Q: When I fill most of my plate with veggies, I end up hungry right after I eat. Which are the most filling vegetables?
A: I hear you. If you’re subsisting on mostly produce, it can be hard to stay satisfied. Let me share a few pieces of advice before we get to the most filling vegetables.
First, the great thing about eating tons of vegetables is you really can eat tons of vegetables. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but you should get used to the fact that servings of veggies are always going to be larger than portion sizes for other food groups like meat, dairy, and grains, which all require some restraint. In other words, if you’re eating kale and you want more kale, just eat more kale and please (!) don’t beat yourself up about it.
Next, while vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet, you’re never going to feel satisfied if you’re not getting protein at every meal. Shift your habits towards filling most of the plate with greens, but don’t forget to fill the space left with high-quality protein—whether that means grass-fed steak, wild salmon, or beans and grains—and good fats.
All that being said, some veggies—namely those that contain lots of fiber and water—do fill you up more than others.
The 5 Most Filling Vegetables
Artichokes are one of my favorite foods of all time (they’re the starring snack in my O2 Diet cleanse!). They’re water-rich and just one contains more than 10 grams of fiber. Bonus: Not only will they fill you up, they’ll also protect your skin.
Broccoli is also super fibrous and is more than 90 percent water, so you can expect to feel satisfied after a few florets (okay, maybe more than a few…). It also contains compounds that reduce heart disease and cancer risk and prevent inflammation, so you should be eating it anyway.
Peas are high in both fiber and water and provide a surprising amount of protein (8 grams per cup!) compared to other produce, which is why you’ve likely recently seen packaged products and powders made with extracted pea protein.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are starchy and fiber-rich, as long as you keep the skin on (since that’s where a lot of the nutrient magic is stored). Plus, they’re filled with powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, which come with all kinds of health benefits.
Add one or a few of these to your plate each time you’re going veg, and you’ll be good to go.