Getting more high fibre foods into your diet is something that we should all aim for. Why? Well, there’s lots we know about fibre – it’s great for your digestive system, it helps to keep you fuller for longer and it has satiety properties; which simply means that foods that contain high fibre make you feel more satisfied after eating a meal.
When you think of fibre, you probably think of the same old things: beans, lentils, brown bread and brown rice. All these foods are terrific for you, but what if you could find some “unusual” forms of fibre to incorporate into your diet?
I am no longer an advocate for “dieting”. I have tried too many diets, including the seaweed diet, the 5:2 diet, I tried fasting, the cutting diet – they all work for a while, but soon you’ll go back to your old eating habits. The best way to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and keep your body at its optimal range of function is to ‘not’ diet, but to find a way of eating that you can sustain in the long term, naturally. High fibre foods are a great way to get the nutrition your body needs, in a way that your tastebuds will enjoy.
High fibre foods that might surprise you
Push the brown rice and baked beans to the back of the cupboard, and let’s explore some of the more surprising foods you could enjoy, that contain loads of healthy fibre. As I always say, I am not a nutritionist, just a food lover like you, so do your own research and make sure you always listen to your body. If in doubt – chat to your health professional and don’t do anything crazy.
I briefly went vegan for a while and I loved it. I still enjoy many vegan and vegetarian foods daily. Tempeh is a soy based food that uses natural culturing and fermentation, similar to tofu. Tempeh is like a dense block of soybeans. Unlike fibre-poor tofu, tempeh actually contains around 10 grams of fibre per 100 grams, so it’s a great option for vegans and non-vegans alike. Try a few different brands as I found some were way more to my liking than others.
#2: Purple corn
In the modern supermarket, you are bound to find so many new varieties of fruits and veggies that you couldn’t have found a generation ago. Purple corn is a variety that contains up to 14 times the amount of antioxidants that yellow or white corn has. It’s higher in fibre, and adds a colourful punch to any baked dinner or crunchy salad.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, I think artichokes are delicious. One of my Italian “aunties” used to lightly boil them (so they were still a bit firm) and serve the artichokes with a dish of fresh, melted butter that you would dip the pieces into. Maybe not the healthiest way to enjoy this vegetable, but it sure tasted great. Artichokes have 5 grams of fibre per 100.
Yes, it does seem a bit surprising, but popcorn, gram for gram, calorie for calorie, contains quite a bit of fibre. It’s cheap, easy to make, fun to eat and a crowd pleaser. When The Boyf and I first got together, we would whip up a big batch on the kitchen stove, in a saucepan with a lid. Hearing all the grains pop is always fun, and a big bag of corn kernels is just so cheap.
#5: Dark chocolate
Yes, you heard me right! It might sound unbelievable, but dark chocolate actually contains lots of fibre, especially when compared to other chocolates and sweet things. Dark chocolate contains 11 grams of fibre per 100, making it a high fibre food. Enjoy it in moderation, a few squares per night, and savour every bite. You deserve a treat, right?
Amaranth is a heritage grain, and has been eaten by humans for thousands of years. It contains folic acid and has been considered a superfood. Accredited practising dietitian Joel Feren told SBS that, “Amaranth has a really impressive nutritional profile and it should be considered as part of a healthy, balanced diet.” It looks like mini grains of quinoa and is prepared in a similar way.
Give up the strict diet plans and eat more fibre!
There’s really no need to go completely paleo, or try a restrictive juice fast. If you want to feel better and lose a bit of weight, or just maintain the healthy weight that you have, add more high fibre foods into your diet and see how your digestion improves.