Taking a look back at what I used to eat when I was growing up, I could see why I was often backed up. Yikes.
As much as I loved what I ate, it hardly incorporated a decent amount of fiber. My dinner plate was loaded with refined carbohydrates, for example, white rice. If I had to guess, I was clocking in at most, 5 grams of fiber each day.
Sounds like quite a bit of fiber for one person, but as we slowly drop heavily processed food and pick up more whole-food, plant-based ingredients, we can easily meet the daily fiber recommendations.
Meeting the daily fiber requirement can be a challenge at first, but understanding two things can help you reach your dietary fiber goals:
- Look for high fiber foods
- Consider how to implement these foods in your daily cooking
Why Is Fiber Important?
Fiber is what helps everything run smoothly – literally. Dietary fiber in food helps keep bowel movement regular. Additionally, it can help improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
According to Mayoclinic, fiber also aids in achieving a healthy weight by providing satiety and fullness for fewer calories for the same volume of food.
My favorite high-fiber food to keep me full and satisfied all morning is a bowl of savory oats topped with a dollop of vegan butter, cracked black pepper, and a pinch of salt.
It reminds me of my childhood favorite, grits, but with more protein, fiber, and its ability to keep me perk me up in the morning without that refine carb crash.
What Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber pulls in water and is broken down in the gut into a gel-like substance.
What Is Insoluble Fiber?
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is left intact. It adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly.
Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Foods Highest In Fiber
Focus on whole foods. Naturally, whole foods contain fiber – some more than others. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
- Cooked Split Peas | 117 kcal | 8.3 grams of fiber
- Cooked Navy Beans | 140 kcal | 10.5 grams of fiber
- Cooked Lentils | 115 kcal | 7.9 grams of fiber
- Cooked Lima Beans | 114 kcal | 7 grams of fiber
- Cooked Green Peas | 77 kcal | 5.5 grams of fiber
- Cooked Red Kidney Beans | 126 kcal | 7.4 grams of fiber
- Cooked Brown Rice | 360 kcal | 4 grams of fiber
- Cooked Whole Grain Barley | 123 kcal | 3.8 grams of fiber
- Whole Wheat | 375 kcal | 8.9 grams of fiber
- Rolled Oats Oatmeal | 350 kcal | 10 grams of fiber
- Oat Bran | 246 kcal | 15.4 grams of fiber
- Avocado | 160 kcal | 6.7 grams of fiber
- Mango | 71 kcal | 2.1 grams of fiber
- Raspberries | 57 kcal | 6.4 grams of fiber
- Blackberries | 71 kcal | 5 grams of fiber
- Pears | 288 kcal | 15 grams of fiber
- Passion Fruit | 97 kcal | 10.4 grams of fiber
- Broccoli | 34 kcal | 2.6 grams of fiber
- Collard greens | 32 kcal | 4 grams of fiber
- Artichokes | 50 kcal | 5 grams of fiber
- Brussel Sprouts | 43 kcal | 3.8 grams of fiber
Nuts & Seeds
- Chia Seeds | 534 kcal | 27.3 grams of fiber
- Flax Seeds | 534 kcal | 27.3 grams of fiber
- Pumpkin Seeds | 574 kcal | 6.5 grams of fiber
- Almonds | 579 kcal | 12.5 grams of fiber
- Pecans | 691 kcal | 9.6 grams of fiber
- Sunflower Seeds | 582 kcal | 11.1 grams of fiber
- Peanuts | 567 kcal | 8.5 grams of fiber
- Buckwheat | 343 kcal | 10 grams of fiber
Per 100 grams. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.
Kcal = calories.
How To Increase Fiber Intake?
1. Incorporate Vegetables For Every Meal
A great way to add fiber to your diet is to add it to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plate. It can either be a side salad or a bowl of steamed mixed vegetables.
One way of including vegetables for breakfast is with a big bowl of savory oats topped with sauteed mushroom, kale, and tofu.
2. Add Chia Seeds And Flax Seeds To Smoothies
Just about anything can be added to a smoothie and that includes chia seeds and flax seeds. In two tablespoons of chia seeds, you get 10g of fiber. That’s about 30 percent of the recommended daily fiber. Yes, please!
If you like a little bit of crunch and texture with your smoothies, make it a smoothie bowl instead and top it off with granola, sliced almonds, and seeds.
3. Use Cocoa Powder
Did you know that cocoa powder has 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon? Here’s a reason to add more chocolate to your recipes!
4. Eat Less Heavily Processed Foods
Switch out the heavily processed foods with something that is more nutrient-dense. For example, switch out the store-bought jam for slices of berries for your pb&j.
Or, instead of using refined white sugar, incorporate dates instead.
5. Have A Salad
It can be a side salad or can be a big bowl of all of your favorite vegetables. My type of salad is one that’s loaded up with my favorite plant-based foods including avocado, lentils, nuts, seeds, corn, bell peppers, and onion.
A bowl of salad doesn’t have to be boring – make it your own. If you want something hearty, go for a vegan avocado chick’n salad.
6. Have A Soup
The great thing about soups? You can add just about anything you want to them – no rules. When I make soups, I grab whatever vegetables I have laying around and a broth/bouillon cube to flavor it up.
My fiber-rich go-to soup is a hearty bean and lentil chili with a toss of frozen corn. Hearty, filling, and packed with all the stuff that’s easy on your wallet.
7. Switch White Rice For Brown
Cooked brown rice has about 4 times the amount of fiber in comparison to white rice. It’s an easy switch!
If you need some excitement in your brown rice, add some salt and oil/vegan butter.
8. Go For Bread With Nuts, Seeds, And Whole Grain
A slice of white bread will always hit the spot but grab a loaf speckled with crunch and chew. I am talking about the addition of nuts and seeds.
You’ll find yourself that one of these dense slices is good enough and will curb your morning hunger.
9. Have Lentils, Peas or Beans
Lentils, peas, beans have a ridiculous amount of fiber. For example, lentils have about 8 grams of fiber per serving. They are also very affordable and typically easy to find.
I include lentils just about every day to my meals – either in a burger, burrito, salad, or soup.
10. Make Better Choices
Adding fiber to your diet is exactly that. It doesn’t need to be an entire diet change if you don’t want it to be. Simply add your favorite plant-based, high-fiber foods to your plate.
5 High Fiber Recipes
Savory Oat Bran
Savory, Creamy Oat Bran
Chocolate Oat Muffins
Chocolate Oat Bran Muffins
Puerto Rican Bean Stew
Easy Habichuelas Guisadas Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Veggie Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Vegan Teriyaki “Chicken” Stir Fry
What is your favorite high-fiber food? Comment below!