Fiber is a type of carbohydrate only found in plants. And chances are you’re not eating enough of it. Dietary fiber curbs cravings, reduces the risk of colon cancer, and lowers cholesterol. Find out which 100 gram serving of veggies gives you the most fiber bang for your calorie buck.
Endive- 17 calories, 3.1 grams of fiber
Also called escarole, this leafy plant provides 8% of the daily required fiber with virtually no calories. It’s bitter flavored leaves are best mixed in a green salad, cooked in a hearty dinner, or as scoops in an appetizer.
Eggplant- 24 calories, 3.4 grams of fiber
This nightshade vegetable has been found to protect brain cells, is incredibly rich in antioxidants, and supports cardiovascular health. Try salting, or “purging,” your eggplant to remove its bitterness before cooking.
Jicama- 38 calories, 4.9 grams of fiber
This Mexican root is pronounced HEE-kuh-muh and has a slightly sweet flavor. Besides raw, you can enjoy jicama in a stir-fry or sautéed. It supports healthy blood-sugar levels and prevents colon cancer.
Romaine lettuce- 17 calories, 2.1 grams of fiber
Vegetarians rejoice! Romaine is not only high in fiber, but in protein, omega-3s, and even iron. Adding romaine to a smoothie will pump the nutrient value up without changing the flavor.
Cilantro- 23 calories, 2.8 grams of fiber
Don’t want to eat 100 grams of cilantro? Maybe after you’ve learned how it guards against Salmonella, binds to heavy metals to detoxify the body, and lowers blood sugar you might change your mind.
Collards- 30 calories, 3.6 grams of fiber
Often associated with soul food, this fibrous vegetable can be enjoyed cooked or raw. Their cooked form has better cholesterol-lowering abilities than raw. Just avoid the bacon and ham-hock that traditional soul food adds to collard greens.
Artichoke- 47 calories, 5.4 grams of fiber
This globular vegetable is not the easiest to prepare, but one of the most nutritionally-packed. It’s a good source of folate, vitamins C and K, and brimming with antioxidants. Tired of steaming it? Try stuffing it instead!
Celery- 14 calories, 1.6 grams of fiber
Who doesn’t love Ants on a Log? Peanut butter spread over celery and topped with raisins is an easy and fun way to get a mega dose of fiber. If you prefer cooked, try steaming since it’s the best way to retain celery’s nutrients.
Green beans- 31 calories, 3.4 grams of fiber
French beans, Fine beans, or string beans, whatever you call them just make sure you eat them. They’re part of the legume family, but considered a vegetable crop. They have a high antioxidant value and unique anti-inflammatory properties.
Asparagus- 20 calories, 2.1 grams of fiber
Succulent and tender, these green stalks provide amazing digestive aide. Asparagus has a significant amount of inulin, known as a “prebiotic.” It supports beneficial bacteria in the large intestine and can prevent colon cancer.
Okra- 31 calories, 3.2 grams of fiber
There’s more to okra than Louisiana gumbo. Try grilling, roasting, or pan-frying if you don’t like the natural “sliminess” of okra. It’s nutrient content has been known to prevent kidney disease, reduce risk of diabetes, and support healthy pregnancy.
Cauliflower- 25 calories, 2.5 grams of fiber
With high levels of vitamins C and K, cauliflower is anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. Enjoy cauliflower by lightly sautéing, as it loses its nutrients quickly when cooked too long and can give off a strong, sulfurous smell.
Fennel Bulb- 31 calories, 3.1 grams of fiber
Fennel’s special combo of phytonutrients has been shown to halt cancer growth and support the immune system. Don’t be shy of its distinct shape; the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds are all edible and it’s flavor is most beloved in Italian cooking.
Summer Squash- 19 calories, 1.9 grams of fiber
Despite its name, this relative of the melon and the cucumber family can be enjoyed throughout the year. Its impressive list of antioxidants and B vitamins supports healthy eyes and blood sugar levels.
Spinach- 23 calories, 2.2 grams of fiber
Listen to Popeye the Sailorman’s muscles and eat your spinach. Researchers have proven it cleanses the digestive tract, supports the immune system, protects against prostate cancer, and has been listed as one of the world’s most nutrient-dense vegetables.
