Fiber foods

11 high fiber foods to add to your diet

Want to revamp your health? It’s time to become a fan of high fiber foods. Many people know that a diet high in fiber is a way to support their digestive system and help keep things going.

But fiber comes with a whole list of other health benefits! For example, a diet high in fiber may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a meta-analysis published in January 2019 in the journal the Lancet. Researchers have also seen a link between a diet high in fiber and a lower rate of colon cancer.

Plus, consuming fiber is associated with a healthier weight, according to the Mayo Clinic – and something as simple as focusing on adding more fiber to your diet can help you lose weight, a study published in February 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine find.

Another way to help you reach your health goals? “Insoluble fiber adds bulk to food and is not digested, so it helps increase feelings of fullness as well as the frequency of bowel movements,” says Kaleigh McMordie, RDN, of Lubbock, Texas, founder of the Lively Table blog.

There are two main types, insoluble and soluble, and both have great benefits, notes the Mayo Clinic. “Soluble fiber slows the rate of digestion, which also slows the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream, thereby helping to control blood sugar,” explains McMordie. “Soluble fiber also absorbs water in the intestines, swelling the stool, which may help prevent diarrhea.” Meanwhile, insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation.

And there are even more benefits connected to fiber. McMordie says research suggests a link between a diet high in soluble fiber – found in foods such as oatmeal, nuts and legumes – and a reduced risk of breast cancer. (According to North Dakota State University, pulses belong to the legume family and include lentils, chickpeas, and beans.) A review and meta-analysis published in April 2020 in the journal Cancer looked at 20 studies and the authors noted that people who consumed the most fiber had an 8% lower risk of breast cancer than those who consumed the least.

To find fiber, you don’t have to look far. It is widely available in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, according to the National Institutes of Health.

RELATED: Top 9 Fiber Questions, Answers

How Much Fiber Do You Need for the Health Benefits?

The United States dietary guidelines set an adequate intake of fiber at 25 grams (g) per day for women and 38 g per day for men. Most Americans get only half of it, with an average intake of 15g, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Boosting your fiber count for the day doesn’t have to be difficult. Not only can increasing your fiber intake be surprisingly easy, foods high in fiber are also tasty (avocado toast, fancy it?).

“To get enough fiber, I always suggest making at least half of your grains whole grain and taking the recommended five servings per day of fruits and vegetables as a starting point,” McMordie explains. “Growing up high-fiber foods, such as nuts, hummus, high-fiber cereals or whole grain crackers is another good way to add fiber throughout the day,” she suggests. .

Here are 10 of the best sources of fiber to strive for.