Fiber foods

People over 40 are likely to miss these fiber-rich foods in their diets, say doctors (they’re good for the gut!)

Dr. Jamie McManus MD, FAAFP President, Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education at Shaklee author of this story.

Fiber is important for everyone, at any age, with benefits such as lowering cholesterol and maintaining healthier blood sugar levels. Plus, fiber helps with satiety, which is an important fact for women over 40 who struggle to get their weight where they want it! Adding fiber-rich foods is one of the best strategies for achieving the weight loss you’re looking for. A fiber-rich diet also lowers your risk of bowel cancers, the frequency of which increases as we reach our 40s, 50s and beyond.

What are the most common fiber-rich foods that people lack in their diets?

Almost all fruits and vegetables contain fiber and should be added to your diet, but some of the best sources are beans, broccoli and berries – we’ll call them the 3 Bs!

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Beans and legumes

These are not only high in fiber (lentils contain 13 grams of fiber per cup), but are also an excellent source of vegetable protein.

Broccoli

It’s a superfood for sure – and may be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Broccoli (along with cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) is a cruciferous vegetable that provides impressive amounts of antioxidants like vitamin C, iron, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. They are very low in calories!

Berries

Berries are loaded with antioxidants, fiber and again low in calories, making them nutrient dense. Raspberries contain 6 grams of fiber per cup. Strawberries have a little less and blackberries about 7 to 8 grams. Eat berries for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch, and a big serving of broccoli for dinner and you’ll improve the quality of your diet while increasing your fiber intake.

Other fiber-rich foods include avocados, carrots, apples, and of course whole grains. With grains, look at the label to make sure whole grains (or whole wheat) are the first ingredient and the bread has at least 3g of fiber per slice.

Ultimately, the hardest part of dieting is being hungry – and you should know that fiber is your secret weapon! Fiber-rich foods help you feel fuller (with fewer calories). And because fiber slows transit time through your gut, you feel full longer so you don’t crave those pesky snacks like chips and crackers.