Top 15 high fiber foods for a healthy diet

fiber foods

Fiber or roughages is an essential part of a balanced diet. It is a type of carbohydrate that leaves the stomach undigested and ends up in the intestinal tract. Consumption of fibers (fiber foods) helps your gut move and maintain gut health and offers you other substantial health benefits. 

The recommended amount of dietary fibers to be consumed every day is roughly 24 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But most often, people do not get their fill of fiber. Without a consistent intake of dietary fiber, it is pretty common to experience dips in energy, have difficulty losing weight, and be at a higher risk of diabetes and inflammation. 

Benefits of eating dietary fiber :

  • The main perk of eating a high fiber diet is that it softens stool, normalizes bowel movement, and helps to keep you satiated for a longer period. 1
  • Besides this, it also reduces cholesterol absorption in the intestinal and helps to keep your cholesterol levels in check. 2
  • A diet rich in fiber gets digested quite slowly, and this helps to keep you feeling full for a long time. Moreover, it promotes maintaining a healthy weight as fiber-rich foods are generally low in calories. 3
  • People suffering from a sluggish digestive tract are often recommended to add more fiber to their diet. Fiber naturally adds bulk to the digestive tract and stimulates bowel movement. 4
  • Studies claim that Dietary fiber lowers the risk of developing type II diabetes and heart disease. Simply put, fiber takes longer to get digested. This is beneficial in keeping the blood sugars levels at consistent levels. 5, 6
  • Studies have also shown that eating enough fiber can have a protective effect on colon cancer. This could probably be due to the antioxidant properties that some fibers like pectin in apples possess. 6

Best fiber foods to add to your diet :

Pear

Nibbling on this juicy and ripe fruit can be a great way to finish your meal on a healthy sweet note, especially if you are looking for a low–calorie sweet dessert.

Blackberries – 

  • Each cup of blackberries contains around 8 grams of fiber. These dark-hued berries are also full of healthy antioxidants, vitamin C and K.
  • Make sure to keep them at a place where you can see them so that it becomes easier for you to reach out to them when your hunger strikes.
  • Consume this berry either as a snack or sprinkle it on yogurt to get a breakfast loaded with fiber and protein. (Read 15 Best Sources of High Protein foods)

Raspberries – 

  • This nutritional superstar fiber foods also offers over 8 grams of fiber in just one serving.
  • Mixing it up with your morning oats or cereals can help you catch up to that 30 grams you require daily in no time. (Know more: Top 20 superfoods for a healthy life)

Avocadoes – 

  • One medium avocado contains roughly 10 to 13 grams of fiber. This unique fruit is also loaded with healthy fats that you usually find in olive oil.
  • This nutrient-dense fruit can pretty much go with anything ranging from soups to salads to smoothies.

Green peas – 

  • This tiny veggie contains an impressive amount of fiber – around 4 grams in every half cup of serving. This makes up about 14 % of your daily recommended value.
  • Tossing them in your rice dishes and pasta or mashing them into dips and spreads for toast and crackers are some of the best ways to eat green peas.

Bananas – 

  • Bananas are a great source of fiber and potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.
  • Each medium-sized banana contains about 3.8 grams of fiber. Besides this, the unripe bananas also have a significant amount of resistant starch, which is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that acts just like fibers.

Apples –

  • Apples are an excellent way to sneak more fiber into your diet but only as long as you don’t peel them. 
  • A medium-sized apple contains approximately 4.4 grams of this belly-friendly nutrient. 
  • This healthy fruit can be eaten raw as a snack or even baked to make a delicious meal.

Sweet potatoes – 

  • This popular tuber is rich in beta carotene, B vitamins, and various other minerals. Each medium-sized sweet potato contains about 3.8 grams of fiber.
  • You can try adding them as a base for your nachos, as a tasty bread substitute, or just bake them and enjoy them while they are warm if you are looking for something light.

Chia seeds – 

  • These nutrient-rich seeds contain many fibers and are rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
  • Each ounce of dried chia seeds contains about 9.75 grams of fiber which is probably why many consider it the single best source of fiber foods on the planet.
  • Sprinkle a spoonful of these tiny seeds into smoothies, yogurt, or on top of your salads to reap its incredible digestive benefits.

Kidney beans – 

  • Kidney beans are legumes that are very high in fiber content. Each serving has about 7 grams of fiber and 7.7 grams of proteins.
  • Having just 2 cups of kidney beans is enough to reach your daily recommended fiber foods intake.

Broccoli – 

  • Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins, potassium, iron, and manganese.
  • Each cup of broccoli contains about 2.4 grams of fiber. And the best part is that it’s also low in calories. So add an extra helping of broccoli to reach your fiber intake.

Lentils – 

  • Lentils are a cheap and terrific vegetarian source of both fiber and proteins. 
  • About 7 grams of proteins are found in each half a cup of cooked lentils.
  • Besides this, lentils have also been found to lower the sugar levels of people without diabetes. So, the next time you want to eat something healthy and tasty, go for lentils.
  • You can add them to your weekend curries, soups, stews, or even rice pilafs, and this adds not just flavor but also nutrition to your food.

Oats – 

  • Oats are a classic fiber-rich food. Each cup of raw oats gives you about 16.5 grams of fiber.
  • Besides this, they are also rich in beta-glucans. This soluble fiber is beneficial in controlling blood sugar and keeping cholesterol levels in check.
  • You can cook them in various ways too, but overnight oats still remain the favorite of many. This is because it is pretty simple to cook and makes up for a perfect breakfast when you are in a rush.

Almonds – 

  • Almonds aren’t just a great source of proteins and healthy fats but also an excellent source of fiber. 
  • About 4 grams of fiber is present in 3 tablespoons of these nuts. Moreover, it also contains other nutrients like vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.
  • Try adding almond butter or sprinkling almonds onto your cooked vegetables to add some crunchy and flavorful fiber.

Popcorn – 

  • Popcorns are the best snack to eat if you want to increase your fiber intake. Air-popped popcorn offers you 1.15 grams of fiber in each serving. 
  • You can top it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to get a cheesy flavor or experiment with some herbs and spices to get that right taste. 
  • The fiber to calorie ratio of popcorn drops significantly if you add fats. So be extra careful while adding them if you don’t want to lose out on the goodies of popcorn.

The bottom line – 

Fiber is an essential nutrient that is beneficial not just to your gut but to your overall health. Eating food rich in fiber makes you feel and look good. Try adding fiber foods, but be careful not to add them on the go as that can lead to gas and bloating. Add them to your diet gradually for over a few weeks, and make sure to drink plenty of water. So, enjoy your fiber in the proper manner, and you will definitely reap excellent benefits from it.

References: fiber foods

  1. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet
  2. Fiber-full eating for better health and lower cholesterol
  3. The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre: Barber TM, Kabisch S, Pfeiffer AFH, Weickert MO. The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre. Nutrients. 2020;12(10):3209. Published 2020 Oct 21. doi:10.3390/nu12103209
  4. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: BMJ 2011;343:d6617
  5. Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: McRae MP. Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2018 Mar;17(1):44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2017.11.002. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PMID: 29628808; PMCID: PMC5883628.
  6. Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review: McRae MP. Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2017;16(4):289-299. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2017.05.005

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.