“And apple a day keeps the doctor away”. We’ve all heard this repeated throughout the ages as a gentle reminder to eat well to maintain good health.
What about apples keeps the doctor away exactly? In addition to their high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, apples are also high in dietary fibre. A diet rich in fibre is important in aiding your digestive system in riding the body of food waste, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check.
Aside from these juicy globes of goodness, there are many other delicious ways to incorporate more fibre into your diet. Here are some surprising high fibre foods that are not only tasty, but also incredibly good for you….
First used between 6,000 to 8,000 years ago, amaranth continues to be a staple in the diets of many people around the world. In addition to high fiber, this super-grain is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and lysine, an amino acid and building block of protein. Amaranth is gluten-free which gives individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac the benefit of all those vitamins and minerals without the discomfort. Versatile in its uses with taste ranging from lively and peppery to light and nutty, amaranth can be used in place of oatmeal or porridge at breakfast, popped in a hot, dry skillet or added to soups and stews. See the recipe below for your next fibre-riffic breakfast bowl!
Who doesn’t love some good ‘ol guacamole? Avocados are such a versatile and creamy, fibre and healthy fat rich food. Often referred to as the worlds most healthiest food, these pear shaped green goodies contain 7g of fibre making them the fruit with the highest concentration of dietary fibre and the higher the fibre content, the more full our bellies feel after eating. They are also high in monounsaturated (good) fat which increases the good cholesterol in our bodies. It can be combined with chocolate and coconut to make a delectable pudding, added to smoothies, frozen into popsicles, added to plant based dishes or simply sliced atop a salad.
So tiny. So unassuming. So good for you! Long ago used by the Aztec and Mayans as a staple in their diet, chia seeds are grown organically, naturally gluten free, are non-GMO and happen to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet! Very high in fibre, about 5.5g per tablespoon, chia seeds help to slow digestion leaving you feeling full for longer. In addition to high fibre, they are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and quality protein. Because of this they provide a decent boost of energy when needed. Its no wonder chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”! They form into a gel when mixed with water which is great for use in smoothies, healthy puddings and mixed into yogurt or amaranth.
Bursting with flavourful goodness, raspberries are nature’s candy. Sweet, juicy and satisfying, raspberries deliver a powerful surge of vitamins, phyto-antioxidants and 8g of fibre per cup. Raspberries are also high in flavinoids which give them that gorgeous ruby colour, and also counter cell-damage which can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Red raspberries are the most common variety, however you can also find black, purple and yellow raspberries, all available at different times of the year. Because raspberries mould quickly, it is best to buy them organic or direct from a farmers market. Frozen raspberries make an excellent addition to smoothies and ice cream creations. Adding them to breakfast foods such as amaranth, oatmeal and cereal is a nutritious way to start your day. And who doesn’t love to indulge in toast and jam? Just make sure it’s a natural or home made jam 🙂
A much paler member of the carrot family, parsnips boost our brains happy hormone, serotonin, leaving us feeling happier which is great for staving off depression and other mood disorders. Regulating our immune system, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and helping to fight off colon cancer are all amazing benefits of this crunchy high fibre veggie. At 4.9mg of fibre per 100g root, parsnips are an all-around nutritious way to add variety and sweetness to many dishes. Choose fresh, fleshy, firm, even surfaced parsnips as they retain more flavour and nutrients than over-mature or damaged ones. There are many ways you can utilize parsnips in the kitchen, including steaming, mashing, baking and eating raw. You can also cut them into thin rounds and bake them into chips using a bit of sea salt. Delish!
So many high fibre, scrumptious foods from mother Earth, so many ways to enjoy them! So go ahead, indulge your dietary need for fibre while enjoying all the health benefits that come along with it. Bon appetite!
Get a little more fibre and next level Gut Health on this episode of The Ultimate Health Podcast
Amaranth Porridge with Spicy Fruit Compote
What’s in it?
1 cup dried amaranth, soaked overnight
3 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tbsp freshly ground flax or other nuts or seeds
How it’s made!
- Soak amaranth in water and lemon juice for 8 hours.
- Bring to a boil, add sea salt, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle freshly ground flax or nuts on top.
- Serve with almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, maple syrup or raw honey.
- Or can be topped with fruit compote.
Spicy Fruit Compote
2 firm pears (bosc pears are best)
1 teaspoon lemon juice in 3 cups of water
½ cup dried apricots
4 dried figs
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
2 cups apple juice
½ cup rice syrup
2 large pieces of lemon peel
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Wrapped in cheesecloth or tea bag
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp anise
1 inch piece of ginger
How it’s made!
- Peel, core and slice pears into ¼ inch wedges. Place in lemon water and set aside. Slice apricots and figs into ½ inch slices.
- In medium saucepan, bring apple juice, rice syrup, lemon peel, coconut oil and sea salt to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 3 minutes.
- Add wrapped fresh spices to simmering liquid. Gently stir in pears, apricots, figs and cranberries and continue to simmer on medium heat uncovered for about 15 minutes.
- Remove wrapped spices. Strain liquid into small saucepan and set fruit mixture aside in a bowl.
- Boil liquid until reduced to about 1 cup and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in remaining lemon juice. Pour over fruit. Can be served chilled or warm. Will last up to 4 days in refrigerator.