13 High-Fiber Foods To Increase Your Intake

13 High-Fiber Foods To Increase Your Intake

Fiber is an indigestible nutrient that’s concentrated in most plant foods. High-fiber diets have been linked with several health benefits, including a lower risk of several common health conditions like colon cancer, heart disease, and constipation.

However, most Americans do not consume enough fiber. Eating more foods rich in soluble and insoluble fiber can help you reach the daily fiber intake recommendation, which ranges from 19-38 grams, depending on age. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the Daily Value (DV) for fiber at 28 g.

Many fruits, vegetables, legumes, and seeds are good sources of fiber—you can choose your favorites to add to your diet to help boost your fiber intake.

Avocados are low-carb fruits that are an excellent source of fiber. One avocado provides 13.5 g of fiber, covering nearly half your daily fiber needs. It also only contains 18 g of carbohydrates.

This makes avocados a smart choice for people following low-carb diets, like the keto diet, which tend to be low in several nutrients, including dietary fiber.

Raspberries are one of the highest-fiber fruits you can eat. A 1-cup serving of raspberries provides 8 g of fiber as well as several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and vitamin K. Raspberries are also high in powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and ellagitannins, which help protect cells from oxidative damage.

Adding chia seeds to your diet is an easy way to boost your fiber intake. A 1-ounce (oz) serving of chia seeds provides 9.75 g of fiber, which covers around 35% of your daily fiber needs.

Studies show that eating more fiber-rich chia seeds can benefit heart health by reducing heart disease risk factors like total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Lentils are loaded with fiber, packing 15.6 g per cup, which covers nearly 56% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber. They’re also rich in plant-based protein, providing 17.9 g per cup.

Protein and fiber help you feel full after eating by slowing digestion and increasing the release of satiety hormones. Eating more protein and fiber-rich foods can help aid weight management.

Cacao nibs are made of crushed cacao beans, which are high in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. A 1-oz serving provides 8 g of fiber, making cacao nibs an excellent choice for boosting fiber consumption.

In addition to fiber, cacao nibs are packed with minerals, like magnesium, and powerful antioxidants, like the flavonoids catechin and epicatechin, which support overall health by protecting against cellular damage.

Black beans are one of the highest-fiber foods you can eat, packing 15.2 g of fiber per cup. Eating just 2 cups of black beans would cover over 100% of your fiber needs for the day.

Eating more black beans can also help you increase your intake of other important nutrients, like  folate, a B vitamin that plays a critical role in fetal development and red blood cell formation.

Teff is an ancient grain rich in fiber, providing 7.06 g per cup.

Teff is also high in magnesium, a mineral involved in critical processes such as nerve function, stress response, and blood sugar and blood pressure regulation. A 1-cup serving of teff contains 126 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, which covers 30% of the DV.

Blackberries are sweet-tasting berries high in several important nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and fiber. One cup of blackberries contains 7.63 g of fiber, which covers 28.5% of your daily fiber needs.

Adding more high-fiber foods, like blackberries, to your diet can help support the health of your gut by fueling the growth of beneficial bacteria in your large intestine and encouraging regular and comfortable bowel movements.

If you’d like to add more fiber-rich carbohydrate sources to your diet, consider eating more acorn squash. Acorn squash are winter squash with sweet-tasting flesh that can be roasted, baked, or steamed. One cup of cooked acorn squash provides 9 g of fiber, which covers 32% of your daily needs.

In addition to fiber, acorn squash is high in several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin A, and potassium.

Artichokes are packed with fiber, with one cooked 4.2-oz artichoke providing 6.84 g, or 24% of the DV.

Artichokes are also low in carbs and can help people following low-carb diets meet their daily needs for fiber and other essential nutrients, like vitamin C and magnesium.

Flaxseeds are a versatile, high-fiber ingredient that can be added to many recipes, including smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods.

Two tablespoons (tbsp) of whole flaxseeds provides 5.62 g of fiber, which covers 20% of the DV. Studies show that adding fiber-rich flaxseeds to your diet can effectively reduce post-meal blood sugar levels, making flaxseeds a smart choice for people with diabetes.

Guava is a tropical fruit that has a sweet and tangy taste. Guava provides 8.91 g of fiber per cup, which covers 31.8% of your daily fiber needs. Guavas are also high in protein, packing 4.21 g per cup.

Foods high in protein and fiber can support satiety and help you maintain optimal blood sugar levels. Try pairing guava with other high-protein foods, like nuts and seeds, for a filling snack.

Try snacking on dates if you’re looking for a sweet, chewy, high-fiber treat. Two pitted medjool dates provide 3.22 g of fiber, or about 12% of your daily needs.

Dates are also a good source of several essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and copper.

For a high-fiber, nutritious dessert option, try stuffing dates with almond butter or peanut butter, drizzle them with melted dark chocolate, and top with flaky sea salt.

Most people can benefit from increasing their fiber intake. Research shows that following a high-fiber diet can boost several aspects of health and lower the risk of common diseases.

For example, high-fiber diets are protective against health conditions such as colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Choosing high-fiber foods, like fruits and vegetables, is especially beneficial for maintaining digestive and cardiovascular health. Fiber helps promote regular bowel movements and encourages the growth of bacteria that produce compounds called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the gastrointestinal tract. SCFAs fuel cells that line the intestinal tract, reduce intestinal inflammation, and strengthen the gut barrier, all of which support a healthier gut environment.

A high-fiber diet can help reduce heart disease risk factors like high LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption by the body and increasing its excretion.

Increasing dietary fiber has also been shown to be an effective way to manage symptoms of several conditions. For example, increasing fiber intake can help reduce both short and long-term markers of blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

You can easily add some fiber to your diet. Try these tips to reach your daily fiber goals:

  • Add a source of fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and beans, to every meal and snack
  • Swap out low-fiber carbs, like white bread, with high-fiber carb sources, like whole grains and starchy vegetables
  • Snack on more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Add avocados to your diet by enjoying guacamole or adding sliced avocado to sandwiches and salads
  • Incorporate beans and lentils into soups, grain dishes, and salads
  • Bake with high-fiber ingredients, like ground flax, chia seeds, and whole-grain flour

The easiest way to incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet is by transitioning to a plant-based dietary pattern. Fiber is concentrated in plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains, so choosing more plant-based meals and snacks is an effective way to shift to a higher-fiber diet.

High-fiber diets are generally safe for most people. However, if you’re not used to eating high-fiber foods, you may experience digestive symptoms like bloating and gas after consuming large portions of fiber-rich foods, like beans and vegetables.

When transitioning to a higher-fiber diet, try to slowly increase your fiber intake over time to reduce the risk of digestive symptoms like gas, stomach pain, and bloating.

Also, some high-fiber foods, like beans and certain fruits and vegetables, are high in Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols, compounds commonly known as FODMAPs. FODPMAPs are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the digestive system and can cause symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating in some people.

Certain populations, such as people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are more likely to be intolerant to FODMAPs.

If you’re intolerant to high-FODMAP foods, you’ll need to choose lower-FODMAP fiber sources when trying to increase your fiber intake.

Increasing your fiber intake can benefit your health in several ways, such as lowering heart disease risk factors, decreasing blood sugar levels, and protecting against digestive diseases.

Most people in the United States eat lower-fiber diets. Adding fiber-rich foods to meals and snacks can help you meet the recommended intake.

Try incorporating fiber-rich foods like avocados, raspberries, lentils, chia seeds, and cacao nibs into your diet for an easy and delicious way to boost your health.

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