterol. By clinging to certain components of cholesterol, they help to reduce the rate.

Because fiber comes mainly from plants, a diet that is rich in it tends to provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals, while being low in calories, fat, sugar and salt. According to Heidi Bates, this is exactly the type of diet that a dietitian would recommend. As such, Health Canada recommends consuming 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day.

Discover the list of the 10 most high-fiber foods.

1. The peas

According to the peas.org website , the world’s oldest pea is nearly 3000 years old and has been discovered on the border of Thailand and Burma. However, this legume is suspected of being from the Middle East and Ethiopia. This may seem obvious (although we lived at a time when frozen foods are available), but peas grow in pods that look like snow peas, in thicker ones; we must dissect them to reach the sweet round treasures hidden inside. Frozen peas are on the market all year and fresh local peas only during the summer season.

How to eat them : The freshly shelled garden peas are a supreme pleasure for the palate. They can be eaten raw, mixed with salads or cooked very lightly. Frozen peas can be added to your favorite stew or pasta sauce.

Fiber content : 5.6 grams per half cup of fresh peas.

2. The potatoes

The potatoes may be of all colors, red, white, golden and purple, they are all full of potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and fiber. Native to South America, the potato supposedly took time to become popular in the North American colonies because the Europeans were suspicious. Nowadays, we eat them all over the world (someone wants french fries?). Local potatoes can be stored during the winter. For those who avoid “white” foods, including potatoes, sweet potato is a high-fiber alternative.

How to eat them : Boiled, mashed, fried, steamed or grilled, potatoes are very versatile, but unlike many other vegetables in your kitchen, you have to cook them.

Fiber content : 3.8 grams per average potato baked with the skin, 2.8 grams per half cup of boiled sweet potato.

 

3. Brussels sprouts

It may have been years since you have eaten the nemesis of your childhood, boiled Brussels sprouts. Harvested in the fall, it is generally not popular with those who attend the schoolyard. As an adult, however, you can better appreciate the sweet-bitter flavors of this vegetable that looks like a tiny cabbage. His name is said to have come from the fact that he was seen in the Brussels markets as early as the 1200s. According to the provincial news site Foodland Ontario , it is now grown throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Local varieties of this root vegetable can maintain their freshness most of the year, provided they are kept in a cool place.

How to eat them : Forget the boiled Brussels sprouts. Savor them roasted, or steamed. By incising an “X” at the base of each cabbage, it will cook to the heart.

Fiber content : 3 grams per half cup of cooked Brussels sprouts.

4. Parsnips

The parsnips are white or cream. They have a small nutty flavor and, like carrots, they can be steamed, braised, roasted, sautéed, boiled or creamed. According to the BC Fresh Vegetables website, they are also rich in vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. In the Middle Ages, they were very popular during Lent, being rich in soluble fiber. “Soluble fiber, as found in vegetables and fruits, is important because of its ability to regulate blood sugar levels . In addition, they induce a feeling of fullness that prevents us from overeatingSays Heidi Bates. Perhaps this is why parsnips were so popular among those who avoided eating meat during Lent.

How to eat : Served raw, parsnips have a pungent flavor that probably will not please most people; braised, roasted or steamed, they are delicious.

Fiber content : 2.7 grams per half cup.

5. Spinach

The growing season of this dark green leafy vegetable, native to Persia, extends from spring to autumn. As a parent, I’m surprised how many dishes I can spin cooked spinach to add nutrients and fiber, such as lasagna, hamburgers and even chocolate squares.

“It’s because they can hold water that high-fiber foods give us that feeling of fullness for long periods of time,” says Heidi Bates. Because they digest slowly, high-fiber foods release nutrients that gradually infiltrate our blood. This prevents fluctuations in blood glucose levels that can interfere with our energy level and cause cravings that are hard to resist.

How to eat them : Spinach babies are excellent in salads, and can also be cooked or faded. Large spinach leaves should generally be rinsed several times to remove the sand from which they are covered. Also delicious are steamed, boiled or slightly sautéed.

Fiber content : 2.3 grams per half cup of cooked spinach.

6. Fruit and vegetable smoothies with wheat or oat bran

With its creamy milkskin accents, most of us love a good smoothie, but we find excuses not to make it at home. Still, these drinks are a great way to add fiber-laden ingredients to your diet, and all you need is a blender. Smoothies are a tasty, practical, and healthy way to start the day. Add your ingredients to the blender the day before and store in the refrigerator. The next morning, you just have to mix everything for a few seconds and lunch is served, she says. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of wheat or oat bran to your beverage to increase fiber content, according to naturopath Natasha Turner.

7. Integral bread

Some of us leave the house quickly in the morning without eating anything. If this sounds like you, take high fiber foods to work. The day before, empty milk into a container and sprinkle with cereals and dried fruit. This is an easy breakfast to eat while browsing your emails in the morning. You can also pack an integral bread that can be grilled in the office, and garnish with peanut butter.

8. Whole grain foods

Do you crave carbohydrates more than any other type of food? You can increase your fiber and whole grain intake by avoiding white bread. Say no to white bread, white rice, white pasta and even white potatoes. These foods tend to be more elaborate, and lower in fiber and nutrients than whole grains. Add sweet potatoes to your diet instead. Switch to whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and wild rice. If you like basmati rice, try whole wheat. Why not try whole grain couscous too? Not everyone likes the distinct flavors and textures of whole grain foods, but there are ways to ease the transition. If your family is struggling to adapt to whole-grain pasta or rice, cook half of the whole grain with your regular choice, until you get used to the difference between the two.

9. Fresh fruits and vegetables

Leave the bags of chips and chocolate on the shelf and make the effort to buy your favorite fruits and vegetables. Put them in a bowl on your desk or on your coffee table to eat as a snack. Do you hate cutting fruits? Opt for those who are already cut. Although they are more expensive, they are a better alternative to sweet snacks or pastries. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber.  Try replacing your morning juice with a piece of fresh fruit, equivalent to three grams of fiber . Some of us manage to consume more raw vegetables than others. If this sounds like you, add them when preparing meals. For added fiber, add pureed vegetables to your soups, sauces and stews.

10. Beans, lentils and chickpeas

Beans are nutritious, easy to cook (dry or canned), and are a healthy and inexpensive way to improve one’s diet. Beans, lentils and chickpeas are filled with fiber and protein. Why not add some to a grilled chicken or salmon salad? You can also cook a meat chili with several red beans, and also opt for a lentil soup, a healthy meal that is both high in fiber and tasty.

Dr. Monika Mathur

Ph.D Yale University

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