Foods high in fiber! Fiber is a substance found in plants. Plant fiber, the type you eat, is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Your body cannot digest fiber, so it passes through your intestines quickly. However, fiber provides many health benefits.
The vegetable fiber gives bulk to your diet. Because it makes you feel full more quickly, it can help you with your weight loss efforts or maintain a healthy weight. For people with diabetes, fiber plays an important role in maintaining glycemic control.
High-fiber diets can also help with both constipation and diarrhea. Fiber can also help lower cholesterol.
What to expect at home: Foods high in fiber
Slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet. If you have bloating or gas, you have probably eaten too much and need to reduce the amount of fiber you eat for a few days. Drink plenty of fluids. By increasing the fiber in your diet, you also need to drink enough fluids. Not drinking enough fluids can make constipation worse rather than relieve it. Ask your healthcare provider or nutritionist how much liquid to drink each day.
The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for fiber for adults 19-50 years of age is 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. To get more from your diet, eat different types of foods, such as:
- Whole grains
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Read food labels carefully to see how much fiber they have. Fiber is found naturally in many nutritious foods. If your diet is balanced, you probably don’t need to take a fiber supplement. Whole grain products have more fiber than refined grains. Choose foods that have higher amounts, such as whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, and wild rice instead of white rice. Try to eat foods that are high in natural fiber. Fiber supplements and foods fortified artificially with fiber often do not provide the same health benefits and can worsen inflammation and gas.
Vegetables, legumes and nuts
Vegetables are a good source of fiber. Eat more:
- Lettuce, chard, raw carrots and spinach
- Cooked tender vegetables, such as asparagus, beets, mushrooms, turnips, and squash
- Potatoes (potatoes) and sweet potatoes baked in the skin
- Broccoli, artichokes, squash, and green beans (green beans)
You can also get more fiber by eating:
- Legumes, such as lentils, black beans, dried peas, kidney beans, lima beans, and chickpeas
- Nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios, and pecans
Fruits are another good source of fiber. Eat more:
- Apples and bananas (bananas)
- Peaches and pears
- Tangerines, plums and berries
- Figs and other dried fruits
Grains are another important source of dietary fiber. Eat more:
- Hot cereals, such as oatmeal and Farina
- Whole grain bread
- Integral rice
- High-fiber cereals, such as bran, shredded wheat, and puffed wheat
- Whole wheat pasta
- Bran muffins
15 high fiber foods
Below are 15 foods that are sources of fiber, classified according to their main components. Most fiber-rich foods have 1/3 soluble and 2/3 insoluble, making the latter generally more abundant in the diet.
Garlic and onions are foods rich in oligosaccharides, fibers that mainly contain the fructan component — Photo: Istock Getty Images
- broccoli and other leafy vegetables like lettuce and kale;
- Beans and other legumes such as peas and lentils;
- Chia and other seeds such as flaxseed and psyllium (Platago Ovata seed husk);
- Whole grain bread;
Beans and other pulses are important sources of cellulose — Photo: Istock Getty Images
- Garlic, bananas, onions and chicory are foods rich in oligosaccharides, fibers that mainly contain the fructan component;
- Mushrooms are rich in fibers of non-vegetable origin such as chitin, chitosan and chondroitin;
- Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and kale and also pulses such as dried beans, peas and lentils are rich in fibers which mainly contain the cellulose component;
- Fruits such as apples, oranges, blackberries and peaches , especially if consumed with the skin (not in the case of oranges, of course), are rich in fibers that mainly contain the pectin component;
- Seeds such as chia, flaxseed and psyllium (Platago Ovata seed husk) are rich in fiber that mainly contain the resistant starch and maltodextrin components = analogous carbohydrates;
- Whole grains such as oats, corn and brown rice and breads made from whole grain flour are rich in fibers that mainly contain the components gum, mucilage and hemicellulose = non-starch polysaccharides and associated substances.
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Chia and linseed are rich in fibers that primarily contain the resistant starch and maltodextrin components — Photo: Istock Getty Images
- They have the ability to increase the volume and soften the stool and, thus, regulate intestinal transit. By acting on intestinal motility, they reduce the contact time of waste with the bowel wall, which reduces the risk of intestinal diseases;
- They delay gastric emptying , promoting a greater feeling of satiety, which helps with weight loss;
- They work as prebiotics , increasing the number of beneficial microorganisms in our intestinal flora (intestinal microbiota), being also substrate for the production of physiologically active compounds (short-chain fatty acids, beneficial to health) during their fermentation by these intestinal bacteria;
- They increase the excretion of fats and bile acids through the feces , increasing the uptake of cholesterol by the liver to produce more bile salts, which helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels;
- They promote slower digestion with slower absorption of macronutrients , decreasing the glycemic index of the meal (the speed with which sugars are sent to the bloodstream) and, thus, increasing the control of the insulin response and decreasing the levels of triglycerides in the blood, being essential for the control of blood glucose in patients undergoing treatment for insulin resistance or diabetes.
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