10 Foods That Are High In Fiber You Can Eat Daily

Aug 05, 2022 Digestion Healthy Eating

10 Foods That Are High In Fiber You Can Eat Daily

Quick Health Scoop

  • Studies show that most U.S. adults are consuming less than half the recommended amount of fiber in their daily diet.
  • Fiber supports digestive health, so it’s important to eat a high-fiber diet.
  • Found naturally in many plant-based foods, fiber can be categorized as either soluble or insoluble fiber.
  • Fiber-rich foods include split peas, lentils, chickpeas, avocados, chia seeds, raspberries, whole wheat pasta, potatoes, barley, and pears.

While you might love your burgers and grilled chicken, even meat eaters need to eat plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Besides providing an abundance of key vitamins and minerals, these plant-based foods also deliver a much-needed helping of fiber. †

Well known for its role in supporting a healthy digestive system, dietary fiber provides a variety of health benefits. Eating foods high in fiber helps with satiety, allowing you to feel full for a longer time, , helps support bowel health, maintains a healthy digestive tract, and helps support healthy cholesterol levels. [1,2,3] †

Looking for foods that are high in fiber? Read on to learn which foods have high fiber content.

High-Fiber Foods You Should Be Eating

As a type of carbohydrate, fiber can be categorized as soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a viscous gel, helping with stool regularity. Soluble, readily fermentable fibers (as used in Nature Made® Fiber Gummies) such as inulin are also called prebiotic fibers because they stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. Soluble, viscous, fermentable fibers have been shown to help blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water, provide bulk to stool and may help with stool regularity.  [4] Both types of fiber provide health benefits, so it’s important to eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods. †

To ensure you have adequate fiber intake, you need to know which foods are high in fiber.  What are the best sources of fiber? All plant-based foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. In general, oats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, fresh and dried fruit and vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber. Wheat bran, brown rice, barley and whole grains are great sources of insoluble fiber.

Here’s a rundown of foods with lots of fiber, based on a one-cup serving (unless noted otherwise). [1,6,7]

  1. Split peas (16g, 53% RDV). Add this nutritional powerhouse to soups to boost the fiber content.
  2. Lentils (16g, 53% RDV). Cut back on some of the ground beef in your chili and swap in some lentils instead for a healthier protein and high-fiber
  3. Chickpeas (12g, 40% RDV). Besides plenty of fiber, chickpeas pack in protein.
  4. Avocado (10g in a whole avocado, 33% RD). Loaded with healthy fats, avocados are also high in B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, and Magnesium. Swap out mashed avocado for mayonnaise the next time you make a sandwich.
  5. Chia seeds (10g in two tablespoons, 33% RDV). You don’t need a big helping of chia seeds—just two tablespoons do the trick—to get that fiber Chia seeds also contain a healthy dose of Protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Add them to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothie, cereal, and salads.
  6. Raspberries (8g, 26% RDV). While all berries provide a great source of fiber, raspberries are among the highest. These low-calorie nuggets also contain Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K along with powerful antioxidant properties.
  7. Whole-wheat pasta (7g, 23% RDV). Loaded with fiber, whole wheat pasta also delivers a healthy dose of good-for-your phytonutrients.  
  8. Potato with skin (7g in one small potato, 23% RDV). Whether you make baked potatoes, oven-roasted cubes, or mashed with a splash of milk and seasoning, potatoes provide an easy, tasty way to add fiber to your diet.
  9. Barley (6g, 20% RDV). Instead of reaching for white rice as your go-to grain, try fiber-rich barley. You can make it as a side dish, toss it into soups, or use is as a base in a build-your-bowl meal.
  10. Pear (6g in one medium pear, 20% RDV). Loaded with soluble fiber, pears offer a healthy choice for snacking or an add-on to any meal.

Other great sources of fiber include beans (such as artichokes, black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans) brown rice, Brussels sprouts, bulgur, oat bran, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and wheat bran. You can also search the USDA national nutrient database to learn about fiber content and nutrient content of any food.

What Happens If I Don't Have Enough Fiber?

