Fiber foods

15 high-fiber foods to add to your diet and aid digestion

  • High fiber foods include chia seeds, beans, coconut, guava, peas and more.
  • Make a quick high fiber snack with carrots and hummus or avocado toast.
  • Try to get as much fiber as possible from whole foods versus supplements.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference Library for more tips.

Fiber is good for your health: it helps support regular bowel movements and keeps you feel fuller, longerwhich can help with weight management.

Plus, “having enough fiber helps promote a healthy gut and digestive tractand has been shown to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetesand colorectal cancers,” says Lon Ben AsherRD, dietitian at Pritikin Longevity Center, a health resort.

Females should get 25 grams (g) of fiber each day, while men should consume 38 g. Unfortunately, only about 7% of Americans reach their recommended daily intake, so most of us could benefit from a higher fiber diet.

The best sources of fiber are whole, minimally processed, plant-based foods, Ben-Asher says. So, incorporating these 15 high-fiber foods into your diet can help you meet your fiber needs.

1. Chia seeds

A single tablespoon of dry chia seeds contains nearly 4g of fiber. Stir chia seeds into a smoothie or yogurt for breakfast, or make chia seed pudding for a fiber-rich dessert.

Be careful when eating dry chia seeds as they can cause swallowing problems as they absorb liquids. Generally, it is recommended to soak the chia seeds in a liquid for at least 10 minutes before consuming.

2. Fiber-rich cereals

An unsweetened, fiber-rich cereal, like Fiber One Original Bran or Nature’s Path No Sugar Added Granola, is a great way to start your day with a dose of fiber.

Half a cup of high fiber cereal contains approximately 14g fiber, so you’ll be well on your way to reaching your daily goal.

3. Guava

When you eat guava, you are consuming the flesh, rind, and seeds, which makes this fruit an excellent source of fiber. A cup has 9 grams of fiber.

4. Raspberries

If you prefer your fiber with a touch of sweetness, opt for raspberries. You will have 8 grams fiber in every cup.

Blackberries and blueberries are also high in fiber and can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or eaten fresh.

5. Chickpeas

Cooked chickpeas contain more 6g of fiber in just half a cup. Roast them for a crunchy snack or puree them in hummus for a healthier vegetarian dip than ranch or blue cheese dressing.

6. Lenses

Lentils are packed with fiber and are also high in protein, so they’re very healthy, says Ben-Asher. Add them to salads or eat them in soups or sauces. Half a cup of cooked lentils contains about 8 grams of fiber.

There are various types of lenses including red, green and brown. Some types may contain more fiber than others, so check the nutrition label before buying if you’re focusing on fiber.

7. Beans

Beans are full of fiber and can be incorporated into many dishes like soups, spreads, and salads.

Navy, white and wax beans all have more 9 grams of fiber in just half a cup, making it one of the most fiber-rich food options.

8. Lawyer

Half a cup of avocado 5g of fiber. James J. LeeMD, a gastroenterologist at Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital recommends spreading avocado on sandwiches or incorporating diced avocado with beans for a fiber-rich meal.

9. Peas

Frozen peas are one of the simplest vegetables to prepare and an easy source of fibre, with 9 grams per cup. Eat peas on their own, in soups or curries, on a salad, or over whole grain bowls.

10. Kiwifruit

A cup of kiwi contains 5.5g fiber. The kiwi is particularly useful for people with chronic constipation, says Lee, and it can help with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Add kiwi to fruit salad or cut into cubes and freeze to add to smoothies.

11. Bananas

Bananas are easy to transport, so they’re perfect for snacking on the go, says Lee. A medium banana has approx. 4g fiber, while larger bananas contain up to 6g, he says.

12. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a low-calorie vegetable and makes a great substitute for rice or refined flour in dishes like pizza, Ben-Asher says. You will have 5g fiber in every cup of cooked cauliflower, including plenty of insoluble fiber.

13. Coconut

Coconut probably doesn’t come to mind when you think of fiber. And yet an ounce of coconut has 4.5g of fiber. Sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut over oats or yogurt to add extra texture and flavor.

14. Popcorn

If you crave a crunchy snack but want to incorporate fiber, popcorn is a great choice.

Each cup contains approximately 2g fiber, but since you’re usually eating a few cups at a time, you’ll end up with a substantial dose. Just be sure not to overdo the butter and salt.

15. Almonds

One ounce of raw almonds contains 3.5g of fiber. Grab a handful of almonds on the go as a snack or sprinkle them over a salad. They will add texture and a bit of sweetness to any dish.

Insider’s Takeaways

Whole wheat breads, cereals and pastas generally have more fiber than non-whole wheat alternatives, so choosing these along with the foods above can help boost your fiber intake.

Some people may benefit from fiber supplements, but you should talk to your doctor before using them. Some supplements only provide 2 to 4 grams of fiber per serving, Lee says, so you’ll still need to eat high-fiber foods to meet your daily recommendations.

For this reason, almost all Americans should focus on eating more fiber-rich foods, Ben-Asher says. “Eating an adequate amount of dietary fiber daily is essential for overall health and well-being,” he says.