The worst part about trying to eat healthy? A plate full of green vegetables isn’t always the heartiest of meals. If your stomach starts grumbling less than an hour after dinner, it probably won’t be long before you break down and hit the snack drawer (the one where you keep your Dunkaroo dip, not the healthy snack swaps). So here are four simple ingredients you can add into your diet to fill you up. Spoiler alert: The common denominator in all of these is more protein or fiber.
1. Chia seeds: Chia seeds are basically a health-food powerhouse. They’re full of essential vitamins and minerals, omega-3s, protein and the key to their feeling-full factor, fiber. The fiber in chia seeds absorbs water and expands in your stomach, helping you to feel more satisfied after a meal. Sprinkle them on salads, smoothies, yogurt — pretty much anything!
2. Hummus: Beans and chickpeas are full of fiber, making hummus more potentially filling than you might think. But you’re probably not eating it by the spoonful, so you should also take into account the nutrition and fiber factor in your dipping mechanism of choice. Think whole grain pitas over white and, better yet, some crudite.
3. Avocado: Is there anything avocados can’t do? You probably already know that they’re an insane source of healthy, monosaturated fats, but what you may not be aware of is how intensely packed with fiber they are too. One avocado has about 13.5 grams of the stuff. We’d tell you how to eat it, but if you’ve been anywhere near the Internet in the last five years, you probably already have more than enough avocado recipes.
4. Lentils: A 1/4 cup of lentils has about 3.9 grams of fiber and 4.5 grams of protein. Fiber + protein = crazy-filling meal. Try using them in a soup, salad or curry.
5. Greek yogurt: Whether you’re eating yogurt on its own, adding it to smoothies or plopping it on a dish as a sour cream substitute, go for a Greek option. It’s packed with protein for better staying power. Mix it with some berries and you’ll get a nice fiber boost too.
What are some of your favorite healthy ingredients or meals that fill you up? Tweet your recipes to us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)