Before we get to the high-fiber recipes, here are some comfort-food all-stars you can turn to for fiber:
• A cup of protein-packed refried beans contains a whopping 13 grams of fiber
• A large, potassium-rich banana has 4 grams of fiber
• Half an avocado packs monounsaturated fats, potassium, and folate; fiber content: 7 grams
• A cup of vitamin A- and vitamin C-rich green peas: 9 grams of fiber
• A cup of cooked edamame—great as a stand-alone snack—packs 8 grams of fiber
• Finally, a two-tablespoon serving of protein-filled chunky peanut butter weighs in with 3 grams of fiber
To be clear, technically, there are two types of fiber. There’s insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran, nuts, and many vegetables, which doesn’t dissolve in water. And there’s soluble fiber, which is found in oats, beans, barley, and some fruits. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material in your digestive system. This helps to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber has also been shown to slightly reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Fiber can also help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and help prevent your arteries from hardening. What’s more, it may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it may aid in weight control, and may help prevent colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, the average American consumes an average of just 7 grams of fiber a day (less than two bananas’ worth); the recommended daily intake is between 21 and 38 grams, depending on your age and gender.
The following comfort-food recipes from the Rodale Recipe Finder are soothing and delicious. What better way to sneak more fiber into your life?
#1: PB/Banana Wrap. These peanut butter and banana wraps are a cinch to make. You can take things up a notch with tasty Peanut Butter-Banana-Raisin Waffle Sandwiches.
#2: Quick Bean Burritos. A classic comfort food, burritos are simple and fun to prepare. Try this easy version, or smother them in sauce, enchilada-style.
#3: Guacamole. Smooth, yummy guacamole is full of fiber, and this unique version includes fiber-rich baby peas. Or go for the trusted traditional recipe.
#4: Mashed Edamame Pita Sandwiches. Creamy, pureed edamame blended with feta and herbs makes an amazing topping for pita or flatbread.
#5: Banana Cake. This cake packs in the fiber, or, straight from the Comfort Food Hall of Fame, create your own old-fashioned banana split.