In today’s article you will discover how useful fibers are for your daily diet and how many you need to consume per day.
You will also read about the sources rich in fiber.
What are fiber rich foods?
People often ask What supplements should i take to stay healthy.
The supplements they desire are extras, the ones you need when you don’t take proper nutrition.
If you take a good fibrous diet, with proteins and other essential foods, you will stay healthy.
Fiber is an element that is generally found in plant foods such as cereals, vegetables and fruits and is not digested by enzymes in the digestive tract.
They are, in fact, a category of carbohydrates, that are resistant to digestion and are not absorbed in the small intestine and that ferment completely or partially in the large intestine.
High fiber foods have beneficial physiological effects being a laxative, and it can also lower your blood cholesterol and glucose level.
Whole grains, vegetables, greens and fruits are high in dietary fiber.
Animal products (meat, eggs, dairy products) do not contain fiber.
Fibers are of several types:
- Insoluble, which are involved in the optimal functioning of the colon, and are found in cellulose obtained from cereal bran. They have a high absorption power and swell when they reach the intestine;
- Soluble, which do not help the passage of food through the intestine, but reduce the absorption of substances in the blood;
Each type of plant has a protective cell wall, which gives it shape and texture and is composed of fibrous molecules that strengthen it and support its development.
When you eat an apple or a fresh spinach salad, these fibers enter your digestive system and become soluble or insoluble fibers – depending on their ability to dissolve in water.
Both types of fiber are beneficial for a healthy intestinal transit and a smooth digestion every day.
Why is it important to consume fiber rich foods?
First of all, the fibers have the role of normalizing the movement of the intestine.
They also help a lot to maintain optimal intestinal health, reducing the risk of hemorrhoids.
Soluble fiber can be found in oats, seeds, beans and oats, and helps lower cholesterol, increase energy intake and intensify fat burning.
They also benefit the heart by lowering blood pressure.
With the help of fibers, more precisely the insoluble ones, the blood sugar level is controlled (it helps to improve and normalize the existing level in the blood), reducing the risk of diabetes.
With the help of fiber, the state of satiety is reached faster, thus, you will be able to consume less food while you get full much faster.
Consuming fiber brings several considerable benefits to the body:
- Certain diseases of the colon that are manifested primarily by constipation are eliminated – they can be beneficially influenced by an increased ratio of soluble and insoluble fibers. Insoluble fiber can increase the body’s ability to retain water in the colon and decrease the time for intestinal transit;
- Studies show that lack of dietary fiber is a factor that causes colon cancer;
- Insoluble fibers function like a sponge and are involved in decreasing lipid absorption and blocking cholesterol synthesis;
- Soluble fiber lowers blood sugar because it decreases carbohydrate absorption and generates faster gastric emptying, generating early satiety and helping to reduce food intake;
- Soluble fiber is recommended for low-calorie diets, has a hypoglycemic role and decreases the absorption of carbohydrates (retains the entry of glucose into the blood);
Everything about soluble fiber: benefits in nutrition, soluble fiber rich foods
Soluble fibers (such as pectin, inulin, gum, mucilage, resistant starch, and beta-glucan) dissolve in the stomach water, swell, form a gelatinous substance that slows food digestion, promotes efficient transit, and is then broken down by bacteria in the gut.
This fermentation of energy-soluble fibers for beneficial bacteria gives them the quality of prebiotic fibers (pectin, inulin, beta-glucan), which help the intestinal microbiome and allow the body to better absorb essential minerals from food (calcium, iron, magnesium).
The process of decelerating digestion leads to the slow or reduced absorption of certain substances that can have a negative effect on health if they increase their level too quickly – carbohydrates, for example (slowing down the rate at which they enter the bloodstream prevents the sudden increase of blood sugar after the meal).
If you drink a glass of orange juice, the sugar in the fruit is metabolized almost immediately, and your blood sugar rises rapidly; if you eat an orange, the soluble fiber in the fruit slows down this process.
