Fiber is an important part of our diet. What are the benefits of eating high-fiber foods? What type of fiber is best for constipation? We’ve got answers to these questions and more!

What is Fiber?

Fiber is the part of plant foods that your body doesn’t absorb. The two main types of fiber are soluble and insoluble, and fiber-rich foods usually contain both.

Foods high in soluble fiber include citrus fruits, apples, pears, plums and prunes, chia seeds, legumes (dried beans and peas), oatmeal and oat bran, and barley. Soluble fiber may help lower LDL cholesterol, slow the rise in blood sugar, add bulk to stools, and promote a feeling of fullness.

Insoluble fiber is found in many vegetables, wheat bran, and whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals. Insoluble fiber also adds bulk to stool, stimulates the gastrointestinal tract, and helps prevent constipation.

How Can I Get More Fiber in my Diet?

  1. Focus on whole-grain bread, pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, and other whole-grain products instead of their white, refined, and highly processed counterparts.
  2. Eat whole-grain cereal, such as oatmeal or a bran cereal at breakfast, or try whole-grain toast instead of white.
  3. Prepare a meatless main dish such as red beans over brown rice, whole-wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce, vegetable stir-fry over brown rice, or try one of these soup recipes white bean and rosemary soup and lentil soup for a main dish.
  4. When shopping for whole grain products, look at the food label for specific ingredients such as whole wheat, whole oats, or brown rice. Watch out! Terms such as 100% wheat, multi-grain, and stone-ground do not mean the product contains whole grains.
  5. If short on time, use microwaveable whole-grain brown rice packets as a quick alternative to white rice.

How much fiber do I need each day?

The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests eating a variety of food fiber sources. Total dietary fiber intake should be 25 to 30 grams a day from food, not supplements. Currently, dietary fiber intakes among adults in the United States average about 15 grams a day.

High-Fiber Foods Chart

Below you will find a chart of everyday foods that are high-in fiber. Foods that are marked with an asterisk (*) are also high in protein.

FoodServing SizeTotal Fiber (grams)
1Edamame1 cup11
2Pinto Beans*1 cup15
3Acorn Squash1 cup9
4Collard Greens1 cup6
5Strawberries1 cup3
6Whole-Grain Spelt*1 cup7.5
7Broccoli1 cup2.5
8Carrots1 cup5
9Quinoa1 cup5
10Oatmeal1 cup4
11Bananas1 med3
12Cauliflower1 cup5
13Chia Seeds*1 ounce10
14Sunflower Seeds1 cup12
15Bran1 cup14.5
16Almonds*1/2 cup6
17Flax Seeds1/4 cup11.5
18Seaweed1 cup19
19Popcorn1 cup17
20Apple1 med9
21Lentils*1 cup15.5
22Black Beans*1 cup16.5
23Whole-Wheat Pasta1 cup4.5
24Raspberries1 cup8
25Chickpeas*1 cup24.5
26Avocados1 med9
27Peanuts1 cup14

Looking for some recipes to try? Try these:

Interested in learning more about fiber? Join our 31-day high-fiber challenge here.

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