If you wonder what’s so great about dietary fiber, here are just a few benefits: Fiber helps reduce certain risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Soluble fiber, in particular, improves blood sugar control. And, of course, fiber helps keep you “regular.” People with higher daily fiber intake also tend to weigh less, in part because high-fiber foods help you feel full for longer, so you’re likely to eat less. Aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat—for example, 21 grams if you eat 1,500 calories a day and 35 grams if you eat 2,500 calories. Each of the following recipes has at least 10 grams of fiber per serving.
With crisp greens, warm lentils, and sweet, earthy beets, this recipe is a powerhouse of fiber. You can use either fresh or canned beets, since unlike many other vegetables, beets retain their flavor either way. Another convenient option is pre-cooked, vacuum-packed beets. If you do use fresh beets, look for smooth, hard, round ones with surfaces free of bruises or cuts. Avoid beets with soft, moist spots or shriveled, flabby skin. Fiber count: 26 grams per serving.
Bulgur is a processed form of cracked wheat, but with a more pronounced flavor. The whole-wheat kernels are steam-cooked and dried, and then the grain is cracked into three different granulations. This recipe uses the coarsest type. Two tablespoons of coarsely chopped walnuts add a welcome crunch. Fiber count: 10 grams per serving.
Each serving of this chili delivers not only 12 grams of fiber but also 12 grams of protein, thanks largely to the cooked chickpeas. These versatile legumes are highly nourishing—rich in protein, folate, and iron. And they are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, the two main types of dietary fiber, each with its own health benefits. Fiber count: 12 grams per serving.
This fiber-packed soup is deliciously simple and can be dressed up in a variety of ways. Mix in some corn and tomatoes, for example, and you’ve got a great dip for veggies or whole-grain pita chips. Or spoon a few dollops on top of a veggie burger for a nutritious and satisfying meatless meal. (For more ideas, see the “Different Spins” section at the bottom of the recipe.) Fiber count: 24 grams per serving.
This nutrient-packed vegetarian stew has an interesting secret ingredient: peanut butter, which lends a roasted, rich flavor plus acts as a thickener for the sauce. Like all summer squash, the yellow squash in this recipe is about 95 percent water, which helps keep you full on relatively few calories. Fiber count: 15 grams per serving.