The next time you hit the grocery store, add the following foods to your cart for an extra boost of fiber.
Almonds are one of Swanner’s favorite crunchy midday snacks. According to a 2018 metastudy, adding almonds to your diet can help reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and maintain HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol). Swanner recommends adding slivered almonds to quinoa or brown rice to inject your meal with extra nutrients and texture. One ounce, or 23 almonds (a generous handful), provides 3.5 grams of fiber.
Popcorn doesn’t just taste good—it’s also an excellent source of antioxidants, according to research. “I like adding a dash of turmeric, pepper and salt for a fun flavor boost,” says Swanner. Plus, air popping gives you all the nutrients and flavor without necessarily having to add fats like butter. Three cups of air-popped popcorn offers 3.5 grams of fiber.
Avocados are a great food to keep around because of their versatility, says Swanner. “You can mash one up with a fork and spread it on toasted whole-grain bread or cut and toss it with cucumbers and tomatoes for a fresh salad,” she says. One medium California avocado contains about 9 grams of fiber.
A great source of fiber, health-promoting antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, broccoli packs a big punch. Swanner suggests roasting it in the oven with salt, pepper and olive oil and serving it as a side dish. Chop up any leftovers and throw them into scrambled eggs or on top of homemade pizza. One cup of raw broccoli offers 2 grams of fiber.
Offering 8 grams of fiber per one cup serving, “this portable snack is an excellent, high-fiber alternative to chips and pretzels,” says Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, a Forbes Health Advisory Board member and author of Eat Your Vitamins.
In addition to offering a healthy serving of fiber, one cup of edamame provides 18.4 grams of protein, which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, explains Forbes Health Advisory Board member Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND and author of Up Your Veggies: Flexitarian Recipes for the Whole Family. “Enjoy your edamame out of the shell with a sprinkle of sea salt or some reduced sodium soy sauce,” she suggests.
Strawberries provide over 3 grams of fiber per one cup serving as well as a healthy boost of vitamin C. Enjoy strawberries on their own or pair with yogurt, protein bars or string cheese, suggests Davis.
Prunes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which help maintain good digestive health, says Amidor. “The fiber in prunes helps keep your bowel movements regular and makes them a great snack choice if you’re struggling with constipation,” adds Davis.
Amidor recommends enjoying prunes as-is, in a trail mix or as a natural sweetener in smoothies. One cup of pitted prunes offers 12.4 grams of fiber.
One cup of cooked chickpeas provides 14.5 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of fiber. “Certainly all that fiber and protein can help you feel more satisfied,” notes Amidor. Roast chickpeas with savory spices like chili and cumin or add to a trail mix, she suggests.