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Home/Blog/12 High-Fiber Foods for Gut Health Support

12 High-Fiber Foods for Gut Health Support

By Ethan Boldt

May 17, 2024

High-fiber foods

Did you know that an estimated 95 percent of American adults and children don’t get the recommended daily amount of fiber in their diet? In part it’s because we simply don’t eat enough fiber-rich foods, including not knowing what are the best high-fiber foods that we may also enjoy eating. This list below will provide just that.

So how much fiber should we be eating per day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s up to 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men.

Fiber, or “roughage,” is a plant nutrient that is essential to our health, including regulating our normal bowel functions and maintaining overall healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Paired with adequate fluid intake, fiber helps move foods through our digestive tract in a timely fashion.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a thick gel-like substance while insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and adds bulk to the stool as it passes through the digestive tract.

When starting to eat more of these high-fiber foods, start slowly and increase gradually to make sure your digestive system is ready for it. If you add too much fiber too soon, your digestive system won’t be ready for it.

As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.

Below are the best high-fiber foods that are easy to add to your diet. The amount of fiber per food is a standard serving, and the data is provided by the USDA.

1. Broccoli

A power-packed cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is one of the best high-fiber foods. Rich with antioxidants and other properties that support a healthy response to inflammation, broccoli even supports a healthy detox.

One large stalk (280 g) of broccoli contains 9.2 grams of fiber and 98 calories. Broccoli is very versatile, as it can be added raw to salad, steamed and then covered with a little melted butter and lemon juice, or simply added to a pasta sauce towards the end so it doesn’t overcook.

2. Legumes

Legumes are packed with fiber and protein, low in calories, and a great source of vitamins and minerals. They also feature flavonoids and antioxidants. The most high-fiber legumes include black beans, split peas, lentils, chickpeas, lima beans and peas (yes, they’re a legume, not a vegetable).

100 grams (a little more than one-third cup) of canned, low-sodium black beans contains 6.9 grams of fiber and 91 calories. Add canned black beans to your homemade tacos, salad or as a side dish with rice.

3. Apples and Pears

Apples and pears are full of vitamins, including C and K, as well as fiber. Try to get the best in-season varieties at your local farmer’s market or supermarket. The top high-fiber pear or apple is the Asian pear.

One regular-sized Asian pear (122 g) contains 4.4 grams of fiber and 51 calories. Make sure you wait until the fruit is ripe before eating, as Asian pears can be tough. Eat raw or use in a pear salad or with granola and yogurt.

4. Berries

Berries contain health-promoting antioxidants and phytochemicals, plus plenty of fiber, amino acids and micronutrients. The top fiber-rich berries include raspberries, blueberries and even strawberries.

One-half cup (61 g) of raspberries contains 4 grams of fiber and 32 calories. Eat your raspberries raw, with your morning cereal or granola, or make a sorbet for dessert.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Loaded with nutrients compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes also fit most diet plans. They’re extremely high in vitamins A and C, plus the mineral manganese. They’re also the most fibrous tuber.

One medium sweet potato (114 g) contains 3.7 grams of fiber and 103 calories.

6. Coconut

When it comes to high-fiber foods, coconut isn’t an obvious candidate. But coconut contains up to six times more fiber than oat bran, and it’s one of the top energy foods as a great performance fat.

One-half cup (40 g) of shredded coconut meat contains 3.6 grams of fiber and 141 calories. Add shredded coconut to your granola, smoothies and desserts.

7. Avocados

Avocados are genuine superfoods, for they’re packed with many nutrients on top of healthy fats and fiber. They can help support healthy cholesterol levels.

One standard serving (50 g) of a raw California avocado contains 3.4 grams of fiber and 83 calories. Use in a chicken taco, guacamole dip, salad or make an avocado toast.

8. Bananas

Bananas aren’t just a fruit that’s easy to digest, it’s also a surprisingly high-fiber fruit as well. It’s a great food for those who exercise regularly thanks to their concentration of quick-acting carbohydrates.

One medium-sized banana (118 g) contains 3.1 grams of fiber and 105 calories. Slice and consume with your breakfast granola or oatmeal, or freeze before using in a smoothie (such as this protein shake) to make it extra creamy and yummy.

9. Seeds

In addition to being high in protein and nutrient-dense, seeds are loaded with fiber. They work well in breakfast, smoothies, desserts and salads. The best fiber-rich seeds include chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and even quinoa, which is classified as a seed rather than a grain.

One tablespoon (10.3 g) of whole flax seeds contains 2.8 grams of fiber and 55 calories. Use a coffee grinder and grind them up to add to your smoothie, yogurt or salad.

10. Oats

Oats are one of the healthier carbohydrates, as they’re relatively low in calories yet are full of fiber and promote heart health. They contain a special type of fiber called beta-glucan, which helps support healthy levels of cholesterol.

One-third cup (27 g) of regular and quick oats (dry) contains 2.7 grams of fiber and 102 calories. Steel-cut, rolled or old-fashioned oats are more versatile in baking and recipes since they’re less processed and hold their texture.

11. Almonds

Compared to other nuts, almonds are higher in fiber and protein yet lower in overall fat and calories. They’re also one of the more high-satiety snacks.

11 almonds (0.5 oz or 14 g) contains 1.7 grams of fiber and 83 calories. Almonds are most often eaten as a snack or chopped and sprinkled over yogurt. To increase the nutrient content of almonds, consider soaking and sprouting them.

12. Figs

An overlooked fruit, fresh figs are a great fiber food, with a near perfect balance of soluble and insoluble fiber. Regular consumption can help support healthy blood pressure levels.

Two medium-size figs (100 g) contains 2.9 grams of fiber and 74 calories. Fresh figs can be enjoyed on top of cereals, in salads and even stuffed with goat cheese and honey for a special dessert.

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