Fiber is a substance that is found mainly in plants' outer layers. When consumed by humans, it is an indigestible carbohydrate that works through the digestive system absorbing water and easing bowel movements. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all body functions, so fiber is necessary to maintain a healthy diet. All vegetables and fruits contain dietary fiber, but some are higher in fiber than others. High fiber vegetables include broccoli, beans, artichokes, spinach and peas.
Peas and spinach are two green vegetables that are extremely high in fiber content. One cup (128 g) of cooked peas has about 0.3 ounces (9 g) of fiber, and black-eyed peas contain 0.35 ounces (10 g) of fiber per cup. Peas make an excellent side dish or can be added to salads. One cup of spinach contains 0.25 ounces (7 g) of fiber and can be substituted for lettuce in salads or added to omelets or scrambled eggs. Sautéed spinach is a popular side dish and makes a healthy pizza topping.
Broccoli is another high fiber green vegetable, and it also contains 0.25 ounces (7 g) of fiber per cup (128 g). Broccoli can be incorporated into the diet by puréeing it to make creamy soups. Roasting broccoli is another option, because it gives the vegetable a smoky flavor.
Beans come in a wide variety and easily are one of the least expensive high fiber vegetables available. From black beans to Great Northern beans to kidney beans and more, many types of beans can be high fiber additions to salads, soups and vegetable wraps, and they make excellent side dishes. Chickpeas are a popular salad choice that contain 0.42 ounces (12 g) of fiber in a single cup (128 g). A cup of black beans has almost 0.7 ounces (20 g) of fiber.
Artichokes are perhaps not as well known as high fiber vegetables, but one average-size artichoke contains 0.35 ounces (10 g) of fiber. Artichokes can be added to salads and wraps for an extra boost of fiber or roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper to make a side dish. Like broccoli, artichokes also can be thrown on the grill to bring out smoky flavors.
Additional high fiber vegetables include Brussels sprouts, cabbage and other leafy greens, mushrooms, carrots, peppers and sweet potatoes. Any of these high fiber vegetables can be added to the diet as side dishes, healthy snacks or as part of a main dish. They will keep the body full of energy and functioning properly.