Parsley- 36 calories, 3.3 grams of fiber
It is high time parsley graduates from garnish to ingredient. Parsley has surprising healing properties. It’s shown to inhibit tumor formation, neutralize types of carcinogens in the body, and protect against oxygen-based cell damage.
Mushrooms- 31 calories, 2.8 grams of fiber
This isn’t your average fungus. Eating mushrooms can help with ailments such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure, and stroke damage. Mushrooms also contain a special antioxidant called “ergothioneine” which protects DNA from oxidative damage.
Brussels Sprouts- 43 calories, 3.8 grams of fiber
Even if the kids hate them, figure out how to get these nutrient-filled veggies in your diet. They protect DNA, lower cholesterol, and are praised for their anti-cancer qualities. Just don’t overcook them, as you’ll lose out on nutrients and have a sulfur-smelling kitchen afterwards.
Green leaf lettuce- 15 calories, 1.3 grams of fiber
Trade in your iceberg lettuce for green leaf and reap in more nutritional benefits. Not only are you getting support for healthy eyes and bones, but a super dose of vitamin A, about 150% of your daily requirement!
Alfalfa Sprouts- 29 calories, 2.5 grams of fiber
Sprouts, in general, are nutrient-machines. They contain very high concentrations of key vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, ready to develop into a mature plant. Alfalfa sprouts can fight cancer, viral infections, and inflammation.
Iceberg Lettuce- 14 calories, 1.2 grams of fiber
Iceberg gets a bad nutritional reputation. Sure, it’s mostly water, over 95% to be exact. But iceberg also offers good vitamin A and C and a low sodium content. Iceberg also contains more of the antioxidant, alpha-carotene, than spinach or romaine. Take that, dark leaf brothers!
Green Peppers- 20 calories, 1.7 grams of fiber
Though they lack the “heat” common in other peppers, they don’t lack in health benefits. Bell peppers are a rare source of over 30 different carotenoids. They even provide high levels of vitamin E. But their nutrient value is sensitive to high heat so instead of grilling, try a healthy sauté.
Cabbage- 24 calories, 2 grams of fiber
There are many varieties, but all provide the best nutrition when lightly sautéed or steamed. Hundreds of studies link cabbage’s phytonutrients to preventing cancer. For an extra digestive boost, enjoy fermented cabbage like sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Chives- 30 calories, 2.5 grams of fiber
It’s not just because we love them atop our baked potatoes, chives are a great way to add flavor and essential phytochemicals such as allicin. Allicin helps manage cholesterol levels by lowering your LDL levels and increasing your HDL levels.
Bamboo Shoots- 27 calories, 2.2 grams of fiber
Make like a panda and munch on bamboo! Bamboo shoots are a good source potassium, helping to lower blood pressure, and they promote healthy digestion. They taste bitter raw, so soak or boil them before throwing them in your next recipe.
Scallions- 32 calories, 2.6 grams of fiber
These immature plants are similar in vitamin content to their relative, shallots. But scallions take the win when it comes to vitamins A and K. Scallions provide 43% of your daily required vitamin K! Try re-growing your scallions by throwing the white bulbs in a small glass of water.
Red Peppers- 26 calories, 2.1 grams of fiber
Their red skin adds bright color to recipes, not to mention valuable anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, high levels of beauty vitamins C, E, and A support healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Bok Choy- 13 calories, 1 gram of fiber
Often called “Chinese white cabbage,” bok choy offers a mild flavor and good phytonutrient content. It’s mostly eaten in Chinese sautés or stir-fries but can also be enjoyed raw. It’s especially high in vitamins C and A.
Broccoli- 34 calories, 2.6 grams of fiber
Get ready to fall head over heals for this superfood. Not only is it one of cancer’s mortal enemies, but it supports healthy cholesterol, the body’s detoxification system, vitamin D levels, and has unique anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Shitake Mushrooms- 34 calories, 2.5 grams of fiber
These smoky, tasty guys are a symbol of longevity in Asia. They’ve been used medicinally for 6,000 years but their dietary form provides vital cardiovascular and immune system support. Try dried shitake mushrooms in recipes or go for the fresh versions and throw in a stir-fry or salad.
Carrots- 41 calories, 2.8 grams of fiber
Sweet, crunchy, and healthy, carrots really do have it all. Recent studies, though, have proven they reduce the risk cardiovascular disease and inhibit colon cancer growth. Go for the steam method, as this is the best way to activate many of carrots’ phytonutrients.