Fiber found in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains forms one of the most crucial components of a healthy diet. There are a plethora of benefits associated with fiber, the most potent being aiding weight loss, ameliorating constipation and blood sugar, boosting gut health, and improving immunity, among various others.
Dieticians and nutritionists recommend 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories consumed. The average adult male requires 38g, whereas an average female requires 21g. However, unfortunately, an average person consumes only 14g of fiber per day, risking various ailments. It is, therefore, very important to follow the right diet that helps our body get nourished from within, helping us strengthen our immunity and fight against ailments. Stick to the end of the article as we share some high-fiber foods you should include in your diet that will help you in the long run.
Fibers can be classified into dietary, added, soluble, and insoluble fibers. Fibers naturally included in the food consumed are known as dietary fibers, whereas added fiber defines the fibers added to products to boost their properties. Soluble fibers include pectin and can be easily digested by the body, but insoluble fibers define the fibers made from the plant’s outer skin and are passed out of our system undigested. Insoluble fibers help in preventing constipation.
Some of the potent benefits of fibers include
- Fiber helps in ameliorating cholesterol levels in the body
- Consuming foods rich in fiber keeps the stomach full for a long time, helping in slowing down the consumption of calories and keeping our weight in check.
- Pectin present in high-fiber foods helps in preventing colon cancer as it contains antioxidant properties
- Fibers help in keeping blood glucose levels in check
High-Fiber Food To Eat
- Apples: A medium-sized apple contains 4.4 grams of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Apples contain various other nutrients as well and should definitely be included in daily diet.
- Avocado: A cup of raw avocado contains 10 grams of fiber. Avocados also contain magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and B. Avocado is also rich in healthy fats.
- Bananas: Bananas contain resistant starch, which remains undigested and helps prevent constipation; a medium-sized banana contains 3.1 grams of banana and various other nutrients like potassium and Vitamin B6 and C
- Pears: A medium-sized pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber, making it a sweet and nutritious addition to the diet.
- Raspberries: Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, as a cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber. These nutritious fruits also contain manganese and Vitamin C.
- Strawberries: A cup of fresh strawberries contains 3 grams of fiber, making it an ideal option to be included during breakfast or evening snacks. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, manganese, and Vitamin C.
- Acorn Squash: A cup of acorn squash provides 9 grams of fiber. It is also rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A and provides numerous health benefits as well, including controlling blood sugar, pressure, and cancer.
- Artichoke: One artichoke contains 6.9 grams of fiber, making it an important source of dietary fiber.
- Beets: Beets contain various nutrients, including copper, iron, potassium, manganese, and fiber; a cup of raw beets contains 3.8 grams of fiber.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is a nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetable containing nutrients like iron, potassium, folate, Vitamin C and K, and fiber. A cup of finely chopped broccoli can contain 4.4 grams of fiber. Broccoli has steadily established itself as a superfood as it contains various nutrients and antioxidants that combat cancer.
- Carrots: Being a root vegetable, you can include carrots in your diet. A cup of finely chopped carrots contains 3.6 grams of fiber. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that gets turned into Vitamin A and other nutrients like Vitamin B6, K, and magnesium.
- Potatoes: This carbohydrate is an excellent source of fiber. A small-sized potato can provide 3 grams of fiber.
- Oats: A cup of raw oats contains 16.5 grams of fiber. It contains beta-glucan, which helps in controlling cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is also a good source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
- Quinoa: Quinoa is an essential plant source of proteins and fiber. A cup of cooked quinoa contains 5.2 grams of fiber. It also contains antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
- Whole-wheat pasta: Whole grains like whole wheat pasta are a great source of fiber; a cup of cooked whole-wheat pasta contains 7gm of fiber. It also contains important phytonutrients that help boost immunity.
- Barley: Barley has a nutty flavor and a good fiber source. A cup of cooked barley contains 6 grams of fiber. It also contains other essential nutrients.
- Lentils: Lentils are highly nutritious and a good fiber source. You can get 13.1 grams of fiber from a cup of cooked lentils.
- Chickpeas: A popular legume, a cup of cooked chickpeas contains 12.5 grams of fiber.
Other Food Sources
- Chia seeds: Considered a superfood, chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber. An ounce of dried chia seeds contains 9.75 grams of fiber.
