Fiber in foods is either soluble or insoluble; the soluble rich foods include beans, oats, barley, berries and some vegetables whereas insoluble fiber foods are nuts, seeds, potatoes, fruits with skin and green vegetables. Most plant-based foods contain mixture of both. Our body needs both types of fibers because soluble fibers help lower cholesterol and blood glucose whereas insoluble fibers make stool softer and heavier so it can pass through the intestine more easily. In case you skip out or take less than the recommended amount of daily fiber requirement it leads to constipation, which can cause loss of appetite, intestine infection and gastritis problems. Over dose of fiber intake isn’t better for the health either as it can cause bloating, cramping and the food waste passes through the intestine quickly without absorbing nutrients in the body.
The recommended amount of fiber for adults under 50 years of age is about 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Over 50 years require less amount of fiber like 30 grams for men and 21 grams for women.
Fiber rich Foods
The amount of fiber varies in each food so choose your food accordingly. Here is a list of foods that are high in fiber:
- Flax seeds are one of the super foods due to its high fiber content. They contain 3 grams of dietary fiber per tablespoon of whole Flax seeds. They are rich of nutrients such as Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Protein and Omega-3 Fatty acids.
- Berries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants they contain fiber and help to improve bone health as well as maintain sugar level in the body.
- Figs contain about 14 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber per cup. They are rich in potassium, manganese and copper. They help to lower blood pressure and provide relief from constipation. You can eat them on their own or add them to cereals or salads.
- Artichokes are one of the high antioxidant foods and are rich in fiber. They are low in calories and also contain essential nutrients so add them in your diet to improve health.
- Okra contains high fiber and is also rich in calcium and are packed with nutrients therefore it is a good alternative to add in your diet.
- Brussels sprouts are also of one the fiber rich foods and also high in antioxidants as well as contain anti-inflammatory properties. They detoxify your body in a healthy way and also reduce the risk of cancer.
- Black beans are rich in fiber and nutrients like Magnesium and Phosphorus. They are high in protein and are a better way to increase fiber intake.
- Chickpeas are rich in fiber and nutrients that include Copper, Protein, Manganese and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. You can enjoy them for lunch, snacks or dinner.
- Split peas are one of my favorite foods and are rich in dietary fiber. A full cup of split peas contain 16 grams of fiber. They are full of nutrients like Protein, Manganese and Omega 3 fatty acids. The way I use them is to make soup for lunch or dinner.
- Lentils are great for health and are high in fiber and contain nutrients like Manganese, Iron, Phosphorus and Protein. A cup of cooked Lentils contain 10 grams of fiber.
- Chia seeds are another super food, which are high in fiber and contain essential nutrients. They support digestive health and help to boost your energy levels.
- Avocados contain 10 grams of fiber per cup along with essential nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E and Potassium.
Just because some foods have medicinal properties doesn’t mean that we should start consuming them in large quantities. In order to get medical benefits from it, make it a small part of your daily diet.
A balanced diet plays an important role in maintaining and improving your health; therefore adopt healthy eating habits and enjoy the benefits.