In addition to helping people with pre-diabetes or those who already suffer from type 2 diabetes, soluble fiber has a regulating effect and the absorption of fats and cholesterol from the diet: it attaches to the latter, ensuring its excretion and helping to reduce cholesterol levels.
Soluble fiber is the main type of fiber in cereals (barley, oats), legumes (beans, lentils, peas), seeds (chia), nuts and some fruits and vegetables (citrus, berries, apples, carrots, broccoli, green beans , cauliflower, potatoes). Often associated with pulp or core, soluble fiber changes its consistency after cooking different foods.
Everything about insoluble fiber: benefits in nutrition, insoluble fiber rich foods
Insoluble fiber cleans your intestines, it does not dissolve in water, but retains it, allows other foods to move easily through the digestive system, gives volume to the stools and ensures their regular excretion.
Thanks to the way it acts from the inside, insoluble fibers can prevent and treat constipation, its complications (hemorrhoids), various digestive disorders associated with a defective or slow intestinal transit (diverticulosis, for example) and can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Another benefit of insoluble fiber is that it increases the feeling of satiety after a meal, so it can help you lose a few extra pounds.
Insoluble fibers are derived from the peel of fruits, vegetables and grains, are composed of cellulose and lignin molecules and can be included in your daily diet by eating: apples, pears, potatoes, oats, brown rice, wholemeal bread, corn, brussels sprouts, beans.
The recommended daily fiber requirement
Both types of fiber are healthy, you need both in your diet and most of us do not consume nearly enough.
If you do not suffer from any digestive problems, the average recommended daily amount of total fiber is 14 grams per 1,000 calories. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends:
Children between the ages of 2 and 5 can consume up to 15 grams per day;
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 can consume up to 20 grams;
Children between the ages of 11 and 16 can consume up to 25 grams a day;
Children between the ages of 16 and 18 can consume up to 60 grams a day.
Women between the ages of 19 and 50 can consume 25 grams a day;
Women over 50 can consume 21 grams a day;
Pregnant or breastfeeding women can consume 28-29 grams a day.
Men between the ages of 19 and 50 can consume 38 grams daily;
Men over 50 can consume 30 grams a day.
Patients who suffer from malabsorption or have diarrhea may consume foods that are completely digested and have a low fiber content.
For these people, foods high in fiber is contraindicated.
A diet that includes fully digestible foods is also recommended for those with an obstructed or shortened intestinal tract.
In some situations, the excessive consumption of foods with fiber can cause symptoms such as flatulence and digestive cramps.
Also, in some situations, fiber can affect the way calcium and zinc in food are absorbed.
Careful, if bananas are a good source of fiber, that doesn’t mean you have to eat 10 a day!
For a balanced intake of fiber, consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but also cereals, nuts and various seeds, replace white bread, pasta and rice with whole grains, replace sweets with dried fruits or unsalted nuts, take from time to time high-fiber food supplements (like baobab fruit powder) and drink enough water.
Can you consume too much fiber? Well, yes: excess fiber in the diet (over 70 g / day), especially if it occurs suddenly, can cause stomach pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, dehydration, mineral deficiency, acid reflux and (in rare cases) intestinal blockage.
These side effects can also occur in people who do not like fruits and vegetables and who try to increase their fiber intake exclusively through food supplements.
A high fiber diet can interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of certain medications, so seek medical advice.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are dietary fiber that go undigested to the large intestine where they feed “good” bacteria.
They help to develop probiotics, stopping the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria, which is why it is advisable to consume them simultaneously.
Prebiotics can be obtained from food supplements or by consuming fruits and vegetables.
The intestinal flora turns them into short-chain fatty acids (butyric acid, propionic acid, acetic acid) that have an anti-inflammatory effect for the colon and a blocker for cancer cells.
