High Fiber Foods
Dietary FiberFiber is only found in plants, and functions sort of
like a skeleton for the plants to help maintain shape and
structure. Humans cannot digest fiber so it passes through the
small intestine into the colon and helps to keep the colon healthy.
Some disorders like diverticulitis, constipation and irregularity
may be connected with not getting enough fiber in the diet.
Types of Fiber
Insoluble fiber is the type of fiber found in high fiber
foods like whole grains, nuts, wheat bran and vegetables.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water so it helps to
move material through the colon faster by increasing the bulk
of the stool. This can be very helpful to people who suffer from
constipation or irregularity. Diets high in insoluble fiber may
also decrease the risk of Diabetes.
Soluble fiber is also found in many high fiber foods like oats,
citrus fruits, apples, barley, psillium, flax seeds and beans.
Soluble fiber absorbs water, which helps to soften stools
making them easier to eliminate from the body. Some soluble fibers
called beta glucan bind to bile acids which contain cholesterol.
A high fiber diet with this type of soluble fiber has been shown to
reduce cholesterol closer to healthy levels.
High Fiber Foods
According to the Institute of Medicine:
The recommended intake for total fiber for adults 50 years and
younger is set at 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, while
for men and women over 50 it is 30 and 21 grams per day,
respectively, due to decreased food consumption.
People who currently have low fiber diets may want to increase
their daily intake of high fiber foods slowly because some fiber
may increase gas and bloating. The body adjusts the increased amount
of fiber over time and the gas and bloating will decrease. Here are
some examples of delicious and healthy high fiber foods from the USDA
National Nutrient Database:
1/2 cup cooked navy beans - 9.5 g
1/2 cup baked beans, canned – 9 g
1/2 cup cooked lentils – 7.8 g
1/2 cup cooked black beans – 7.5 g
1/2 cup dates – 7.1 g
1 cup raisin bran cereal - 7 g
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans – 6.5 g
1/2 cup cooked lima beans – 6.7 g
1/2 cup canned tomato paste – 5.9 g
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans – 6.2 g
1/2 cup bean with ham soup – 5.6 g
1/2 cup frozen red raspberries – 5.5 g
1 medium bran muffin - 5 g
1/2 Asian pear – 5 g
1/2 cup cooked artichoke – 4.5 g
1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked – 4.4 g
1 cup oatmeal – 4 g
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables, cooked – 4 g
1/2 cup raw blackberries – 3.8 g
1/2 cup canned pumpkin – 3.5 g
1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti – 3.4 g
24 almonds – 3.3 g
1 apple with skin – 3.3 g
1/2 cup cooked barley 3 g
1 cup broccoli – 2.4 g
1 red sweet pepper – 2.4 g
1 nectarine – 2.3 g
28 peanuts – 2.3 g
1 slice whole grain bread – 2 g
15 walnut halves – 2 g