Increase your fiber intake for a healthier and longer life.
You might have heard about eating more fiber for many reasons like weight loss, heart health, protection from many chronic diseases, etc.
Fiber is a nutrient which makes plant source the best food.
You will get fiber from mostly every unprocessed and whole-foods. To get the maximum benefits you need to add varieties food ranging from fruit, vegetable, beans, legume, whole-grain, and nuts to meet your daily recommendation.
Fruits are the often hold as responsible for weight gain, sugar rush, and said to avoid.
If you look over the nutritional value of fruits, you will realize that you will miss lots of health-boosting nutrients and the sweet treat, if you quit fruit from your diet.
Fruits are a great source of vitamin and minerals, and also contains fiber.
Let’s look over top fiber-rich fruits.
A unique fruit, avocado is known for dense nutrient content and healthy fat content. It has gained incredible popularity among health-conscious individuals, also referred to as a superfood which is loaded with health benefits.
Apart from its high healthy fats, you should consider adding avocados for its high fiber content.
100 grams of avocado is packed with 7 grams of fiber which is 27% of the RDA.
You get a great amount of soluble fiber required for feeding friendly gut bacteria in the intestine. (1)
Fiber in avocado – 25% is soluble while 75% is insoluble. (2)
Fiber content: 10 grams is a cup, 7grams per 100 grams
Raspberries are often used as dessert is also a good source of fiber.
If you are trying to add more food to your diet, still prefer variety then raspberries can be a good option.
A phytonutrients “rheosmin” found in raspberries is found to increase metabolism in our fat cells, thus a potential fruit to improve management of obesity.
Fiber content: 1.2 grams in 10 raspberries, 7 grams per 100 grams.
A mild, sweet fruit but packed with fiber – a sweet treat to enjoy and get loaded fiber and antioxidants benefits.
Many studies have confirmed that consuming pears can cut obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and overall mortality rate.
Enjoying pears will provide a good amount of fiber in low calorie.
Fiber content: 4.3 grams in a cup, 3.1 grams per 100 grams.
Sweet yet tart, are a summer staple. You might enjoy the yummy taste but the benefit of blackberries are very impressive.
The benefits of eating blackberries are that you get a lot of nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, K, and minerals like manganese.
A reason to eat blackberries is its potential to improve brain health.
Blackberries can a great addition to your breakfast, smoothies or can be a good snack.
Fiber content: 8 grams in a cup, 5 grams per 100 grams.
A sweet, nutritious, labeled as “superfood”, and convenient fruit – that’s a lot for small blueberries.
Blueberries are low in calorie, contain a good amount of fiber, and incredibly dense nutrients.
Fiber content: 3.6 grams in a cup, 2.4 grams per 100 grams.
Apple is an extremely rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber.
The nutrient richness of this fruit makes it one of the healthiest food in the world. The fiber content is in the skin, and yet few prefer to peel the skin. If you peel the skin of apple before eating, you are cutting it maximum benefits.
Fiber content: 2.6 grams in a cup, 2.4 grams per 100 grams.
No one can’t resist a fully ripe strawberry.
If you want to snack guilt-free then try strawberries. They are sweet but low in calorie, with 6 grams sugar and 33 calories per 100 grams, they are the best snack for a sweet fix.
Fiber content: 2.9 grams in a cup, 2 grams per 100 grams.
Banana is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium. They also contain little protein and almost no fat.
Banana is rich in pectin a type of soluble fiber. Also, an unripe banana contains resistant starch which acts as a soluble fiber.
Glycemic index of unripe banana is 30 while for ripe banana is 60. The combination of pectin and resistant starch makes it a weight loss friendly food.
Fiber content: 3.9 grams in a cup sliced, 2.6 grams per 100 grams.
To boost fiber intake, its recommended to add vegetable possibly in each meal. A vegetable is surely a great source of fiber and other nutrients.
Let’s have a look over top vegetables that can double your fiber intake in each meal, so you can reach your daily recommended fiber intake.
