Fall is the perfect chance to increase your vegetable intake. Vegetables add color, variety, vitamins, and minerals to your diet for minimal calories. Vegetables contain an important nutrient that everyone needs more of…fiber! Fiber has many health benefits, yet most people do not get enough. Read on to see the five high fiber vegetables to eat this fall. Lastly, you can save money by purchasing these veggies in season.
Despite its many benefits, fiber is under consumed by nearly all individuals.
Sources and Types of Fiber
Fiber is found in a variety of sources: legumes, nuts, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Fiber can be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water whereas insoluble fiber does not. All types are important.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and flaxseed are good sources of soluble fiber. Wheat, barley, and whole grains are good sources of insoluble fiber. Check out the whole grains blog to see the other benefits of whole grains.
How Much Fiber Do I Need?
The average American consumes 10 – 17 grams of fiber per day but the recommendation is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men (1). A product that contains 5 grams of fiber or more is high in fiber. Foods that contain 2.5 – 4.9 grams of fiber are good sources of fiber.
Benefits of Fiber
Fiber is used in both disease prevention and disease treatment. Fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar control, lower blood pressure, help maintain weight, and create a healthy gut (1).
Increased fiber intake is associated with a decrease in heart disease and decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Secondly, there is a relationship between fiber intake and risk of cancer. Observational studies have shown an increased fiber intake may lower the risk of developing colorectal, stomach, liver, and breast cancer (1).
5 High Fiber Vegetables to Eat This Fall
In addition to being fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free, these five fall vegetables are also high in fiber.
- Acorn Squash is packed with vitamins and minerals, one cup of cooked acorn squash provides 115 calories and 9 grams of fiber as well as 10% or more of the daily value for vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, and potassium. Try acorn squash in salads, soups or as an alternative to mashed potatoes.
- Broccoli is a versatile vegetable that can be steamed, roasted, baked or stir-fried. Most enjoyed cooked but you could eat it raw with a low-fat dip or shredded in a salad. One cup of cooked broccoli provides 52 calories and 5 grams of fiber. Not only is it a good source of fiber, but a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and folate.
- Butternut Squash. There are many varieties of squash to enjoy but butternut squash is the most common. A one-cup serving of cooked butternut squash provides 82 calories and 7 grams of fiber. Butternut squash is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can be roasted, baked, pureed, mashed, or stuffed.
- Pumpkin is not just for pies. Try canned pumpkin in sweet or savory dishes such as pumpkin soup, in a smoothie, pancakes or as a dip. Canned pumpkin contains 10% of the daily value of fiber in just one serving! A serving of canned pumpkin provides 83 calories and 7 grams of fiber.
- Swiss Chard. This leafy green vegetable is best enjoyed cooked. A 1 cup cooked serving provides 35 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Enjoy Swiss Chard in soup, lasagna, pasta, quiche, stew, or scrambled eggs.
Read the fall fruits and vegetable blog to see what other produce is in season until December!
Add More Fiber This Fall
Whether you want to improve your blood sugar, lose weight, prevent disease, or just eat healthier, everyone can benefit from more fiber in their diet. Not only are vegetables nutritious, low-calorie, and delicious, they are a great source of fiber! As you make your stews, soups, casseroles, and other hearty dishes this Autumn, add one or more of these high fiber vegetables to your meals. What high fiber vegetable are you going to eat more of this fall?