Here are some foods rich in prebiotic fiber: beans, peas, legumes, oats, bananas, berries, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus, dandelions, Jerusalem artichokes, etc.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria similar to those that populate the digestive tract and are generally found in fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, kefir or other varieties of dairy products, Kombucha tea) or in food supplements in the form of powders, capsules or liquid.
But food must not be pasteurized. The most important probiotics for us are: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and bifidobacteria.
Among their beneficial effects we mention: increasing immunity, preventing or shortening vaginal diseases or infections (by stimulating immune cells in the tissues of the urinary tract, digestive tract and respiratory system), treating irritable bowel syndrome, treating diarrhea.
People who already suffer from intestinal disorders should consume probiotics and prebiotics under medical supervision.
What foods have fiber?
People who want to control their fiber intake can also try special powders such as fiber powder with a content obtained from a mixture of several plants and vegetables.
It can be easily added to any preparation.
Among the high fiber vegetables we can find:
- Green beans – Green beans contain 10.5 g of fiber (making them one of the highest fiber foods) per 100 g and are also rich in protein. Beans are a good source of fermentable fiber.
They move in the large intestine and help feed various colonies of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Researchers have found connections between healthy gut microbiomes and lower rates of diabetes.
Beans are also high in protein. You can add beans to salads, curry or stew for extra fiber and protein.
- Red beans – Red beans are a popular type of American bean. The berries can be eaten raw, pureed or canned. Along with their high fiber content, red beans are an important source of calcium and iron. Red beans contain 9 g of fiber per 100 g.
- Black beans- Black beans contain considerable amounts of iron and magnesium. It is also a great source of protein. If people on a vegan diet combine black beans with rice, they will introduce all nine essential amino acids into the body. 100g of black beans contains 8.7g of fiber.
- Peas – Peas are a great source of iron and magnesium. It can be included in many dishes such as salads, curry or even stews. Peas contain 8.3 g of fiber per 100 g.
- Lentils – There are many types of lentils, including red lentils and French lentils. They are perfect in combination with couscous, quinoa or dahl. Lentils contain 7.9 g of fiber per 100 g.
- Adzuki beans– Adzuki beans are used in Japanese cuisine to make red bean paste, which is a traditional dessert. This bean can be boiled and eaten simply because it is very fragrant. 100g of Adzuki beans contains 7.3g of fiber.
- Lima beans – Not only are lime grains an excellent source of fiber, but they are also rich in vegetable protein. Lima beans contain 7 g of fiber per 100 g.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a popular source of protein and fiber. It also contains iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium. You can use these vegetables as a base for hummus and falafel. Chickpeas contain 6.4 g of fiber per 100 g.
- Soy – Soy is used to make a variety of products, such as tofu, tempeh and miso. People often use soy products as dietary substitutes for meat and milk. Fresh soybeans can also be eaten raw or added to salads as edamame. Soy contains 6 g of fiber per 100 g.
- White beans – Classic white beans are rich in fiber and protein. This bean is available in most stores. Normal beans contain 4.1 g of fiber per 100 g.
- Artichokes – Artichoke is rich in fiber as well as vitamins C and K. It also contains calcium. Artichokes can be grilled, can be included in various dishes and can be cooked individually by boiling. An average artichoke contains 6.9 g of fiber.
- Potatoes – As a basic vegetable, potatoes are a good source of B vitamins, plus vitamin C and magnesium. A medium potato peeled contains 6.3 g of fiber.
- Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A. A large, sweet, peeled potato contains 5.9 g of fiber.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is rich in vitamins C and A. Cruciferous vegetables also have a lot of antioxidant polyphenols. A cup of cooked broccoli stalks contains 5.1 g of fiber.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin is a popular vegetable and a source of vitamins A and K and calcium. A standard serving of canned pumpkin contains 3.6 g of fiber.
Fiber rich fruits
Among the high fiber fruits we can find:
- Avocado – Avocado is full of healthy monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health. These fruits are popular in salads and sauces. But how much fiber does an avocado have? A peeled avocado contains 9.2 g of fiber.
