Increasing your fiber intake is an easy way to encourage your body to shed nagging pounds.
Do you want to lose weight for good in the new year? Try increasing your daily fiber intake in the form of nutrient-rich high-fiber foods. Why fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests eating more fiber as a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of the two-year study, the researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 1/2 pounds of weight lost.
Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams. Here are 7 fiber-rich foods that help do the weight-loss work for you.
1. Apples: A medium apple (3-inch diameter) contains 4 grams of fiber; a large apple (3 1/4-inch diameter) has 5. Apples also offer a bit of vitamin C and potassium.
2. Green Beans: One cup boasts 4 grams of fiber, plus a healthy dose (30% daily value) or skin-helping vitamin C.
3. Sweet Potatoes: A medium-size baked sweet potato (2 inches wide, 5 inches long…a little larger than your computer mouse), skin included, offers 5 grams of fiber-for just 103 calories. It’s also a nutrition powerhouse: providing 438% daily value of eye-healthy vitamin A (eat these foods to help you see more clearly), 37% daily value of vitamin C, plus some potassium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals like beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
4. Raspberries: Raspberries are a great source of fiber-some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber. Raspberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C.
5. Strawberries: One cup of strawberries has a respectable 3 grams of fiber and more than a full day’s recommended dose of vitamin C-an antioxidant that helps keep skin healthy.
6. Chickpeas: Just 3/4 cup of chickpeas has a whopping 8 grams of fiber! You also get a good amount of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which play a role in forming healthy new cells.
7. Pumpkin: A cup of cooked pumpkin contains 3 grams of fiber. You also get vitamin A (245% daily value), vitamins C, E and potassium.