Dietary fiber is also known as roughage. It is an important part of a nutritious diet because it’s needed for proper digestion and functioning of the digestive system. Not consuming enough fiber can often lead to bloating and constipation. Low levels can also cause elevated cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood.
On the other hand, too much fiber can result in diarrhea, a bowel obstruction, or even dehydration. If you plan to increase your intake of fiber, it is essential that you also increase your consumption of water. Most people need about 25 grams of fiber in their diet every day. Directly below is a top 10 foods high in fiber list that provides helpful information about dietary fiber content.
1. Dried Beans
Kidney and black beans have the most fiber when compared to all other beans. Black beans have 15 grams of fiber per cup and kidney beans have 13.1 grams per cup. Beans can be easily added to salads, soups and casserole dishes.
Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are the highest rated when it comes to fiber. Just one cup of raspberries or blackberries offers 8 grams of fiber. Strawberries have 4 grams of fiber per cup. Besides having good amounts of dietary fiber these berries are also a great source of antioxidants such as vitamin C. You can add them to low-fat yogurt, cereal or enjoy them plain.
There is 8 grams of fiber in cooked oatmeal and it’s a great idea to add some fruit to your oatmeal to get even more dietary fiber. Oatmeal is highly recommended by physicians and nutritionists because it has proven to be very effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
4. Cereal Grains
Cereal grains, which includes brown rice and Bulgur wheat, are not only high in fiber, but also have good amounts of protein in them. One cup of brown rice has nearly 4 grams of fiber and one cup of Bulgur wheat will provide you with about 9 grams of fiber.
Brans, especially oat, wheat, corn and rice brans are very fiber-rich foods. Corn bran has the most fiber, with 22 grams per one ounce. It’s easy to add brans to baked food items, like cookies. You can also eat them as a snack or add them to your breakfast cereal. One ounce of wheat or oat bran will give you 12 grams of fiber, while one ounce of rice bran has 6 grams of fiber.
A 6-inch piece of corn on the cob yields 1.5 grams of fiber. Corn also has high amounts of essential minerals like potassium. One 12 ounce can of corn generally has 4 grams of fiber. You can add more corn to your diet by adding it to different kinds of soups, salads, or making corn bread.
7. Tropical Fruits
Papayas are a wonderful source of dietary fiber. One medium-sized papaya has 5.5 grams of fiber. Other tropical fruits that are high in fiber are the starfruit which has 4 grams of fiber in just one cup, guava has 9 grams of fiber in every cup, and one cup of kiwi fruit has 5 grams fiber.
You only have to eat seven walnuts to get 2 grams of fiber. They are also loaded with polyunsaturated essential fatty acids which will help boost your immune system and cardiovascular system. Walnuts are considered one of the top five foods that are important for heart health.
You probably have heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” many times, and it could actually be quite true because apples are another good source of dietary fiber. One average apple has about 3.7 grams of healthy fiber. It’s interesting to note that most of the fiber content comes from the apple’s skin.
10. Dark Leafy Vegetables
Say goodbye to pale iceberg lettuce and hello to more exotic, dark green leafy vegetables. You can add these to salads or eat them as a separate entrée. One cup of spinach has about 4 grams of fiber, one cup of cooked kale has 5 grams of fiber and mustard greens have 5 grams in one cup. Beet greens have almost 4 grams of fiber in each cup and one cup of turnip plants offer 5 grams of fiber.
The are two kinds of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Fiber that is soluble fiber will dissolve in water, such as pectin that is found in fruits. Insoluble fiber, like grain cellulose will not dissolve in water. Eating both types is recommended because they can help your overall diet to have enough healthy vitamins and minerals too.