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What Are Some Food Rich in Fiber that You Can Add to Your Diet?

What Are Some Food Rich in Fiber that You Can Add to Your Diet?

The new year compels people, if not all, to start fresh and anew to make it better than the past year. Among many in the list of things to do and focus on is making healthy eating a priority. This is to keep everyone strong to fight off the virus and other diseases coming forward this year ahead. But, how can good food rich in fiber help you kickstart your year? Read on to find out more about it.

What Are Fibers? Why Is It Important in Your Diet?

Fiber is a plant-derived substance involving two different types that are both beneficial to health.

  • Soluble fiber. This refers to the type of fiber that dissolves in water. It assists in the reduction of blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol. Some food rich in fiber include apples, blueberries, beans, nuts, lentils, and even your favorite breakfast oatmeals.
  • Insoluble fiber. This type works as the counterpart of the former. But, it aids in the movement of food through your digestive system, promoting stability. Not only that, but it also supports the prevention of constipation. Wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain products, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes are good examples of food rich in fiber.

These dietary fibers bulk up your diet by making you feel full longer and faster. Thus, providing aid in maintaining your weight or even weight loss. Apart from that, several studies state that food rich in fiber also accounts for many health benefits.

Some of which involve reducing the development of diseases, including but not limited to the following:

Constipation

People can reduce the likelihood of constipation by raising the amount of food rich in fiber in their diets. Fiber helps to control bowel movements by drawing water into the colon, resulting in softer, larger stools.

Heart disease

A Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals found that a high dietary fiber intake could minimize the risk of coronary heart disease by 40%.

Moreover, several research findings show positive signs of providing protection against the risk of metabolic syndrome. This is a type of condition that increases the likelihood of developing heart diseases and diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers from Harvard found that a diet high in sugar and low in fiber can double the risk of type 2 diabetes. Hence, suggesting that a high-fiber meal could slow food digestion in the digestive tract. Additionally, it can also work to maintain blood sugar from increasing excessively.

Intestinal Cancer

Insoluble fiber has the tendency to increase the bulk and speed at which food moves through the intestinal tract. Thus, reducing the time for harmful substances to accumulate.

Breast Cancer

A large-scale 2016 study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers discovered that a larger intake of fibrous food reduces breast cancer risk. Those women who eat more food rich in fiber during their years in adolescence and young adulthood may have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. This is in comparison to those who ate less dietary fiber when they were young.

Food Rich in Fiber to Add to Your Diet and Meal Plans

There is a wide variety of food rich in fiber ranging from carbohydrates to fruits and vegetables.

Grains and other carbohydrates are good sources of fiber. Below are some you can choose from:

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Popcorn
  • Bran muffins

This list of food rich in fiber would not be complete without your go-to fruits and vegetables. For vegetables, you may consider adding these to your meals:

  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Mushroom
  • Turnips
  • Pumpkin
  • Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Artichoke
  • Squash
  • String beans (i.e., edamame)

As for the fruits, you may opt for the following:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Kiwi
  • Tangerine
  • Berries (i.e., raspberries, strawberries)

You can also increase your fiber intake by eating legumes like lentils, black beans, split peas, kidney beans, lima beans, and chickpeas. Other good sources of fiber are nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios, and pecans.

How Much Fiber Should You Consume?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests 25-35 grams of total fiber per day. This includes 10-15 grams coming from soluble fiber or 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories.

Based on a 2,000 calorie/day pattern, you may be able to achieve the suggested amount by consuming the following:

  • 6 ounces of grains
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
  • 2 cups of fruit per day

Fiber requirements, on the other hand, decrease as we age. Women over the age of 70 should consume 21 grams of total fiber per day, while men should consume 30 grams.

Key Takeaway

There are many good sources of fiber that you can have on a daily. Make sure you get the right amount of this vital dietary substance to manage your health better this year.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Sources

Fiber: How to Increase the Amount in Your Diet, https://familydoctor.org/fiber-how-to-increase-the-amount-in-your-diet/ Accessed January 5, 2022

Chart of High-fiber Foods,  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948 Accessed January 5, 2022

11 Best High-Fiber Foods, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/11-best-high-fiber-foods/ Accessed January 5, 2022

Improving Your Health with Fiber, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14400-improving-your-health-with-fiber Accessed January 5, 2022

Fiber, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/ Accessed January 5, 2022

High-fiber Foods, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000193.htm Accessed January 5, 2022

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated 2 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.