Do you know that fiber-rich foods are an important part of your diet?
Dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible part of plant foods.
Moreover, fiber has a number of health benefits.
it helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Fiber-rich foods mainly consist of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Both of these types play an important role in your health.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and adds bulks to the stool, thus preventing constipation.
While, soluble fiber absorbs water, forms a gel-like substance in your digestive system.
Soluble fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Keep on reading to learn more about fiber-rich foods.
Benefits of Fiber-Rich Foods
Dietary fiber is an essential part of a healthful diet and is important for your gut health.
Moreover, it helps to reduce the risk of different chronic health conditions.
In the United States, most people do not get enough fiber from their diets.
According to some estimates, only 5% of the population meets the adequate intake recommendations of fiber.
This means that most people in the U.S do not get the health benefits of fiber intake.
Eating fiber has a number of benefits including:
Protection against Heart Diseases
Different studies indicate that dietary fiber has beneficial effects on heart health.
This includes preventing cardiovascular disease and reducing blood pressure.
According to a study, eating fiber-rich foods can help to significantly reduce cardiovascular disease and lower mortality from such conditions.
Moreover, the authors say that these heart-protective effects can be because fiber helps to reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins LDL cholesterol.
These are some of the major risks for heart diseases.
Better Gut Health
It is important to note that fiber is important to keep your gut healthy.
Eating enough fiber-rich foods can help to prevent or relieve constipation, helping waste to move smoothly through your body.
It also encourages healthy gut microbiota.
According to a study, dietary fiber can increase the bulk of stool help to promote regular bowel movements and reduce the time that waste spends in your intensities.
Another study indicates that dietary fiber has a positive impact on gastrointestinal disorders like:
- hiatal hernia
- gastroesophageal reflux disease
- diverticular disease
- colorectal ulcer
A review of reports indicates that fiber intake can help to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer as well.
Other Health Benefits
Some of the other health benefits of dietary fiber are:
Reduce Diabetes Risk
Adding fiber-rich foods can also have positive effects on diabetes.
Fiber can help to slow down the absorption of sugar in your body and helps to prevent blood sugar spikes after meals.
According to a study, people who eat high fiber diets, especially cereal fiber, then it can help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, such individuals report a small reduction in blood glucose levels.
If you are someone aiming to lose weight, a diet that is high in dietary fiber can help to regulate weight loss.
High fiber foods can help you to feel fuller for longer and may also help to adhere to a diet.
In a study, researchers conclude that if you increase your dietary fiber intake increases weight loss and adherence to dietary caloric restriction.
Types of Dietary Fiber
Fiber includes nonstarch polysaccharides like cellulose, dextrins, inulin, lignin, pectins, beta-glucans, waxes, and oligosaccharides.
Moreover, soluble and insoluble are two types of dietary fiber.
Most high fiber-containing foods have both of these types, so you do not need to think much about the difference.
Instead, make sure to focus on overall fiber intake.
This one dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in your stomach.
Bacteria later break the gel down in your large intestines and provide some calories.
Soluble fiber provides the following advantages:
- helps to lower LDL cholesterol in your blood by affecting how your body absorbs dietary fat and cholesterol
- slow the absorption of other carbohydrates through digestion, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Beans, fruits, goals, nuts, and vegetables are some good sources of soluble fiber.
It does not dissolve in water and passes through your gastrointestinal tract, mostly intact.
Moreover, it does not provide calories to your body.
insoluble fiber helps build bulk in the stool and also helps you to pass stool more quickly, thus preventing constipation.
Fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole-grain foods are some good sources of insoluble fiber.
Recommended Intake of Fiber-Rich Foods
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the recommended intake of dietary fiber in a 2,000 calorie diet is:
- 25 grams (g) per day for adult females
- 38 g per day for adult males
Moreover, it is important to note that you will need less fiber after 50 years of age.
About 21 g for women and 30g for men.
However, during pregnancy, or breastfeeding, you should aim for about 28g of fiber per day.
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Fiber-Rich Foods: Fruits
Some of the fiber-rich fruits are:
Pears: Pears is a popular fruit that is both tasty and nutritious, and is one of the best sources of fiber.
Moreover, it contains 5.5 grams of fiber in a medium-sized, raw pear, or 3.1 grams per 100 grams.
Strawberries: Not only are strawberries delicious, and a healthy option that you can eat fresh.
They also contain loads of vitamin C, manganese, and different powerful antioxidants.
3 grams in 1 cup of fresh strawberries or 2 grams per 100 grams of fiber is present in it.
Avocado: It is a unique fruit. Instead of being high in carbs, it contains healthy fats.
Moreover, they are high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and B vitamins that contain a number of health benefits.
10 grams in 1 cup of raw avocado or 6.7 grams per 100 grams contains fiber.
Apples: Apple is among the tastiest and most satisfying fruit that you can eat that are also fiber-rich foods.
It contains 4.4 grams of fiber in a medium-sized, raw apple or 2.4 grams per 100 grams.
Raspberries: Raspberries are highly nutritious with a strong flavor and loaded with vitamin C and manganese.
One cup of raw raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber or 6.5 grams per 100 grams.
Bananas: A good source of nutrients including vitamin C, B6, and potassium.
