Ranking of the 20 most filling fruits and vegetables
Stocking up on these fruits and vegetables opens a satisfying path to a healthier life.
“All I’ve seen you eat today is rabbit food. Aren’t you hungry?” my cousin asked me on our most recent family vacation. Before answering her, I stopped and thought about what I had nibbled on: an apple, berries, carrot sticks, a salad, and some things like whole grains and protein too. But I saw where she was coming from. Unless you’re a person who eats mostly fruits and vegetables, it’s hard to imagine how these foods can be packed with nutrition and health.
“No, not at all,” I replied. “I’m eating the best meal together: fiber and water.”
Experts agree that both are seriously satisfying — even when those nutrients come from low-calorie things like carrots and apples. “Both fiber and water help fill the stomach and make us feel full,” says nutritionist Isabel Smith. “Fiber also helps to slow down digestion and helps regulate appetite and blood sugar levels.”
If you’re interested in filling your plate – without stuffing your clothes – we’re here to help! Below, you’ll find a ranking of the 10 most filling fruits and veggies, based on fiber and water content. Add some of these items the next time you hit the market, enjoy the taste and nutrition and watch the excess weight melt away!
First, the fruit…
These are the best sweets from Mother Nature’s confectionery…
10 – Cherries
Fiber per 100 grams (12 pieces): 2 g
Water content: 82%
At just 87 calories per cup, cherries are a smart and sweet addition to any diet. Although it’s a little-known fact, these ruby-red treats are also a potent source of potassium. One cup contains 306 milligrams of the powerful mineral – which is what you’d find in a small banana. Mash the cherries as a snack or add them to an arugula or spinach base, along with some goat cheese, red onion, and dry-roasted pistachios for a stuffing salad. You can even top it with grilled chicken or fish to make a meal.
9 – Strawberries
Fiber per 100 grams (0.6 cups, chopped): 2 g
Water content: 91%
Not just super satiating, strawberries are also a great source of powerful natural chemicals called polyphenols, which have been proven to help with weight loss and prevent fat cell formation. Studies also show that eating bright red fruit can help relieve stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Eat them alone, add them to yogurt or oatmeal, or mix them with a banana, almond milk, and ice for a sweet and savory snack.
8 – Apples with peel
Fiber per 100 grams: 2.4 g
Water content: 85.5%
As one of the easiest fruits to eat on the go, apples are one of most people’s favorite fruits. And it’s one that nutritionists love, too. “I’ve eaten an apple every day since high school,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT. “Usually I have one for breakfast; it’s the sweet and perfect feeling of the morning. Plus, it’s a great way to get healthy, energy-boosting carbs and a fiber boost to keep your blood sugar steady. Plus, apples are rich in heart-healthy flavonoids like quercetin, so when I eat one a day, I feel like I’m helping to keep the doctor away!”
7 – Blueberries (Blueberries)
Fiber per 100 grams (0.7 cups): 2.4 g
Water content: 84%
Although they were never marketed as a snack, blueberries are full of water and can be one of the best things to snack on if you’re a fan of snacking while watching TV — which is one of the most dangerous forms of mindless eating. Every little bite of this sky-blue fruit has less than one calorie – so you can literally eat a hundred – yes, I said 100 – without hurting your diet. The berry is also rich with polyphenols, which are chemical compounds that help prevent the formation of fat and catechins (the same stuff that makes green tea a fat melter).
6 – Banana
Fiber per 100 grams (small fruit): 2.6 g
Water content: 75%
The banana is often associated with the monkeys’ favorite food and as the fruit whose skin makes people fall off when they step on it, but it should be seen more as one of the best foods for those looking for a straight abdomen. Not only does the water and fiber content of the fruit keep you feeling full, the potassium can also fight water retention and bloating. The mineral also helps in post-workout muscle recovery. Translation: The faster you get back to training after a tough session, the sooner you’ll reach your best body goal.
5 – Cranberries
Fiber per 100 grams (1 cup, whole): 3.6 g
Water content: 87.3%
As long as you’re not eating the added-sugar version, cranberries are a smart addition to your diet. Its high fiber and water content not only hinders belly tumors – making it easier to eat fewer calories – it also helps keep you cancer-free. In an analysis of the cancer-fighting phenol antioxidant content of 20 fruits, cranberries had the highest amount. Sour fruit also contains compounds that help prevent bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus from sticking to cells. No wonder pilgrims and other ancient people ate the fruit to fight disease.
Not sure how to prepare cranberries without added sugar? Try making a sauce by combining fresh cranberries with celery, white onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, sea salt, sugar, and fresh lemon juice. Just blend everything in a food processor and voila – snack time!
4 – Wild blackberry
Fiber per 100 grams (0.7 cups): 5.3 g
Water content: 88%
These antioxidant-rich fruits not only help ward off disease but also pack more fiber than most other fruits. Plus, every cup of blackberries contains half the day’s vitamin C, a nutrient that can help reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone that triggers fat storage in the stomach — the last place you need fat. Add blackberries to oatmeal, cold cereal, or salads, blend into smoothies or eat plain to reap the benefits.
3 – Raspberries
Fiber per 100 grams (0.8 cups): 6.5 g
Water content: 86%
Raspberries are not only high in water and fiber, but they are also remarkably low in calories and sugar. One cup has only 84 calories and 5 grams of sweetness, making this fruit a solid choice for anyone following a low-carb eating plan. Curious about what other fruits are light in the sugar department? Check out our popular fruit report – sorted by sugar content.