Health experts recommend that adults between 19-50 years old need 25 grams of fiber per day for females and 38 grams of fiber per day for males and adults over 50 need 21 grams of fiber per day for females and 30 grams of fiber per day for males, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day. [8, 9], which is less than half the recommended amount.

Having either too much or too little fiber can cause health issues.

If you add too much fiber to your diet too quickly, this can cause abdominal bloating, cramping, and intestinal gas. [2] To avoid this problem, slowly increase your fiber intake over a few weeks. This gives the natural bacteria in your digestive system time to gradually adjust to the change. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water and other non-caffeinated beverages, as proper hydration is needed to avoid any digestive issues.

If you eat too little fiber (which is more common), this can also cause health issues. Eating a low-fiber diet can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Low-fiber intake commonly leads to infrequent bowel movements as well as stools that are difficult to pass, too firm, or too small. [10]

While you should always look to food as your best source of nutrients, fiber supplements can contribute to your recommended daily intake—especially if you don’t eat enough whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and other fiber-rich foods.

How Do I Get More Fiber?

Because fiber is in so many plant-based foods, it’s easy to get more foods with lots of fiber into your daily diet. Try these suggestions:

  • Replace refined grains (like white bread, pasta, and rice) with whole grains (like whole wheat bread, barley, and quinoa).
  • Healthy eating means including five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day, so eat a wide variety of produce.
  • When baking (think muffins, cakes, and cookies) substitute whole wheat flour for half of the white flour.
  • Instead of drinking fruit juices or processed foods, eat whole fruits and vegetables instead. (For instances, eat oranges instead of orange juice.)
  • Add high-fiber foods to snacks and meals you’re already making. For instance, throw raspberries into your morning smoothie. Spread mashed avocado on your toast. Add split peas to casseroles. Mix some lentils into soups. Top salads with chickpeas.
  • For quick snacks, keep a bowl of fruit (like bananas and apples) on your kitchen table and cut-up veggies (like carrots and bell peppers) in the fridge.
  • Munch on nuts and seeds when you want a healthy, crunchy snack.

For more tips on incorporating more foods with fiber into your diet, talk to a registered dietitian. And ask your health professional about taking a fiber supplement to help increase your fiber intake.

Bottom Line

Found naturally in many plant-based foods, fiber can be categorized as either soluble or insoluble fiber. Even though fiber supports digestive health, research show most Americans are consuming less than half the recommended amount of fiber in their daily diet. A low-fiber diet can cause digestive issues.  In general, oats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and dried fruit and vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber. Wheat bran, brown rice, barley and whole grains are great sources of insoluble fiber.

Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

References 

  1. Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute. “Fiber.” June 2019. Accessed on: July 5, 2022. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/fiber
  2. Mayo Clinic. “Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet.” January 6, 2021. Accessed on: July 6, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
  3. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Fiber.” Accessed on: July 5, 2022. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
  4. University of California San Francisco. “Increasing Fiber intake.” 2022. Accessed on: July 7, 2022. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing-fiber-intake
  5. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Fiber.” November 3, 2020. Accessed on: July 8, 2022. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/fiber
  6. Cleveland Clinic. “11 High-fiber foods You Should Be Eating.” February 11, 2022. Accessed on: July 8, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/11-best-high-fiber-foods/
  7. S. Department of Agriculture. “FoodData Central.” 2022. Accessed on: July 8, 2022. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov
  8. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “Fiber supplements and clinically proven health benefits: How to recognize and recommend an effective fiber” April 2017. Accessed on: July 5, 2022.
  9. NIH News in Health. “Rough Up Your Diet: Fit More Fiber Into Your Day.” August 2010. Accessed on: July 7, 2022. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2010/08/rough-up-your-diet
  10. Cornell University. “Fiber, Digestion, and Health.” November 2012. Accessed on: July 7, 2022.  https://health.cornell.edu/sites/health/files/pdf-library/fiber-digestion-health.pdf

Authors

Lisa Beach

NatureMade Contributor

Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.

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Sandra Zagorin, MS, RD

Science and Health Educator

As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.

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