An important part of staying healthy and in shape is to make sure our body gets the right amount of fiber on a daily basis.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrates, mainly found in plant based foods. It forms a gel-like mass in our digestive tract. This bulks up food, facilitating digestion and increasing nutrient absorption.
How Does It Help?
Fiber helps to reduce the risk of chronic disorders, like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and heart diseases. Thus, getting enough fiber in our diet is critical to our overall health- not just healthy bowels.
Types Of Fiber:
There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble fiber makes one feel fuller and slows digestion. This helps to keep the blood sugar levels in control.
- Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, makes waste softer, so that it can pass through the intestines more easily.
This is why a fibre rich diet is a must! A deficiency in the fiber content in the body can lead to constipation, elevated levels of cholesterol and even hemorrhoids. Conversely, an excess of fiber can lead to bowel destruction, diarrhea and dehydration.
Recommended Dietary Allowance:
The RDA for fiber is:
- Men: Men under 50 years of age require 38 grams of fiber, and men above 50 require 30 grams of fiber per day.
- Women: Women under 50 years of age require 25 grams of fiber, and women above 50 require 21 grams of fiber per day.
- Kids: Kids should eat 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories they consume.
Fibre Rich Food Sources:
Adding natural sources of fiber to your daily diet is essential for the proper well-being of the body. To help you get enough fiber, here is a list of fibre rich foods which you can incorporate in your diet.
“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” is an old Welsh proverb which most of us are familiar with.
This fiber rich fruit provides a host of other health benefits, which include preventing dementia and improving neurological health.
One medium sized apple contains more than 5 grams of pectin fiber, around 17% of the daily recommended value and less than 100 calories.
Apple also contains a high amount of water, which will help to keep your bowels regular.
Do not peel apples before eating, since most of the fiber is present in its skin.
Walnut is one fiber rich food which you simply can’t overlook.
Just a handful of walnuts, or 1/4th cup, contains 2 grams of fiber and 190 calories.
They are also a rich source of many phytochemicals antioxidants like, melatonin, ellagic acid, carotenoid and poky-phenolic compounds.
Walnuts will make a healthy addition to your salads, cakes and desserts.
3. Sweet Corn:
When we speak of food rich in fibre, we simply cannot miss out on corn.
6 inches of corn on the cob provides the body with 2 grams of fiber, amounting to 16% of your daily recommended value.
Sweet corn features high-quality phyto-nutrients which include vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
You can eat corn as a side dish, or you can add it to your soups, salads and pizzas.
Artichoke is a high fiber food.
A medium sized artichoke provides almost half of the daily recommended amount of fiber.
Artichokes also have a higher water content, much more than breads and pasta. This makes it a very good addition to your balanced high fiber diet.
Artichokes are easy to prepare and have a unique taste which makes them even more enjoyable.
Cabbage is not just well known for its cancer fighting antioxidants such as indole-3 carbinol, but is also a great source of fiber.
1 cup of cabbage contains 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 54 calories.
Cabbage is highly recommended to people who want to lose weight in a healthy way.
Broccoli is a perennial super-food that is high in fiber and other essential nutrients like vitamin A, C and E.
One cup of chopped, raw broccoli contains around 5 grams of dietary fiber.
This cruciferous vegetable contains calcium D- Glucarate, a compound which helps to bind and clear excess estrogen from the body.
You can pair steamed or cooked broccoli with chicken and meat entrees to enhance the nutritional levels in the body.
[ Read: Calcium Rich Foods Include In Your Diet ]
7. Brussels Sprouts:
A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts will provide you with a quarter of your recommended fiber for the day.
It also contains several health friendly nutrients like vitamin A and C, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and iron.
There are plenty of ways to add these cruciferous treats to your diet.
[ Read: Iron Rich Foods Include In Your Diet ]
8. Navy Beans:
Navy Beans are one of the best foods you can include to get more fiber in your diet.
A cup of navy beans serving will give you a whopping 20 grams of fiber. This is almost 80% of your daily required amount.
Navy bean is a versatile vegetable, which you can include in your rice, soups and dips.
You can even season boiled navy beans with olive oil and spices for a flavorful and healthy side dish.
9. Whole Grains:
Unlike flour, whole grains are not refined and contain bran layers, which provide them with high fiber and nutrition.
Whole grain pasta, cereals and breads are some of the foods you can eat to get a boost in your fiber levels.
A cup of whole grain pasta will provide you with 6.3 grams of fiber.
You can incorporate whole wheat pasta in your baking recipes.
One cup of whole wheat flour will provide you with 13 grams of fiber.
If you’re using white flour, then try and substitute 1/3rd of the amount with whole wheat flour, to increase your fiber intake.
Wheat cereal will give you an energy boost and will keep you full for longer periods of time.
One cup serving will provide you with 9 grams, approximately 36% of your fiber for the day.
Oats are considered as a power-food because of the high levels of dietary fiber and nutrients in them.
One cup of oatmeal contains 4 grams of fiber, amounting to 20% of your daily required value.
The high fiber content makes oatmeal one of the best foods for lowering cholesterol.
Oats are quite low in glycemic index, which helps to slow the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood. So eat oats for your breakfast to keep the energy levels steady and reduce excess hunger.
