Fiber is good for your health. It is prized for its ability to prevent and relieve constipation. It helps to bulk up and soften stools, improve the good bacteria in the large intestine, and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Dietary fiber also offers other incredible benefits such as weight loss, and reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
But the problem is, most people do not meet the recommended fiber intake of 19 to 25 g/day for children aged 1 to 8 years, 26 to 38 g/day for those aged 9 to 18 years, and 21 to 38 g/day for adults aged 19 years or older.
Luckily, there are high-fiber foods that can help improve your daily fiber intake. So, if you want to maximize the incredible fiber benefits, read on.
We’ve rounded up the best food sources of fiber that you can add to your regular nutrition, and tips on how you can incorporate them into your meal plans.
1. Chia Seeds
(34.4 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Chia seeds are small seeds that are highly nutritious.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database, chia seeds are a rich source of mineral-electrolytes such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
It also contains good amounts of iron, sodium, zinc, vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin C. Chia seeds are also a great source of healthy fats.
How to include chia seeds in your diet: Another good thing about chia seeds is that they are highly versatile, so adding them to your diet is a breeze.
You can make a chia detox water or a chia pudding. You can also incorporate them into your baked goods such as muffins or sprinkle them on top of your yogurt or oatmeal.
(12.5 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Considered one of the healthiest nuts on the planet, almonds also boast an impressive nutritional profile and incredible health perks.
The USDA Nutrient Database shows that aside from fiber, almonds are also an abundant source of other essential nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium.
These nuts are also prized for their ability to help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes, support weight loss, boost cognitive function, and promote healthy skin.
How to include almonds in your diet: Almonds’ distinct flavor and texture make them a great addition to baked recipes. You can add them to your cookies or pies or use them as a topping in your desserts.
(10 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
If you’re searching for a snack that will help improve your fiber intake, look no further than popcorn.
Apparently, this popular snack is also a great source of fiber and nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, and healthy fats.
What’s more, popcorn is low in calories, making them fit for your weight loss meal plans.
How to add popcorn to your diet: Simply put 4 teaspoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, fold and close it, then pop it in the microwave on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
For a more flavorful and healthier spin, you can try nutritious popcorn recipes such as Chocolate Protein Popcorn, Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt, Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn or Apple Cinnamon Popcorn.
(10.6 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Not only are oats rich in fiber but protein as well. What’s more, they also contain excellent amounts of minerals like phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, as well as healthy fats.
Several studies also reveal that oats provide several health benefits including lowered cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, reduced risk of asthma in children, weight loss, and healthy skin.
How to add oats to your diet: If you’re looking for unconventional ways to incorporate oats into your diet, you can blend them into your soup, make them as topping for your pizza or swap them for rice!
(5.4 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Often underrated as a veggie, artichokes are not only rich in fiber and potassium but powerful antioxidants as well.
They are specifically abundant with chlorogenic acid, which boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
Artichokes have been associated with other health benefits as well such as improved digestion, stronger bones, enhanced digestion, and reduced risk of viral infections.
How to add artichokes to your diet: Steaming artichokes is believed to be the best way to prepare and consume them as this increases its antioxidant content.
After rinsing and removing its tough outer leaves, you can steam artichokes stem-side up. Peel off the petals and dip it in a homemade sauce.
6. Dark Chocolate
(10.9 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
The USDA Nutrient Database shows that dark chocolates that contain hefty amounts of cacao solids are also rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, and healthy fats.
Several studies reveal that cacao offers tons of health benefits from enhanced mood to improved sexual drive to lowered risk of heart diseases and skin cancer.
How to add dark chocolate to your diet: The best and easiest way to enjoy dark chocolates is by eating it as a snack. You can also incorporate it into your baked recipes, smoothies, and breakfast oatmeal!
(2.8 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Another health food worth considering to be added to your grocery shopping list is beetroot or beet.
Beets are also dense in potassium, and vitamin A. They also help to keep your body hydrated as they contain 87 percent water.
This root vegetable also contains other important nutrients and antioxidants that may help promote healthy detox, boost stamina, and lower the risk of various diseases.
How to add beet to your diet: You can savor the detoxifying powers of beet by making a beetroot juice. You can also enjoy this root veggie in your diet by making a beet soup or adding it to your salad.
(7.9 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Cooked or boiled unsalted lentils are also an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is also packed with potassium, phosphorus, and folate, and contains protein, calcium, vitamins A and C, and healthy fats.
Lentils are prized for their ability to support a healthy pregnancy, thanks to their rich folate content. They also help to boost energy levels, promote regularity, aid in weight loss, and regulate blood sugar levels.
How to add lentils to your diet: Another good news is, you can add lentils to your diet in so many ways. You can make lentil soups, stews, salads, and spreads or use it as a meat substitute if you’re on a vegan diet.
You can also create your own take of delicious yet nutritious dishes like this Red Lentils with Avocado and Salad recipe.
(6.7 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Avocado has become incredibly popular in the health community due to its nutritional value and health perks.
An abundant source of potassium, folate, vitamins A, B and E, healthy fats, and other important nutrients, avocado has been linked to better heart and eye health, and reduced risk of arthritis and cancer.
Avocados are also regarded for their ability to promote weight loss, lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and reduce tissue inflammation.
How to add avocado to your diet: The simplest way to savor avocado is by eating it fresh. You can also sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor.
(6.5 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving)
Berries are incredibly good for your health. Raspberries, for example, are a great source of nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, vitamin K, and antioxidants. It is also a hydrating fruit, containing 85 percent water.
What’s more, these berries have been associated with tons of valuable health rewards including improved digestion, enhanced memory, healthy heart and eyes, lowered risk of cancer, and diabetes management.
How to add raspberries to your diet: You can reap the benefits of raspberries by simply enjoying it as a snack. You can also top your yogurt with this healthy fruit along with granola.
Raspberries also make a great addition to oatmeal, cereal, waffles, and pancakes. You can also use frozen raspberries to create a nutritious smoothie fix.
Fiber-rich foods are, indeed, a great addition to a well-balanced, nutritious diet. If you want to savor the benefits that come with dietary fiber, you can add these healthy foods to your regular meal plans.
Not only are these foods rich with fiber but other important nutrients and antioxidants as well that may help boost your health and wellness.