Want A Flatter Belly? Dietitians Say You Should Add These High-Fiber Ingredients To Your Plate This Winter


Fiber is an essential part of any healthy diet (here’s how much you should eat every day, btw). It can help regulate your blood sugar levels, keep you fuller for a longer period of time, and allow you to maintain a healthy digestive system. All of these contribute to healthy weight loss, which is why ensuring you get enough fiber in your diet is crucial if you’re trying to slim down this winter. Luckily, there are so many tasty high-fiber foods that you can put on your plate each day.

To discover some of the best ones out there that you can incorporate into your meals this winter, we spoke to dietitian Dana Ellis Hunnes, RD, PhD, author of Recipe For Survival. She pointed us towards three of her favorites: chia seeds, squash like pumpkin, and cabbage. Learn more about the benefits of these foods and how to prepare them below!

1. Chia seeds

One lesser-appreciated but incredible high-fiber food is the ever-powerful chia seed. Hunnes explains that not only do they pack in the fiber to keep you fuller longer, but they also offer a great amount of omega-3 fats and are even anti-inflammatory, all of which helps with weight loss. "This can aid in weight loss by keeping you satiated and keeping your blood-sugar levels stable decreasing the likelihood of snacking/eating high-calorie foods later," she tells us. As far as how to eat them, there are so many ways to incorporate chia seeds into your diet. Hunnes suggests soaking them in plant-based milk or yogurt to make a delicious chia seed pudding, but you can also add them to your yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and more.

2. Pumpkin/squash

You definitely shouldn't be sleeping on pumpkin and other squashes this winter! As it turns out, this food is great for more than just pie and scented candles. Hunnes explains that in addition to their high fiber content, squash like pumpkin can also add a ton of potassium and vitamin A (beta carotene) to your diet, making them a fantastic anti-inflammatory ingredient. "This can aid in weight loss by keeping you regular, satiated, and improving your microbiome," she says. Luckily, there's a wealth of ways to prepare it as well. You can roast, bake, smash, and puree squash. It works fantastically in a warm, hearty soup as well. Yum!

3. Cabbage

One fantastic veggie that's great for gut health and weight loss is cabbage. "[Cabbage] is also high in fiber, good for your microbiome, and super low calorie while also being extremely satiating (taking up a lot of room in your stomach). These properties help with weight loss," Hunnes says. This green (or purple) vegetable also fits into a number of recipes. You can add it to a salad, throw it into your soup, make some kimchi (bonus points for the probiotics in this pickled food!) or even cook up some delicious stuffed cabbage. The possibilities are practically endless!

So, there's your proof that you don't have to rely on plain old oatmeal or a Fiber One bar to get your daily dose of fiber, stay regular, and slim down. There are so many filling, fibrous foods that you can incorporate into your diet on a regular basis—and these three recommendations from Hunnes are just the beginning!

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