Oats can also be made into bread, cookies and other baked foods.
You can also add a teaspoon of maple syrup to enhance its nutrient value.
[ Read: Best Carbohydrate Rich Foods ]
Raw, unsalted nuts are excellent, natural sources of fiber.
Brazil nuts and pine nuts are the best sources of fiber among all the nuts, each containing 12 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
Almonds and pistachio contain 4 grams of fiber each.
However, some nuts are very high in fats, hence, should be eaten in moderation.
Seeds like chive seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are high in fiber and other essential nutrients.
Flax seed is loaded with fiber and 1 tablespoon will provide you with 9 grams of fiber.
Make sure that your flaxseed is ground properly, so that the body can extract all its nutrients.
In addition to 9 grams of fiber, flaxseeds also contain lignans, a special antioxidant that provides anti-estrogenic actions.
Chia seeds are tiny, nutrient packed seeds, full of omega3 fats and fiber.
1 teaspoon of Chia seeds contains 6 grams of fiber.
You can add Chia seeds to your smoothies or can sprinkle on fruit salads or yoghurt.
13. Garbanzo Beans:
Like most of the legumes, garbanzo beans are popular for their high fiber content.
Half a cup of garbanzo beans will provide you with 3 grams of fiber, around 13% of your daily recommended value.
Garbanzo beans will also keep you full for longer periods of time.
Figs are not just tasty and succulent fruits, but are rich in fiber too.
1 large fig will provide you with 2 grams of fiber and 47 calories.
Dried figs will make a quick, on-the-go snack.
You can also incorporate them into your cookies and cakes for a sweet treat.
Eating dried figs will help you prevent constipation.
Prunes contain about 3.6 grams of dietary fiber per serving, around 14% of the recommended amount for the day.
Eat a handful of prunes daily to get rid of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with constipation like bloating, cramps and loss of appetite.
Pears are full of nutrients and are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber.
You can add pears in your fruit salad, or eat it sliced, like an apple.
Eating one medium pear will benefit your body with over 4 grams of fiber and 51 calories
Almonds are very rich in fiber and will help you immensely to keep your system regular.
In addition to providing 4 grams of fiber, one ounce-serving of almonds will also help to maintain heart health.
Spinach is one of the super-foods with a plethora of health benefits.
Spinach leaves are loaded with calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants and many more nutrients.
It contains ample amount of fiber, which acts as a natural cleanser for the colon and works to keep the system clean.
Spinach is one of the most versatile vegetables, which you can use as a dressing in your salad, or add in sandwiches, soups, pasta and sauces.
A serving of raw spinach will provide you with 1 gram of fiber and 7 calories.
19. Beet Greens:
Beet greens are loaded with vitamin A and C, folate and fiber.
These have a unique flavor and you can easily pair them with savory spices like garlic, onion, peppers and olive oil to make a tasty dish.
You can also toss beet green in a green salad, with other fiber rich vegetables for a fiber rich meal.
1 cup of raw beet greens will give you 2 grams of fiber.
Carrots can help to reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and improve eyesight.
The fiber content in carrot will prevent digestive disorders and gastric ulcers.
Just one medium carrot will provide you with 7% of the recommended value for the day.
Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are high in fiber fruits.
Berries provide both soluble and insoluble fiber, for better blood sugar balance.
Raspberries have the most fiber of all the berries, with one cup of serving providing around 32% of your daily recommended fiber need.
Blackberries contain 7.6 grams of fiber per serving and strawberries, just 3 grams per serving.
Add these colorful berries to your oatmeal, cereals, fruit salad, smoothies, ice cream, and yoghurt for a sweet treat after dinner.
Berries will also provide you with half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
[ Read: Vitamin C Rich Foods ]
Lentils are an essential part of a high fiber diet. They take relatively less time to cook and are more versatile than other legumes. It is very easy to add this nutritious food in your diet.
You can cook lentils with rice or can add them to soups and sauces, seasoning them with herbs and spices for a tasty treat.
Adding one cup of lentils will provide you with a whopping 63% of your recommended daily fiber.
Lentils are also high in protein, folate, vitamins and iron.
[ Read: Sources of Protein Rich Food ]
23. Brown Rice:
Brown Rice is packed with insoluble fiber, making it an excellent addition to your fiber rich diet.
The insoluble fiber in it will help to relieve constipation and the pains related to it.
Add a serving of brown rice to your daily diet to get 4 grams of fiber, or about 14% of the recommended daily value.
24. Green Peas:
Green peas are a staple in Indian cuisine.
1 cup of raw green peas will provide you with 9 grams of fiber while 1 cup of cooked peas will give you 8 grams of fiber.
Avocado is one of those super-foods which are jam-packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats.
It also contains high levels of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.
One avocado contains 9 grams of fiber, making it a perfect choice for people who are on a carbohydrate restricted diet.
Including foods rich in fibre in our diet can be a fairly easy task, with so many varied options available. Select ones based on your taste and comfort, and let us know how these dietary changes helped you.
- 5 Amazing Benefits Of Fiber For Skin, Hair And Health
- Top 22 Fruits And Vegetables Rich In Potassium
- Top 20 Calcium Rich Fruits You Should Definitely Eat
- Why Is It Important To Consume Folate Rich Foods?