Vegetables are always a good idea. They provide a wide array of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and they’re chock full of antioxidants. In fact, research has shown that incorporating more vegetables and fruit into your daily diet can help lower your risk of disease. And one of the main contributing factors to these amazing health benefits of vegetables is the amount of fiber found in them, with some higher-fiber vegetables having upwards of 7 grams per serving.
“Incorporating high-fiber vegetables into your diet can contribute to overall health, support digestion, and provide a range of vitamins and minerals essential for functioning,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD. She also adds that “Each color of vegetables packs a different nutrient package, so consuming a variety of colors in your diet is ideal.”
Even though all vegetables provide their own unique health benefits and blends of vitamins and minerals, those who are aiming for more fiber in their daily diet can benefit from knowing which high-fiber vegetables to choose.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable used in many recipes, especially for those who eat it as a rice or pasta replacement when trying to lower their refined carbohydrate intake.
“It is a nutrition powerhouse, chock full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, and is also an excellent source of the mineral potassium, which is good for the heart,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN. “It’s also very low in calories, so you don’t have to worry about eating too much.”
Young adds that along with cauliflower rice, another option is “to cut calories in your favorite side dish by making mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.”
Carrots deliver 3.6 grams of fiber per cup, making them a great high-fiber vegetable choice. However, this veggie is full of many more health benefits than just fiber.
“Carrots promote eye health, support digestion, and are rich in beta-carotene—an antioxidant,” says Goodson. Not only that, but Young adds that the “soluble fiber in carrots helps regulate blood sugar levels while insoluble fiber aids digestion and promotes regular bowel movements, and the consumption of carrots can contribute to weight management, as its fiber content helps you feel full and will prevent overeating.”
When you need a boost of fiber, try switching out your white or yellow potatoes for sweet potatoes, which come with almost 4 grams of fiber.
“High in fiber and rich in vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes support immune function and vision, and may help regulate blood sugar levels,” says Goodson. One of the main antioxidants in sweet potatoes is beta-carotene, and “this powerful antioxidant is converted to vitamin A in the body, which is beneficial for our vision, and vitamin A is an essential vitamin for our immunity as well,” says Young. “Ultimately, it helps our heart, lungs and other organs function properly.”