Need More Fiber? Here’s Where you can Find it

sunflower-seeds300According to statistics, Americans only consume 10% of the fiber they should be, on a daily basis. A lack of fiber in the body can contribute to several illnesses, including diabetes and obesity.

Major food manufacturers fortify certain food products with extra fiber, but the ingredients they use to do so – often including inulin, a difficult-to-digest, easily fermented substance extracted from chicory root – can actually have negative effects. Aside from the fruits and vegetables that we know are high in fiber content, there are several natural sources of fiber that you might not have known about.

1. Avocado

Avocado is becoming more and more popular as a superfood, featuring a tremendous amount of health benefits. One of its greatest claims is approximately 12 grams of fiber per fruit, depending on size.

2. Hummus

This spread, a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, is made from olive oil mixed with chickpeas and sesame seeds. It’s also a fiber-rich addition to any vegetable plate. A two-tablespoon serving has around three grams of fiber.

3. Popcorn

The nutrition in pre-prepared microwave popcorn is questionable, as it usually contains lots of sodium and butter. However, dry, packed corn kernels that you pop yourself contain anti-oxidants and lots of fiber (five grams per four-cup serving).

4. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are high in fiber and a healthy dose of protein, too, making them delicious on top of a salad, or roasted and enjoyed on their own.

5. Cacao

This very common dessert ingredient, when raw and unprocessed, can give you the added benefit of two and a half grams of fiber per tablespoon. Throw a little in your next hot chocolate, coffee or cereal.

6. Almond butter

This very healthy alternative to peanut butter, beloved by people with peanut allergies, offers three grams of fiber for every two tablespoons.

7. Coconut

Natural, unprocessed, unsweetened coconut, whether in shredded, whole, fresh or juice form, contains a lot of exotic flavor and fiber. Two tablespoons contain four grams of fiber.

8. Olives

Fresh and preserved olives, depending on the kind, carry healthy fats and a decent serving of fiber: around three grams per 100 grams of fruit.