Artichoke ranks number one overall in antioxidants count, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
You might not have heard much about artichoke but its a great source of fiber, protein and antioxidants.
It contains a unique fiber known as inulin – promising probiotics.
Fiber content: 7 grams in a medium size(128), 5 grams per 100 grams.
10. Green peas
They are very high in vitamin A, Vitamin, K, vitamin C, thiamine, iron, and folate.
It also contains a significant amount of protein and fiber.
Fiber content: 7 grams in a cup, 5 grams per 100 grams.
They are very high in vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and calcium.
A good source of fiber is the best food to feel fuller for longer.
Fiber content: 3.2 grams per 100 grams.
They are very high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, protein, and fiber.
Broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables. They contain sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound present in cruciferous vegetables.
1 cup of broccoli contains 2.4 grams of fiber, which is about 10% of the recommended daily intake.
Fiber content: 2.4 grams in a cup, 2.6 grams per 100 grams.
13. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts belong to a family of vegetables called as Brassicaceae. These small vegetables resemble mini cabbage.
They are very high in vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and manganese.
Fiber content: 3.3 grams in a cup, 3.8 grams per 100 grams.
They are very high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, omega 3, and also a small amount of protein.
Kale is among the most nutrient dense food and to its nutrient profile.
A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:
Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
There are many other nutrients that make it popular. They can be used in the salad or main dish or can be used as a snack.
Fiber content: 2.6 grams in a cup, 2 grams per 100 grams.
They are very high in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate. It also contains a good amount of magnesium, manganese, iron and vitamin B2.
Most of the carb in spinach is fiber. It only contains 0.4% sugar (glucose and fructose). The fiber in spinach is mostly soluble fiber.
Fiber content: 2.2 grams per 100 grams.
They are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate.
One of the most important antioxidant in tomato is lycopene. The red pigment that provides tomato its redness. The redder the tomato is, the higher the lycopene is.
The content of fiber may not look very impressive but it can be the best replacement for sugar loaded juice. A smoothie of tomato can double fold your antioxidant intake and cuts the craving.
Fiber content: 1.2 grams per 100 grams.
Beans & Legumes:-
Beans are the best food loaded with antioxidants, protein, and fiber.
Beans are referred to a superfood due to their nutritional value.
The population among the healthiest and longest living people are dependent on beans to get their maximum nutrient. Major of their diet is comprised of beans and legumes.
Lentils are very cheap cost compared to its nutritional value. They are low in calorie, high in fiber, and other nutrients. They can be used for spreads, crudité, and crackers, and for the main dish.
Fiber content: 16 grams per cup (boiled), 8 grams per 100 grams (boiled).
18. Black beans
They are classified as legumes and also known as turtle beans because of its hard shell like appearance. They are high in plant-based protein and also contains a good amount of fiber.
Fiber content: 15 grams per cup (boiled), 7.9 grams per 100 grams (boiled).
19. Split beans
A rich source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients. They are a staple in Indian cooking for the preparation of stews, soup, and dhal. The recipes are tasty, satisfying, healthy, and filling.
Fiber content: 16 grams per cup (cooked), 8 grams per 100 grams (boiled).
20. Lima beans
They are high in molybdenum, copper, manganese, folate, phosphorus, protein, potassium, vitamin B1, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6.
They are a good source of protein and fiber.
Fiber content: 14 grams per cup (baby, boiled), 8 grams per 100 grams(baby, boiled).
13 grams per cup (large, boiled), 7 grams per 100 grams (large, boiled).
21. Kidney beans
They are high in molybdenum, folate, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin K1 and phosphorus.
A kidney is known for its high fiber and slow-carb content. Along with its good carbohydrates, it is a good source of protein.
Fiber content: 11 grams per cup (boiled), 6 grams per 100 grams (boiled).
Nuts are the perfect foods for snaking. They are loaded with heart-healthy fat, protein, vitamin, minerals, and fiber.
