Fiber is essential in a healthy and well-balanced diet. Including fiber-rich foods in your diet can help you lose weight, prevent heart problems, and improve your digestive health. Eating fiber-rich foods can change your lifestyle and physique. Unfortunately, most people do not get sufficient fiber in their diet.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is contained in foods that come from plants. Since we cannot digest it, fiber just passes as is through our digestive system. Fish, meat, and dairy products do not contain fiber.
Fiber has two types: Soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber usually dissolves in water while insoluble fiber does not. It is best to include both types of fiber in your diet since they can help improve your health in different ways. You can get fiber from eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and beans. Soluble fiber also keeps your colon healthy by feeding the healthy bacteria in the gut, which is similar to the effects of probiotics.
Fiber also helps relieve constipation by acting as a natural laxative. It can help people with loose stools and those who have the digestive disorder known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have such disorders, you may consult a doctor or a dietitian for a proper diagnosis and management of your condition.
Foods rich in soluble fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin release. It can also help delay the emptying of your stomach, thereby controlling your hunger or appetite, which leads to weight loss.
Top 10 High-Fiber Foods
Processed foods such as bread and cereals contain fiber and are readily available in the market. However, the fiber content in these foods is not as healthy as most consumers think. They may even contain ingredients that can harm your health. For this reason, it is better to consume fresh whole foods to get the daily nutrients you need.
Here is a list of 10 foods with high-fiber content:
Carrots are beneficial for people with diabetes and heart problems. Aside from being a high-fiber food, carrots are also good for the eyes. They are rich in antioxidants and are beneficial for people with colon cancer.
To incorporate carrots into your diet, try adding shredded or chopped raw carrots to a salad. You can also add apples or beets to the shredded carrots and eat the mixture as a salad.
Carrots are particularly rich in soluble fiber, which binds with the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your gut and excrete it out of your system through your stool. Moreover, the soluble fiber in carrots slows down the sugar absorption in the intestinal walls, thereby inhibiting a sudden spike in blood glucose levels.
Raspberries are a great source of fiber among fruits. A cup of raspberries is equivalent to 8 grams of dietary fiber. They also contain copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-complex. Aside from these nutrients, raspberries help prevent diseases since they are also rich in phyto-antioxidants such as quercetin, catechins, anthocyanin, and ellagic acid.
Including raspberries in your diet can help protect you against inflammation and other types of diseases.
Oats are one of the healthiest gluten-free grains. They are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Oats are often linked to regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Aside from fiber, oats also contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Studies have shown that the consumption of oats can promote weight loss as well as decrease the risk of developing type 1 diabetes and cardiac disorders.
4. Bell Peppers
A cup of bell peppers contains 1.7 grams of dietary fiber. Of this serving, 0.7 grams’ account to soluble fiber, which is 9 percent of the total daily consumption of fiber. Since bell peppers contain soluble fiber, when they are consumed, they absorb water in the intestines and form a thick mass. This mass will enable the slow passage of food through the digestive tract.
A slow rate of digestion may have a significant effect in regulating the amount of blood glucose and cholesterol released into the bloodstream. Considering bell pepper’s effect on cholesterol levels, including it in your daily diet may reduce your risk of developing heart diseases.
5. Black Beans
A cup of black beans contains 15 grams of dietary fiber. Studies have shown that the consumption of black beans can help curb one’s appetite and can effectively reduce unnecessary body fat. Black beans contain both protein and fiber, which can help slow down the release of blood glucose into the bloodstream, leaving you feeling full for a longer time.
The recommended daily amount of fiber from whole foods is a minimum of 30 grams. Thus, consuming 1 cup of black beans can get you halfway to the recommended daily dietary fiber.
If we consume enough fiber every day, we will promote proper digestion, absorption, and elimination.
6. Green Peas
Green peas contain various health nutrients and provide adequate fiber to our body.
Green peas are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and vitamin K. Aside from dietary fiber, green peas also contain protein, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper, folate, iron, zinc, niacin, and phosphorus.
The fiber and protein content in green peas can effectively help in proper digestion and metabolism.
Blackberries have a high content of dietary fiber and other vitamins for our body. Most of the time, they are eaten as a fruit or prepared as a juice.
Although blackberries are often overlooked because of their popular cousin berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), it is important to be aware that they are also loaded with antioxidants and fiber.
Blackberries are enriched with vitamin K, which helps boost bone density. Other nutrients that you can get from blackberries include vitamin C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and omega-6 fatty acids. One cup of blackberries is equivalent to 7.6 grams of dietary fiber.
A medium pear fruit with its skin on has a total dietary fiber of 9.9 grams. Pears are good sources of nutrients such as potassium, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Most fiber found in pears is a non-soluble polysaccharide or NSP, which acts as a natural laxative in the gut. Moreover, its fiber content tends to bind with harmful toxins and other dangerous chemicals in the colon. It protects the mucous membrane from getting in contact with such compounds.
Avocados have a rich and buttery texture with an incredibly high-fat content of the healthy kind. They are a great source of dietary fiber and provide other essential nutrients.
The insoluble fiber content of avocados helps regulate bowel movements and improves one’s digestive health when combined with sufficient amounts of fluid. Additionally, avocado’s soluble fiber helps maintain healthy levels of blood glucose and cholesterol. The regular consumption of avocados can also prevent killer diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.
They provide proper assistance in preventing the blockage of the arteries, thereby preventing heart attacks. This fruit is mostly used as a medicine in the southern parts of Mexico and other parts of the world. Avocado is an essential food item for patients with cardiac problems.
Watch this video to learn how to make healthy brownies using avocado, spinach, and banana.
10. Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas can be a great healthy snack. They provide carbohydrates, fats, and fiber to the body. They can also help fight various diseases.
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 1 cup of cooked sugar snap peas without salt contains 5 grams of dietary fiber. Sugar snap peas are somewhat like green peas. Their only difference is their origin.
These are the 10 fiber-rich foods that can provide adequate fiber to your daily diet. Most of these foods are naturally grown. Moreover, these fiber-rich foods can help increase one's metabolism and can make the functioning of the body more efficient and effective.
We need fiber in our body to promote good health. A diet high in fiber content can help maintain regular bowel movements, promotes good digestive health, controls cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, and aids in healthy weight loss.
- Foods rich in soluble fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin release.
- Fiber helps relieve constipation by acting as a natural laxative.
- It can also help delay the emptying of your stomach, thereby controlling your hunger or appetite, which leads to weight loss.