Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that the body is unable to digest and it is present in plants only. Though it goes undigested through the gut, it is a pivotal nutrient for the overall health. Let’s learn why…
The Positive Effects of a Diet Rich in Fiber
High intake of fiber is known to add bulk to the stool, avert constipation, and ease bowel movements. It is also crucial because it prolongs the feeling of satiety that triggers weight loss and it is known to decrease the chance of diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, constipation, and heart disease. Sadly, a lot of people do not get the needed amount of daily fiber, i.e. according to medical experts, we need to intake around 21 and 38 grams of fiber per day while the average American citizen consumes only 16.
Insoluble vs. Soluble Fiber
These are 2 different types of fiber. The insoluble one does not dissolve in water and it goes through the digestive system unchanged and it prevents constipation. The soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel-like substance into the digestive tract. It is beneficial for the balancing of the cholesterol and for a healthy heart.
Foods Rich in Fiber
- Brussels sprouts- they are abundant in fiber, folate, vitamins C and K, and manganese
- Broccoli- this veggie has 3.3 grams of fiber when cooked and it is known to reduce the chance of diabetes, heart disease, and asthma
- Artichokes- a medium-sized artichoke has 6.8 grams of fiber or 5.7 grams per 100 grams
- Prunes– 100 grams of these dried plums have 7.1 grams of fiber, as well as vitamin A, iron, potassium, and antioxidants
- Bananas- they have soluble fiber known as pectin and one average-sized banana has up to 4 grams of it. However, this goes for ripe bananas only, not unripe ones
- Figs- raw figs have around 2.9 grams of fiber while 100 grams of dried ones have 10 grams of fiber. But, in the latter option, there is a much higher presence of sugar than in the former one
- Avocados- besides fiber, this delicious fruit has other important nutrients like folate, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. One avocado can have from 5.6 grams to 6.8 grams of fiber, depending on the type
- Raspberries- besides 6.5 grams of fiber, this fruit contains a lot of quercetin and vitamin C
- Blackberries- 100 grams of them have 5.3 grams of fiber, as well as manganese, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants
- Oats- this grain is rich in beta-glucans or soluble fiber that is highly beneficial for the metabolism, heart, and the immunity. Raw oats have around 15 grams of fiber while cooked have 10.6 grams
- Buckwheat- this gluten-free grain has 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams
- Quinoa- this food which has been present since ancient times is the ideal source of protein and fiber (2.8 grams per 100 grams of cooked quinoa)
- Coconut- a medium-sized coconut has 36 grams of fiber and though most of it is in the nut’s meat, coconut water contains a bit of it as well, i.e. a cup has 2.6 grams
- Chia seeds- these seeds are very easy to digest and are an excellent addition to salads, smoothies, soups, etc. 100 grams of them have 34.4 grams of fiber
- Flaxseed– every 100 grams of flaxseed has around 27.3 grams of fiber, as well as a substantial amount of omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, and lignans
- Split peas- they are an amazing protein source for people who lead a plant-based diet because they are full of fiber, folate, potassium, and iron, but low on fat. When cooked, their amount of fiber is 8.3 grams per 100 grams
- Lima beans– 100 grams of cooked lima beans have 7 grams of fiber.
- Lentils- this legume, when cooked, contains 8 grams of fiber per 100 grams