The best part of the nuts is they taste great and fills your craving with low calories.
They are high in healthy fat, protein, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium.
If you need something tasty and filling to snack on, then almond should be your first preference. They are loaded with nutrients and are super-filling.
A handful of nuts will be enough to get loads of nutrient and benefits that almond is said to provide.
Fiber content: 3.5 grams in 23 whole almonds, 12 grams per 100 grams.
Chestnut is an integral part of winter festivals, used for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner.
They are a high source of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, folate, thiamine, potassium, riboflavin. They also contain a good amount of protein.
Fiber content: 4.3 grams in 10 whole chestnut, 5 grams per 100 grams.
They are a high source of phosphorus, vitamin B6, thiamine, copper, manganese, fat (90% are healthy fats) and protein.
One ounce of pistachios contains more potassium than half of a large banana.
Fiber content: 13 grams per cup, 10 grams per 100 grams.
They are a high source of manganese, copper, vitamin E, thiamine and magnesium.
Like almond, hazelnuts are also a heart-healthy snack option. They are a great source of many important vitamin and minerals along with fiber and protein.
Fiber content: 1.4 grams in 10 nuts, 10 grams per 100 grams.
They are a high source of manganese, copper, thiamine, magnesium, zinc, healthy fat.
The antioxidant benefits from pecan are from phenols, proanthocyanidins, hydrolysable tannins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
Fiber content: 2.7 grams per 1 oz (19 halves), 10 grams per 100 grams.
Seeds & Grain:-
Seeds and grain are the major part of our diet. If you are planning to add more fiber to your diet then prefer to add more of these foods.
Known for its high Omega 3 content, they also contain vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium.
You need 1 tablespoon (10 gram) of flaxseed to gain its benefit. Grind it and throw them in baked goods like pancakes, muffins, or smoothies.
Fiber content: 2.8 grams per 1 tbsp, whole(10.3 grams), 27 grams per 100 grams.
Quinoa is actually a grain, its a seed but prepared and consumed like a grain. With a crunchy and nutty flavor, it is also gluten-free. Quinoa is a better option for individuals who are sensitive to gluten in wheat.
With versatile to use as grain, being gluten-free and a good amount of fiber it the best food. Quinoa isn’t a grain but can be used as a “whole-grain” to meet daily fiber need as said to eat from whole-grain. Now with gluten-free, you can easily add whole-grain in your diet.
Fiber content: 5.2 grams per cup (cooked), 2.8 per 100 grams (cooked).
Oats are among the healthiest grain. They are gluten-free and loaded with health-boosting vitamin and minerals, fiber and protein.
They are very high in manganese, phosphorus, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5.
The popularity of oats is due to its good source of complete protein and high fiber content. You should add oats to your diet due to high fiber content comparatively higher than other grains.
Fiber content: 16.5 grams per cup, 10.6 grams per 100 grams.
30. Chia seed
They are high in calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, healthy fat, protein and fiber.
They are easy to incorporate in your diet. You can eat it raw, soak in juice, add to porridge, smoothies, pudding. There are many ways to incorporate chia seeds in diet like you can sprinkle them on top of cereals, yogurt, or vegetables.
Fiber content: 10.6 grams per ounce (28 grams), 37.7 grams per 100 grams.
31. Brown rice
Brown rice over white rice is the healthiest option you should prefer and always recommend.
Fiber intake should be high to improve satiety and prevent quick digestion of food. If you eat brown rice you increase your fiber intake and also receive other healthy nutrients.
Fiber content: 3.5 grams per cup (cooked), 1.8 grams per 100 grams.
The last food that you can eat for the snack or add to your breakfast. You will come across many food choices that can add calorie but no nutrition value. Adding these foods, you will enjoy but without creating any negative impact on your health.
You might be recommended to eat whole-grains for better satiety and receive healthy nutrients. Popcorn can be considered as a good snack as they are 100% whole-grain. As they are whole grain, you get a good amount of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.