- Nuts: Nuts are rich in fiber, especially almonds. A tablespoon of almond powder contains 3 grams of fiber. Almonds are also high in nutrients like manganese, magnesium, healthy fats, and Vitamin E.
- Dark Chocolate: It is a good source of fiber. A piece of dark chocolate can produce 3.1 grams of fiber. However, choose dark chocolates that contain high cocoa content.
- Dried Fruits: Dates, prunes, and figs are an excellent source of fiber. Also, sorbitol, present in dried fruits, helps in ameliorating constipation.
Quick Recipes to Include in Your Diet
If you plan to include fiber in your diet, here are some quick recipes to help you get started. These recipes are quick and easy to make, but it helps the body to absorb the fibers quickly. Consuming a lot of fiber can lead to some health problems. Following these recipes and maintaining a journal will help you understand if you develop any imbalance symptoms upon consuming any particular high-fiber food.
1. Chickpea Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup of cooked quinoa
- ½ cup of chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of roasted red pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of sunflower seeds
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh parsley, freshly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of hummus
- 2 Cups of mixed salad greens
- Ground Pepper
- Mix lemon juice, hummus, and red peppers; add water to the bowl to make it to the desired consistency.
- Now, add the quinoa, chickpeas, and greens in another bowl. Top it with parsley, pepper, salt, and the sunflower seeds.
- Then add the dressing and serve it.
2. Sauteed Broccoli
- ½ cup of yellow onion
- 1 cup of red bell pepper (red)
- 1 Teaspoon of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 2 cups of broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil (roasted)
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2½ tablespoons of tamari
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
- Boil broccoli until it becomes tender
- Add the vegetables in a large skillet and fry them until they become soft. Then add the broccoli as well.
- Add the vinegar, peanut butter, sugar, tamari, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk it till it becomes smooth. Cook the sauce and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
3. Avocado Pesto
- ½ cup of walnuts
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- 2 avocados
- 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground pepper
- Add avocadoes, basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, salt, walnuts, and oil into a paste. Use ground pepper to season.
- Use that sauce for your chips or add it to your whole-wheat pasta to make it more delicious.
4. Loaded soup
- ¼ teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of lime juice
- ½ cup of tomatoes
- ½ cup of cabbage (shredded)
- ½ diced avocado
- 2 tablespoons of cheese
- 2 Ounces of tortilla chips (baked)
- 18 ounces of black bean soup
- Add the soup to a container and stir according to the packaged directions. Add the paprika and lime juice.
- Once prepared, transfer it to a bowl and add cheese and the vegetables. Serve it with tortilla chips
5. Baked Potatoes
- 6 unpeeled medium sweet potatoes
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Back paper
- Heat the oven to The oven should be heated to 400°F
- Pierce the sweet potatoes and place them on the baking sheet
- Pop it into the oven and cook it for 45 minutes
- Now slit open the top of the sweet potatoes and add butter, salt, and black pepper
6. Stir Fry Lentil Dish
- ½ teaspoon of onion
- ½ teaspoon of garlic
- ½ teaspoon of ginger
- One cup of bell pepper
- One cup of carrots
- One cup of celery
- One cup of zucchini
- Lentils (of your choice)
- Soy and Hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of mirin
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- Prepare the vegetables and chop them finely
- If you are using canned lentils, then rinse the liquid
- Mix the soy, hoisin, cornstarch, and lime juice from the cooking sauce
- Add oil to the pan. Add the vegetables when the oil gets heated one by one until they become crispy.
- Now add the lentils, sauce, and the cashews; stir until the sauce thickens
- Your stir fry is ready; serve it hot and garnish with green onions or parsley
Fibers contain a plethora of health benefits, and adding some of these high-fiber foods to your diet can provide numerous benefits to you. However, make sure you do not jump onto the bandwagon hastily. Adding high-fiber foods can lead to cramping and bloating if your body is not used to consuming fiber.
Try to curate a diet plan that steadily introduces high-fiber foods to your system. You can include these recipes in your daily diet plan to aid your body in feeling accustomed to fibers. Also, remember to drink enough fluids. Fibers draw in water; therefore, if the body is not hydrated enough, it can lead to constipation or worsen the symptoms in some cases.