- Pears – Pears are full of fiber, as well as vitamins C and A, folate and calcium. The para medium contains 5.5 g of fiber.
- Apples – Apples are a good source of vitamins C and A. It is important that apples be eaten in shell, as it contains the highest amount of fiber. Wondering how much fiber is in an apple? A large apple contains 5.4 g of fiber.
- Raspberries – Raspberries are a great source of antioxidants. These red berries also contain vitamins C and K. What to know how much fiber is in raspberries? Half a cup of raspberries contains 4 g of fiber.
- Blackberries – Similar to raspberries, blackberries are full of healthy antioxidants and are an important source of vitamins C and K. Half a cup of blackberries contains 3.8 g of fiber.
- Plums – Plums or prunes can help promote digestive health. Although high in fiber, plums can also be high in sugar, so try to eat them in moderation. Five plums have 3.4 g of fiber.
- Oranges – Oranges are also a good source of fiber. Oranges are full of vitamin C, which is essential for health. The orange contains 3.4 g of fiber.
- Bananas – Bananas are a great source of nutrients, including potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. They can be eaten raw or included in desserts and beverages. But how much fiber is in a banana? An average banana contains only 3.1 g of fiber.
- Guava – Not only is this tropical fruit a source of fiber, but it also has a very high amount of vitamin C and vitamin A. The shells are edible, which means that the fruit can be taken as a snack anywhere. A guava fruit contains 3 g of fiber.
Fiber rich seeds and grains
Among the high fiber seeds and grains we can find:
- Buckwheat – Buckwheat is a seed and not a cereal, even if it looks like cereal. It is rich in zinc and magnesium and does not contain gluten. In Japan, noodles are made from buckwheat. Buckwheat flour is an excellent alternative to the classic gluten. Half a cup of buckwheat contains 8.4 g of fiber.
- Chia seeds – Not only are these seeds high in fiber, but they also contain high levels of omega-3, protein, antioxidants, calcium and iron. Each tablespoon of chia seeds contains 4.1 g of fiber.
- Quinoa – Quinoa is another pseudo-cereal and is also an edible seed. This seed is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, folate and copper, as well as vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Quinoa is useful for people who are sensitive to gluten. Quinoa flour is excellent for baking, and the seeds can be included in a healthy breakfast. Half a cup of quinoa contains 2.6 g of fiber.
- Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds are a source of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as magnesium and zinc. A cup of pumpkin seeds contains 1.9 g of fiber.
- Almonds – Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, as well as calcium and healthy, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Ten almonds contain 1.5 g of fiber.
Fiber-rich foods recipe ideas
Below you will find 3 of my favorite recipes with fiber rich foods. These are very easy to make, and I promise you will soon become your favorites too!
Granola with fruits
Granola is a snack or breakfast of American origin, gradually expanded around the world and usually created from cereals, nuts, honey and fruit.
The great advantages of the homemade granola snack are the sensational taste, coming from tasty ingredients, with great health benefits, in the conditions of a relatively low caloric content and the fact that it offers hundreds of possibilities to diversify, according to each consumer’s preferences.
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 3 large apples
- 2-3 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons cranberries
- 5 pieces candied ginger
- 1 ½ cup of apple must
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ground cinnamon, to taste
- Mix the oatmeal with half a cup of apple must and a little cinnamon.
- Place the composition in a tray lined with baking paper and put it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.
- The composition is left to cool and then crumbled into small pieces.
- Separately, in a saucepan with a little water, boil sliced apples and peeled, raisins, cranberries, chopped ginger and apple wort.
- When the apples start to boil, you have to stir continuously.
- Let the apples simmer for 10 minutes until they turn into a fruit jam, then set them aside to cool.
- After they are no longer hot, add the chia seeds, a little more cinnamon, as long as you want the taste to be strong.
- Put the fruit jam in the bowl, then add a layer of crispy oatmeal on top and garnish. Or mix in a bowl the oatmeal with the fruit jam obtained and enjoy it!
