9 High Fiber Foods to Keep You Healthy

Need a little help getting your digestion, um, going? Fiber is your best friend. Unlike most carbs, fiber's not a source of calories and it doesn't get digested — it's there to add bulk to your food (including as your meal digests) to help keep things regular.

Eating fiber has other benefits, too. Fiber bulks up your meal, making it more filling. Certain types of fiber also help remove cholesterol from your system, improving your blood cholesterol to promote heart health. And some types of fiber "feed" the helpful microbes in your gut for digestive health. Getting your daily fiber doesn't mean eating rabbit food all day. Try one of these eight fiber-packed foods to get things moving!

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Black Beans

All beans, lentils and peas supply fiber, but black beans are one of the best sources — each cup as a whopping 15 grams of fiber, which is about 60 percent of what you need in a day. You'll also get plant-based protein and vitamins like folate, that promote healthy circulation.

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Use black beans to make this fiber-packed pumpkin and black bean chili, or add a handful to your favorite salad.

Raspberries

When it comes to fiber content, raspberries are berry, berry good. (Sorry, we had to!) Each cup supplies about 8 grams of the good stuff, or 32 percent of your daily fiber needs. They're also a fantastic source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that's great for soft, smooth skin.

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Use raspberries in place of blueberries in this smoothie for an antioxidant boost, or eat fresh berries on their own, sprinkled with vanilla sugar.

Almonds

It's tough to beat almonds for a high-fiber snack you can eat on the go. Each ounce of almonds has about 4 grams of fiber, or 14% of the fiber you need each day, along with protein, magnesium and vitamin E.

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Include almonds in healthy homemade granola (this recipe has other fiber-packed ingredients, like coconut and cranberries) or use them to make homemade almond butter.

Whole-Wheat Pasta

Good news: cozying up with a comforting bowl of whole-wheat pasta is seriously good for your digestion. A cup of whole-grain spaghetti, for example, has 6 grams of fiber, supplying one-quarter of the fiber you need for the day. It's also loaded with B-complex vitamins for metabolism and energy.

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Chances are you already have a few favorite pasta recipes, but we recommend using whole-wheat penne in this spinach skillet pasta, or use whole-wheat macaroni to add fiber to this slow cooker mac and cheese.

Beets

It's no secret that beets help keep you regular, and part of that is because of their fiber content. Each cup of sliced beets ups your fiber intake by 4 grams, and provides 14 percent of your fiber needs for the day. Beets also pack in tons of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage.

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This antioxidant smoothie gets its gorgeous color from beets. Whip up a batch of roasted beets and add the slices to your favorite salad or grain bowl, or eat them on their own (with a sprinkle of goat cheese) as a snack!

Flax Seeds

While they're usually thought of as a source of omega-3s, flax seeds are also among the best sources of fiber, packing in 3 grams per tablespoon. The coating that covers each seed is so full of fiber you actually can't digest it, which means that whole flax seeds pass through you without being digested (which means they also aren't broken down into calories!).

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Add 'em to these homemade granola bars, or add a spoonful of whole flaxseeds to any hot or cold cereal to start your day with a fiber shot.

Sweet Potatoes

Comfort food that's also great for digestion? Yup, sweet potatoes pretty much have it all! Each sweet potato supplies 4 grams of fiber (that's about 16 percent of what you need for the day), plus enough vitamin A to meet your entire daily intake recommendation.

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Whip up a double batch of yummy grilled sweet potato fries — they're great served with a homemade sweet potato veggie burgers. Chill the leftovers overnight, and chop the fries into bite-size pieces to add to a salad tomorrow.

Bran

Bran cereal, homemade bran muffins, bran pancakes — bran is a must-have in your pantry if you're trying to eat more fiber. Just two tablespoons of bran contains about 12 grams of fiber, meeting half of your fiber needs for the day.

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Add a spoonful of bran to your favorite smoothie, add it to your Greek yogurt or your hot or cold cereal. And bake a batch of delicious homemade bran muffins — they're also flavored with berries, nuts or dried fruit for more fiber!

Warning

Add fiber to your diet slowly, including one to two servings of fiber-rich foods to your diet and increasing it gradually. Upping your fiber intake too much, too fast can cause digestive upset and constipation (not nice!)