Additionally, a green or unripe banana contains a significant amount of start that is an indigestible carb that also functions like fiber.
3.1 grams of fiber in a medium-sized banana or 2. grams per 100 grams.
Other Fiber-rich foods are:
- Blueberries: 2.4 grams per 100-gram serving
- Blackberries: 5.3 grams per 100-gram serving
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Fiber-Rich Foods: Vegetables
Some of the fiber-rich vegetables are:
Carrots: It is a root vegetable that is tasty, crunchy, and highly nutritious.
Moreover, it is high in vitamin K, B6, magnesium, and beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A.
3.6 grams of fiber are present in 1 cup of raw carrots, or 2.8 grams per 100 grams.
Beets: Beet or beetroot is a root vegetable that contains folate, iron, copper, manganese, and potassium,
They also contain inorganic nitrates that have a number of health benefits related to blood pressure regulation and exercise performance.
3.8 grams of fiber are present in a cup of raw beets, or 2.8 grams per 100 grams.
Broccoli: It is a type of cruciferous vegetable and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
it contains vitamin C, K, folate, B vitamins, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Additionally, it contains antioxidants and potent cancer-fighting nutrients.
2.4 grams of fiber are present in a cup of broccoli or 2.6 grams per 10 grams.
Artichoke: Though this vegetable does not get popularity, however, it is high in nutrients and one of the best fiber-rich foods.
6.9 grams of fiber are present in 1 raw globe of French artichoke or 5.4 grams per 100 grams.
Brussels Sprouts: A cruciferous vegetable, just like broccoli.
These are high in vitamin K, potassium, and potent cancer-fighting antioxidants.
3.3 grams of fiber is present in 1 cup of Brussel sprouts or 3.7 grams per 100 grams
Other Fiber-rich vegetables are:
- Kale: 3.6 grams
- Spinach: 2.2 grams
- Tomatoes: 1.2 grams
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Some other sources of fiber are:
Lentils are cheap and among one of the most nutritious foods, high in proteins and loaded with important nutrients.
13.1 grams of fiber is present in a cooked cup of lentils, or 7.3 grams per 100 grams.
A popular type of legume is loaded with plant-based proteins and various nutrients.
12.2 grams of fiber are present in a cooked cup of beans or 6.8 grams per 100 grams.
Made from dried, split, and peeled seeds of peas contain 16.3 grams of fiber per cooked split peas cup or 8.3 grams per 100 grams.
Chickpea is another type of legume that contains nutrients, including minerals and proteins.
12.5 grams of fiber is present in a cup of cooked chickpeas, or 7.6 grams per 100 grams.
Other high fiber Legumes
Most legumes are high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
Moreover, they are one of the cheapest sources of quality nutrition.
Other fiber-rich foods are:
- Cooked black beans: 8.7 grams
- Edamame: 5.2 grams
- Cooked lima beans: 7 grams
- Baked beans: 5.5 grams
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Seeds and Nuts rich in Fiber
Seeds and nuts that are fiber-rich food sources are:
Quinoa: It is a pseudo-cereal that is incredibly popular among health-conscious people.
Moreover, it contains proteins, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and antioxidants.
5.2 grams of fiber is present in a cup of cooked quinoa or 2.8 grams per 100 grams.
Oats: One of the healthiest grain foods is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Filled with powerful soluble fiber: Beta-glucan has a number of benefits on blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
16.5 grams of fiber are present in a cup of raw oats or 10.1 grams per 100 grams.
Popcorn: In case you want to increase your intake of fiber, popcorn is the best snack that is rich in fiber, fiber for calories.
However, if you add fat, the fiber-to-calorie ratio can decrease significantly.
1.15 grams of fiber is present in a cup of air-popped popcorn or 14.4 grams per 100 grams.
Other high fiber grains
Almonds: A popular type of tree nut high in healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium,
4 grams of fiber is present in 3 tablespoons of almonds or 13.3 grams per 100 grams.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are black tiny seeds high in nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Moreover, they are the single best source of fiber and 9.75 grams of fiber is present in an ounce of dried chia seeds or 34.4 grams per 100 grams.
Other Fiber-Rich Nuts and Seeds are:
- Fresh coconut: 9 grams
- Pistachios: 10 grams
- Walnuts: 6.7 grams
- Sunflower seeds: 11.1 grams
- Pumpkin seeds: 6.5 grams
However, all values are for a 100-gram portion.
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Sweet Potatoes and Dark Chocolate
Sweet potato is a popular tuber that is very much filling and has a delicious sweet flavor.
Moreover, it is high in beta carotene, B vitamins, and other minerals.
A medium-sized boiled potato without skin has 3.8 grams of fiber or 2.5 grams per 100 grams.
On the other hand, dark chocolate is one of the delicious foods.
Surprisingly it is high in nutrients and one of the most antioxidant and nutrient-rich foods.
Make sure dark chocolate has a cocoa content of 70 to 95% or higher and avoid products that contain added sugar.
3.1 grams of fiber is present in a 1-ounce piece of 70 to 85% cocoa, or 10.9 grams per 100 grams.
Fiber is an important nutrient that may promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and fight constipation.
Studies indicate that most people do not meet the recommended daily intake of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
Thus, try adding some of the above foods to your diet to increase your fiber intake.