Are you looking to get more fiber into your diet? This list of high fiber foods will help you naturally get more fiber through whole, unprocessed foods!
So what’s all the buzz about when it comes to fiber? Is fiber really that important?
Yep, it is! Fiber is our friend and everyone should strive to be getting a good amount of fiber in their daily diet.
It’s known mostly for being a regulator of the digestive system, keeping things moving. It helps keep me regular even during pregnancy, when many pregnant women are notoriously constipated. (TMI alert!) Yes, I still go at least two times a day. A good thing! But there’s more to it than just that.
Why is Fiber Important?
The benefits of getting lots of fiber don’t stop at keeping you on the toilet on a regular basis. Here are more reasons to keep fiber a priority in your diet:
- Fiber may control overeating. It is thought that the more fiber you have in a meal, the fuller you are going to feel, and the less you are going to eat. Fiber fills up you on fewer calories than foods without fiber. Many experts suggest high-fiber diets for weight loss. (read more here and here)
- Fiber neutralizes blood sugar. Among other things, our blood sugar level controls how hungry or energetic we feel and determines whether we burn fat or store it. I’d rather burn the fat than store it! (source)
- Fiber controls fat absorption. Fiber binds with some of the fat you eat, kindly escorting it out of your body. Thank you very much, fiber.
- Fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream. ‘Nuff said.
So you know that you want to include fiber in your diet, and a good amount of it. But how much?
The USDA recommends the average person get around 28 grams per day, but I’ve seen some sources recommend at least 40 grams per day.
Aim for that range and you should be in good shape. As a reference, the average American falls way short of this goal, consuming only 14 grams per day.
If you are eating a diet that is primarily plant-based, you are likely getting enough fiber. Remember, animal foods don’t have any fiber.
Of course, it’s always better to get your fiber from whole, unprocessed foods rather than foods that have fiber added to them. So the more plants you’re eating, the better off you are going to be.
Let’s take a look at all the high fiber foods you should aim to include in your diet as much as possible!
High Fiber Foods List
High Fiber Fruits
Note that these are the whole fruits, not fruit juices. When you juice the fruit, you aren’t getting the fiber.
- Raspberries or blackberries (1/2 cup)=4 grams
- Apple (1 whole)=4 grams
- Banana (1 whole)=2-4 grams
- Orange (1 whole)=4 grams
- Blueberries (1 cup)=4 grams
- Pear (1 whole)=5-6 grams
- High Fiber Vegetables
All amounts reference cooked vegetables.
- Peas (1/2 cup)=9 grams
- Broccoli (3/4 cup)=7 grams
- Cauliflower (1 cup)=5 grams
- Brussels Sprouts (1 cup)=6 grams
- Spinach (1 cup)=4 grams
- Collard greens (1 cup)=5 grams
High Fiber Beans
All amounts reference cooked beans.
- Black beans (1 cup)=15 grams
- Navy beans (1 cup)=19 grams
- White beans (1 cup)=19 grams
- Pinto beans (1 cup)=15 grams
- Lentils (1 cup)=16 grams
High Fiber Grains
- Corn on the cob (1 ear)=5 grams
- Amarath (1/4 cup dry)=8 grams
- Pearled barley (1 cup cooked)=6 grams
- Quinoa (1 cup cooked)=5 grams
- Bulgur wheat (1 cup cooked)= 8 grams
- Whole wheat spaghetti (1 cup cooked)= 6 grams
- Oatmeal (1 1/2 cups cooked)= 6 grams
High Fiber Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds (1 oz)=4 grams
- Pistachio nuts (1 oz)=3 grams
- Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup)=3 grams
- Pumpkin seeds (1/2 cup)=3 grams
- Flax seeds (1 oz)=8 grams
How to Include More Fiber in Your Diet
As I mentioned before, plant foods are fiber rich, so if you start eating a more plant-based diet, you’ll be getting more fiber naturally. Even if you aren’t totally plant based, it’s easy to incorporate high fiber foods into your diet. You can start planning your meals and snacks around foods that are higher in fiber.
For dinner, start with these Plant Based Dinner ideas to get started. So many great ideas with naturally high fiber foods.
It might be helpful to keep track of the amount of fiber you’re getting in your normal diet before making changes. Then you can have an idea of how much is really needed to be added to get your ideal amount.
Note: This post was first published July 2011. Updates were made January 2020.