Choosing a popcorn over potato chips cuts unwanted calorie intake.
Fiber content: 1.2 grams per cup (air-popped), 15.1 grams per 100 grams (air-popped).
32. Whole-wheat pasta
Whole-wheat pasta has better fiber than white-flour pasta. Adding whole-grain is possible by adding whole-wheat pasta.
Fiber content: 6.3 grams per cup (cooked), 4.5 grams per 100 grams (cooked).
33. Whole-wheat bread
Brown bread might contain fiber but they are less compared to a whole-wheat bread.
Another great way to enjoy still eating healthy foods. You will get better satiety compared to white bread, better energy flow soon you start to love it.
While it can be the best food, your whole family to switch to whole-wheat bread.
Fiber content: 1.7 grams per ounce, 6.0 grams per 100 grams.
Let’s explore the reason to include them, giving you why adding fiber to your diet can be the best decision for your health and well-begin.
What if Fiber?
Fiber is the part of a plant that body can’t break. They are also known as fibrous carbohydrate – just they can’t be digested by a human digestive system. As it can’t be digested that doesn’t mean fiber don’t have any importance. The nutrients that can’t be digested can increase bowel moment, flush cholesterols and carcinogens out of the body.
Fibers are classified depending on its solubility in water:
Soluble fiber: Dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It helps to reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar. They are feed by gut bacteria “good bacteria”, which are responsible for better health.
Insoluble: Does not dissolve in water. They provide bulk to stool and promotes regularity and prevents constipation.
Health Benefit of Eating Fiber
Fiber provides a range of benefits due to the property of improved detoxification. Let’s have a look over the crucial benefits you should know before consuming fiber.
1. Improves Digestive Health
Fiber makes the stool bulkier, allowing it to passes easily thus preventing the feeling of being constipated.
As you know that there is two fiber- soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber increases the stool water-content so have a laxative effect. But insoluble can add dry weight without absorbing water so it can have a constipating effect. For better digestive health you need to get both fibers from your diet, which you can get by combining foods from each food types.
2. Heart Health
Soluble fiber is a part of a heart-friendly diet. Consumption of soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of biles in the intestine.
During that process, an excess of LDL cholesterol is absorbed from the blood by the bile salt produced by the liver.
Lower absorption and transfer of LDL of cholesterol from the blood – both results lower LDL cholesterol in the blood which is good for heart health.
Sugar spikes are common due to lack of fiber in food. Due to frequent sugar spikes the risk of Type 2 Diabetes increases. Eating fiber-rich food (mostly soluble) slow down the absorption of sugar – preventing sugar spike thus protecting from Type 2 Diabetes.
4. Good Bacteria Food
Gut Bactria has lots of importance to our health.
We have just started to explore the benefits of healthy gut bacteria and still there a lot to know. It is found that the majority of immune function is influenced by gut bacteria.
Along with immunity, there are many roles a gut bacteria plays. To support healthy gut flora we need to eat soluble fiber on which these bacteria feed.
5. Weight Loss and Weight Management
The final yet the most concerned topic.
The common interest among fitness freak about increasing fiber intake is to lose weight and to maintain weight.
If you are looking to lose and manage weight, fiber will be to best nutrient.
Fiber isn’t digestible so it doesn’t provide calories. Eating fiber-rich food can make in full in less serving and calories. While fiber slows down the digestion, which keeps you full for long without any energy crash.
With better satiety and fewer hunger pangs, you start to lose excess weight and it is also helpful in managing those weight.
How much fiber?
Your fiber intake will depend on age and gender, its recommended to eat 21 to 38 grams per day for optimal health.
Tip of warning: If you trying to add more fiber to your diet, then start slowly. Bulking with fiber-rich food quickly can make you feel bloated and constipated. Gradually increase your fiber intake to prevent any possible digestive issue. You should increase your water intake as you start to increase your fiber intake.