Fiber is an important part of digestion—that's not news. But did you know that certain types may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and colon cancer? And good news for people watching their weight: Fiber takes a while to digest, so it helps you feel full longer. The Mayo Clinic recommends 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 30 to 38 grams a day for men. But that doesn't mean you have to stick to bland cereals and basic oat bran to get your fill.
Kick your morning off with this quick Mexican breakfast dish. Refried beans and avocado pump 9 grams of fiber into this recipe, along with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. The combination of the fiber and protein from the eggs will stave off a growling stomach until lunchtime.
Got a craving for Thai food? You may have your favorite restaurant on speed dial, but tonight try putting your own Asian twist on this delectable risotto. Using barley instead of rice increases the fiber content to nearly 8 grams. Though barley won't tickle your taste buds on its own, cilantro, lime juice, and ginger provide plenty of zest. This recipe is easy, affordable, and even better the next day.
Lentils just got a little more exciting. Cover them in this slightly sweet vinaigrette and add cherry tomatoes, chives, and capers to make a delicious fiber-rich dish. Serve this over mixed greens for a fresh and filling lunch.
Wilted Escarole Salad With Figs, Bacon, and Blue Cheese
Credit: Leigh Beisch
A dressing of orange juice and balsamic vinaigrette jazz up this savory bacon and bitter escarole salad. Figs add a touch of sweetness and bump the fiber up to 8 grams. The best part? This sweet and salty salad will cost you only 200 calories. Serve it with a grilled chicken breast and a side of juicy olives for a truly Mediterranean meal.
An Italian favorite heads south of the border in this simple, spicy take on Margherita pizza. Cumin, cilantro, and chili powder add a kick to fiber-rich spinach and black beans. Topping your pie with reduced-fat cheese helps keep it figure friendly.