Fiber is crucial for gut regularity and other significant health benefits. You hear many health professionals say how important fiber is to include in your diet, but they don’t always give advice for how to do it. Like you’re supposed to know. I am here to tell you that it’s okay if you don’t know right now, that what this blog post is for! Use it as your reference guide to include more fiber into your diet.
Note: Before getting into it, it’s important to note that when trying to increase your fiber intake that it is very important to do so slowly to avoid any GI distress and make sure you are drinking enough water every day.
What is Fiber and Why is it Important?
There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in numerous fruits, peas, beans, and carrots, helps you feel fuller for longer. Insoluble fiber, found in nuts, beans, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes, is not absorbed in the body. It helps move food through your digestive system, preventing constipation.
Tips on How to Add More Fiber Into Your Diet
Tip #1: Build filling and tasty salads one or two times a week. Adding lots of variety with different vegetables will provide plenty of fiber, and adding a protein and healthy fat will help keep you fuller for longer too.
Tip #2: Add vegetables to at least one meal per day. It is not realistic to expect to eat vegetables with every single meal every day. Starting out by having vegetables as part of at least one meal per day. If this becomes comfortable, try two meals!
Tip #3: Choose smoothies instead of fruit juices. Smoothies still contain the fiber from the fruits and/or vegetables. In fruit and vegetable juices the fiber is filtered out.
Tip #4: Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains are minimally processed, leaving the whole grain intact and providing more fiber and nutrients. Refined grains are stripped of the fiber-rich hull and nutrient-dense germ.
Tip #5: Add legumes into your diet. Besides being a good plant-based protein option, legumes are also a good source of fiber. A few examples of adding legumes include eating hummus and other bean dips, add mashed or whole beans to ground beef dishes, and top salads with cooked beans or lentils.
Tip #6: Leave the Peel/Skin on Apples, Cucumbers, Carrots, and Potatoes. The peels/skins contain half of the fiber content of these foods.
Example List of Foods and their Fiber Content
Fruit Serving Size Total Fiber
Raspberries 1 cup 8.0 grams
Pear 1 medium 5.5 grams
Apple, with skin 1 medium 4.5 grams
Banana 1 medium 3.0 grams
Orange 1 medium 3.0 grams
Strawberries 1 cup 3.0 grams
Vegetables Serving Size Total Fiber
Broccoli 1 cup 1.8 grams
Carrots 100g 2.8 grams
Green Beans 1 cup 3.4 grams
Tomato, whole 1 medium 1.5 grams
Brussels Sprouts 1 cup 3.3 grams
Edamame 1 cup 8 grams
Kale, chopped 1 cup 2.6 grams
Grains Serving Size Total Fiber
Brown Rice, cooked 1 cup 3.5 grams
Quinoa , cooked 1 cup 5.0 grams
Millet flour 1 cup 4.2 grams
Farro, cooked 1 cup 6.0 grams
Rice Noodles 1 cup 1.8 grams
Spaghetti 1 cup 2.5 grams
Oat Bran, raw 1 cup 14 grams
Whole-Wheat Bread 1 slice 1.9 grams
Popcorn 1 oz. 3.6 grams
Oatmeal, cooked 1 cup 4.0 grams
Legumes, Seeds and Nuts Serving Size Total Fiber
Peanuts 1 cup 12 grams
Black Beans, canned 1 cup 10 grams
Chickpeas 1 cup 35 grams
Lentils, boiled 1 cup 16 grams
Pecans 1 oz. (19 halves) 2.7 grams
Walnuts 1 oz. (14 halves) 1.9 grams
Almonds 1 oz. (23 nuts) 3.5 grams
Pistachios 1 oz. (49 kernels) 2.9 grams
Chia seeds 1 oz. 10 grams