by Sharon Quercioli
When we think “fiber,” we normally just associate it with emergency bathroom trips or that silly rhyme about “beans.” What we don’t think about are the health benefits. Not only does it keep you regular, a diet high in fiber can also reduce the risk of heart disease and hypertension. Also, it tastes great! You don’t just get fiber from over- the-counter powder mixes that can taste chalky and gross. Fiber comes in many tasty forms.
Most fiber can be obtained through vegetables and legumes. But did you know that you can get fiber through fruits as well? Check out some of these favorites and keep reading for one of my favorite fibrous fruit recipes!
Some people might consider blackberries an exotic fruit, but most people that find them commonplace also find blackberry vines to be a nuisance. Their invasive but yield such wonderfully fibrous fruit. Blackberries can have up to eight grams of fiber per cup! Raspberries are also pretty high in fiber (especially for the fruit category) with eight grams for each cup. Berries are delicious and healthy!
Apples, bananas, strawberries and oranges have about four grams of fiber per serving. Unfortunately, a lot of people miss out on the fiber from apples because they peel them. Eat the apple skins! That’s where most of the fiber lies.
Avocados are a wonderfully versatile superfood. They are filled with healthy fats and vitamins. They are also packed full of fiber with about 12 grams of fiber for each whole avocado (minus seed and skin, don’t eat those).
Exotic fruits are a great addition to most diets because they provide vitamins that you may not see in “regular” fruits. Mixing up your vegetable and fruit intake can also mix up the types of vitamins that you are ingesting. Mangos have about five grams of fiber per serving. Persimmons have about six grams. But the guava takes the cake at about nine grams of fiber per cup.
Fruit Salad Recipe
One of my favorite fruit recipes is a healthy fruit salad. There are hundreds of different recipes out there, but this particular one is a favorite of mine because it is a great way to sneak some fiber into your diet.
What you’re going to need:
- Two thirds of a cup of some fresh squeezed orange juice
- A third of a cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- A third of a cup of light brown sugar
- A half of a teaspoon of orange zest
- A half of a teaspoon of lemon zest
- A teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A cup of cubed pineapple
- A cup of strawberries (hulled and sliced)
- A cup of raspberries
- A cup of blueberries
- A cup of seedless grapes (any type)
- Three kiwi fruit (peeled and sliced into pucks)
- Three bananas (also peeled and sliced into pucks)
What you’re going to do with all of that:
Bring all of the juices, the brown sugar and the lemon and orange zest to a boil in a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Reduce to med-low and simmer until it is thick. That will only take about five minutes, depending upon your stove. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then let it cool. Layer or mix all of the fruit in a large bowl. Once the sauce is cool, pour it over the fruit and cover the bowl. Let it get nice and cold in the refrigerator. That should take about four hours.
If you’re looking to add a bit more fiber to your fruit smoothies, try to add some flaxseed meal to it. Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal can add close to four grams of fiber. You can also add some pureed kale or other fibrous veggies to your smoothies. The fruits will help hide the veggie taste (if you’re not big into veggies).
Remember that if you start to integrate more fiber into your diet (especially if you don’t get much fiber as it is), start slow and work your way up to the recommended daily intake. Too much fiber at once can lead to some stomach and gastrointestinal upset. You’ll be singing that “Beans, beans, the magical fruit” rhyme all the way to the bathroom.
What are your favorite fibrous fruits? What is your favorite way to sneak some fiber into your diet? We love hearing from you! Make sure to leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below!