When you hear the word “fiber,” you probably picture one of two things: your grandma’s tasteless bran muffins, or a creepily joyful cartoon sun double-fisting scoops of raisins.
But fiber doesn’t have to be bland and boring. There are plenty of fiber-filled foods you’ll enjoy eating.
This is super important, because you’re likely not getting nearly enough fiber. The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics advises that most men try to eat about 38 grams of fiber per day, but most guys only get about 15 grams per day.
“There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Together, these are called ‘dietary fibers,’” says Karolin Saweres, R.D.N., L.D. Soluble fiber has been proven to lower blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease, while insoluble fiber helps to lower the risk of diverticular disease, says Saweres.
Dietary fibers are found in the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. They’re unique because they hang out in your tract for nearly the entire digestive process, which helps keep things regular (yes, we’re talking about poop).
Best of all, eating more fiber can make you feel fuller, longer. That’s because fiber absorbs water and expands in your gut, according to Registered Dietitian Jessica Bachman, PhD, MS-MPH. She says a good source of fiber should provide about 10 percent of your daily recommended intake per serving.
So how do you get all of that in?
“Eat at least one to two servings of [one of] these foods at every meal and include them in all your snacks,” she says.
To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of 15 high-fiber foods:
1 Black beans
Serving size: 1 cup
Fiber: 15 grams
“Black beans are a source of anthocyanins (the compound that gives them the deep purple color),” says Marisa Moore, R.D.N., “which are one of the more active antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.” Bonus: they’re a great plant protein.
Moore recommends making them into a black bean burger, or tossing them into salads or atop a grain bowl.