Fiber is often an overlooked nutrient with people focusing more on their intake of other nutrients like protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, etc.
This has led to people not even getting close to meeting their daily required intake of fiber (RDA for men is 38 grams & women is 25 grams), falling prey to various problems like constipation, diverticular disease, hemorrhoids, obesity, etc.
One thing to keep in mind when ramping up your fiber intake is to increase your water intake simultaneously, in order to avoid experiencing gas and bloating.
Consumption of foods high in fiber not only helps avoid these problems but may also help in protecting against chronic problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, kidney stones and more.
There are two types of fiber – soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, both playing an important role in the body. Soluble fiber slows down the digestion process, helping you have sustained energy and avoid cravings by keeping you full for a longer period of time. By doing this, it helps in reducing your calorie intake, stabilizing blood sugar levels while it may also help in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools, thus assisting in normal bowel movement and averting the occurrence of constipation.
A lot of the processed foods you get on the market have added fiber in them, but as is the case with most of the supplementation in foods nowadays, it is not the healthiest option to consume these foods for fulfilling your fiber intake.
So it is always better to meet your required intake of fiber by consuming whole natural foods or smoothies with high amounts of fiber made up of natural ingredients.
Keeping that in mind, here are 14 foods for you to consume for supplying your body with the necessary amounts of fiber every day.
Oats contain beta-glucan, a potent soluble fiber which is known to help in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Beta-glucan is also known to be responsible for the satiating feeling you have for a long time after the consumption of oatmeal. Besides beta-glucan, oats also have a variety of other nutrients including high amounts of several minerals, vitamins & antioxidants.
Lentils, with their affordable nature and abundant amounts of various essential nutrients including fiber and protein, make for a great addition to any diet.1 cup of boiled lentils contains around 15-16 grams of fiber, while they also have significant amounts of folate, a B-vitamin which is necessary for pregnant women and people suffering from liver disease.
Broccoli is an extremely nutritious cruciferous vegetable with low amounts of calories and plenty of fiber (5 grams/ cup). It has copious amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, manganese & potassium along with antioxidants.
Delicious raspberries beside being a rich source of vitamin C and manganese also have high amounts of fiber. A cup of raspberries provides around 8 grams of dietary fiber.
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a highly nutritious food with a wide array of nutrients in significant quantities. They are rich in fiber (11g/2 tbsp.), omega-3 fatty acids and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They promote digestive health, boost energy levels and have many more health benefits that truly make them a great food to include in your daily diet.
- Flax seeds
Another seed with a plethora of nutrients in it including high amounts of fiber(4g/2 tbsp.) is flax seeds. They have both insoluble & soluble fiber in them, both of which are used by our body for different purposes. They also have good amounts of omega-3 fats, help in decreasing cholesterol and contain lignans, an antioxidant which is known to have anti-estrogenic properties. Always consume flax seeds after grounding them to get all of their nutrients.
Apples are known as one of the healthiest fruits and this recognition is totally justified considering their nutrient-rich nature. A single medium-size apple provides 4.4 grams of dietary fiber, a part of which is pectin, a soluble fiber which leads to the slower digestion and absorption of food.
We all know carrots are great for our eyes thanks to their high vitamin A content but they also have abundant quantities of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin K, magnesium and beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A.A lone cup of chopped raw carrots provides 3.6 grams of fiber.
- Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage and broccoli comprising of bountiful of fiber, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties and may help in decreasing the risk of certain types of cancers.
A crispy luscious treat, pear makes for a great snack time fruit, keeping you full until your next meal courtesy of its high amounts of fiber. One medium-sized pear has 5.5 grams of fiber.
Bananas are one of those fruits that are very common and affordable but also rank high on the nutrition scale. Bananas contain high amounts of fiber (3.1 grams in a medium banana) along with a variety of other nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Avocado is popular for its rich amounts of monounsaturated (healthy) fats which help in reducing cholesterol levels, but it also is an abundant source of fiber and a number of other nutrients. The fiber content in avocados varies depending on the type you are consuming but generally, a single avocado contains around 10 grams of fiber, along with having lofty quantities of vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and many B-vitamins.
Chickpeas are full of nutrients, with a high amount of protein, fiber and various minerals like manganese. A cup of cooked chickpeas has 12.5 grams of fiber.
Green peas are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They also have anti-inflammatory properties while their added benefit includes that they can also be eaten raw, with a 50g serving of raw peas containing 2.5 grams of fiber.
So these were 14 foods that are not only high in fiber but also contain a variety of other nutrients. Make them a part of your diet for upping your fiber intake along with boosting your health.