2 – Dates
Fiber per 100 grams (4 dates, pitted): 6.7 g
Water content: 21%
At 66 calories and 16 grams of sugar per liter, it’s easy to see why so many dieters shun dates. But trust me, it’s not really necessary to kick that food to the curb in the name of weight loss. On top of all those calories, each fruit serves up almost half a gram of protein and 2 grams of fiber – which you’ll find in 12 cherries! If you’re worried about sugar, mash up some dates with natural nut butter, a high-protein, salty combination that nutritionist Alissa Rumsey says she loves.
1 – Avocado
Fiber per 100 grams (0.75 cup): 6.7 g
Water content: 73%
You may be wondering if avocado is even a fruit. And yes, indeed, avocados are a single-seeded berry originating in Mexico. Avocado is number one among the most filling fruits on the planet. Packed with fiber, a serving of half a fruit provides 25% of the day’s recommended intake. We can’t ignore the many other benefits of avocado either. The green machine provides nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients including B6, C, and E, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid that banish bloating! And thanks to its high monounsaturated fat content, it can also prevent body fat from building up around your belly. In short, it’s a total rock star! Looking for creative ways to eat it? Check out these delicious avocado recipes for weight loss.
Now the vegetables…
Looks like her mom knew things when she told you to eat more veggies – especially if she was trying to get you to enjoy some of the items on the following list!
10 – Parsley
Fiber per 100 grams (1 cup, chopped): 1.6 g
Water content: 95%
No, eating celery will not help you burn calories, as the rumor would have you believe. (It only takes a little over half a calorie to digest a stalk.) But it’s a neutral-tasting vegetable that works well in tons of dishes and can keep you satisfied. Add it to soups and stews, toss it into salads, quinoa, rice, and savory oatmeal dishes, or just spread some peanut butter on a stalk as a snack.
9 – Asparagus
Fiber per 100 grams (7 spears): 2 g
Water content: 92.6%
Not only is asparagus full of water and fiber, it’s also rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body release water and sodium—two things that make you bloat. Bake some in the oven with a little dry seasoning for a simple but satisfying side dish.
8 – Cauliflower
Fiber per 100 grams (1 cup, chopped): 2.3 g
Water content: 93%
Cauliflower occupies a privileged position in this ranking because it is a cruciferous vegetable with more than 90% water. In addition to the filling attributes, this tree-shaped relative of kale is rich in cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates, which work to reduce cancer-causing inflammation.
7 – Cabbage
Fiber per 100 grams (1.1 cups, chopped): 2.3 g
Water content: 92.5%
Considering that both are part of the Brassica oleracea family, we’re not surprised that cabbage has many of the same health-protective properties as cauliflower. It also provides 2.3 grams of fiber per cup, plus a hefty dose of glucosinolates. Eating this bitter vegetable can also help lower cholesterol levels by preventing bile (the fluid secreted by the liver that aids digestion) from absorbing fat after a meal. We like to mix cabbage in Asian-inspired salads and stir-fries.
6 – Brussels sprouts
Fiber per 100 grams (1.2 cups): 2.6 g
Water content: 88.9%
Yes, that’s right, another member of the cabbage family is on our list! Packed with H20 and a fair share of fiber, Brussels sprouts are also a handy weight-loss food, according to Shaun T. “When cooked with a little olive oil and spices, Brussels sprouts taste amazing. Plus, they’re heart-healthy and rich in vitamin C.”
5 – Raw broccoli
Fiber per 100 grams (1 cup, chopped): 2.6 g
Water content: 89%
Broccoli, one of those best weight loss superfoods, makes its mark right in the middle of this ranking of stuffed vegetables. In addition to its satiating properties, one study found that men who ate about 4 cups of broccoli a week had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared to men who ate less than one serving a week. To enjoy all the health-boosting, belly-flattening benefits, add broccoli to soups, salads, and fries, or simply dip it in hummus as an appetizer.
4 – Mini Carrots
Fiber per 100 grams (10 medium): 2.9 g
Water content: 90.3%
They may be small, but baby carrots are amazing. No matter how you enjoy it – dipped in hummus, roasted with spices, or made into a creamy soup – this orange vegetable filling contains nutrients that boost immunity, lower cholesterol, protect your heart and, yes, keep your eyes healthy too. The fact that mini carrots can keep you full and slim at the same time is just one of their many benefits.
3 – Peas
Fiber per 100 grams (0.9 cups): 3.4 g
Water content: 90%
Separate a cup of these in a ziplock and make an excellent appetizer to eat when the afternoon comes. Combining them with hummus will boost your fiber count even more – plan on following one of these best hummus options to ensure you stay on top of your healthy eating and weight loss plan.
2 – Green beet leaves
Fiber per 100 grams (0.7 cups): 5.4 g
Water content: 89%
If you regularly throw beet leaves in the trash, you might want to consider changing your attitude. Rich in vitamins K, A, and C, and large amounts of fiber and water, leafy greens are both a satiating and health-protecting food.
1 – Artichokes
Fiber per 100 grams (0.8 medium vegetable): 5.7 g
Water content: 84%
And the winning vegetable is… the omnipotent artichoke! A large French artichoke contains just 76 calories and a good portion of the day’s fiber, a nutrient that is associated with lower body fat. The vegetable also has a powerful diuretic effect, meaning it can banish the belly bloat and excess fluid that makes a six-pack look like a two-pack.