Make sure to also check out this Fruit and Granola Parfait that is so simple you will want to do it everyday!
Oatmeal energy balls
Did you know that there are certain foods that can make us happy, and oats are among them?
It is not a joke or a myth, this phenomenon has a purely scientific explanation, related to the nutritional content: oatmeal products (like other whole grains) are rich in vitamin B1, folic acid and zinc, important nutritional components that, according to specialized studies, improve mood and fight depression.
- 200 g prunes
- 100 g seedless dates
- 50 g dehydrated apricots
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 200 ml soy milk
- 3 teaspoons peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon carob (roscove powder), optional
- 100 g coconut flakes
- Put the dried fruits in the mincer or grind them with the food processor.
- Mix the mashed fruit with the oatmeal.
- Add soy milk, carob and peanut butter and mix well.
- Moisten your hands and, from the mixture obtained, that must be well homogenized, shape balls with a diameter of about 2 cm.
- Roll the balls through the coconut flakes.
- Let them cool for at least an hour before consumption.
These energy balls are delicious, healthy, easy to prepare and loved by children!
Also, check out this No Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls Recipe with Chocolate Chips for inspiration.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Quinoa with vegetables and avocado
Did you know that Quinoa was one of the most important foods of the ancient Inca, who called it the mother cereal?
Due to the richness of protein, the ability to provide energy and the benefits that quinoa brings to the body, the Inca combined it with fat and took it with them as a supply when they went on long war marches.
- 1 can of quinoa
- 200 g boiled corn
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- juice from a lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 avocado
- salt to taste
- Rinse quinoa with cold water, then boil it in 2 cups of water and simmer it for 15 minutes. Click here to learn how to rinse quinoa.
- Turn off the heat and leave with the lid on for at least another 10 minutes, until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid.
- Cut the onion and add it to the quinoa, along with the corn and the crushed garlic.
- Peel the avocado and cut it into slices (or smaller pieces, according to taste) and mix it with lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
- At the end, add salt to taste.
- To serve, sprinkle freshly chopped coriander or parsley on top.
This dish can be served at lunch with a salad of fresh vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce or baby spinach (more fibers, yay!)
In this blog post, we talked about the importance of consuming fiber rich foods.
We also discussed the different types of fiber foods and what are their benefits.
If you liked our fiber rich foods recipes and we’d like to try them, please send us pictures!
Or if you want to share your own favorite recipe, do not hesitate to do so.
Please feel free to ask any questions or to leave a comment on the content!
FAQ about Fiber rich foods
What foods are high in fiber?
Some of the foods that are highest in fiber include:
– Fruits such as bananas, raspberries, blueberries and apples
– Vegetables such as: beans, peas, soy, artichokes
– Seed and grains such as: chia seeds, almonds, quinoa
What fruits and vegetables have the most fiber?
Some of the fruits and vegetables that have the most fiber include: bananas, raspberries, blueberries, apples, guava, pums, potatoes, beans, lentils, peas, soy, artichokes.
How can I increase my fiber?
To increase your fiber intake choose wholegrains, eat at least 5 vegetables and fruits a day, and swap candies for dried fruits and seeds.
If necessary, you can take a fiber supplement.
What breakfast foods are high in fiber?
Breakfast foods that are high in fiber include seeds and nuts, oatmeal, home-made granola with fruits, muesli, home-made smoothies.
What is the best source of daily fiber?
Perhaps the best source of daily fiber is fruits and vegetables.
But don’t forget to include in your meals or to snack on seeds and nuts also.
Are grapes high in fiber?
Grapes are not that high in fiber, as per 100 g of grapes you consume 0,9 g of fibre.
Other types of fruits with a higher intake in fiber are bananas, apples, plums, or pears.
Dahl, W. J., & Stewart, M. L. (2015). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(11), 1861–1870.
Medical News Today – Study reveals how much fiber we should eat to prevent disease