Top Sources of Fiber

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 01/02/2024

The smooth and healthy functioning of the human body depends on the consumption of the right nutrients in the right quantity. Like protein or carbohydrates, fibre is essential to stay healthy and fit. Scientific evidence points to plenty of benefits of fibre intake.

If you are a health-conscious person and looking for ways to include this important nutrient in your diet, we have got you covered.

Let us give you an insight into the top fibre foods. To begin with, let us understand what fibre is and why your body needs it.

What is Fibre And Why is it Needed for the Body?

Fibre is an indigestible carbohydrate which is found in plant-based foods. The body cannot digest it and hence, it passes through the intestine intact. Fibre is required by the body for various reasons which include maintaining a healthy gut and reducing the chances of cardiovascular conditions.

Children and adults both need fibre to stay healthy and enable bodily functions to go on smoothly. Let us now understand the types of fibre.

Types of Fibres

Soluble fibre- As the name suggests, soluble fibre dissolves in the body. They soak up water as it passes through the body and bulk up stool (faeces).

They slow down digestion, resulting in more time taken by the body to absorb sugar. You can include soluble fibre in your diet by consuming fruits, soy products, vegetables, oat bran, barley, seed husks, legumes, soy milk, and flaxseed.

Insoluble fibre- Contrary to soluble fibres, insoluble fibres assist stools in moving through the intestines and hydrating the body. They help to prevent constipation and are found in seeds and skin of some fruits and other foods.

Some sources of insoluble fibre include bran, skins of fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, dried beans, and wholegrain foods.

Sources of Fibre and Components

The following table shows the components of fibre and the source from which they are available.

Nutrient Source
Cellulose Fruits, cereals, vegetables
Hemicellulose Legumes, timber, bran, cereals
Pentose Rye, oats
Hexoses Wheat, barley
Lignin Stones of fruits, vegetables, cereals
Resistant starch Barley, high amylose wheat, corn, legumes, raw bananas, cooked and cooled pasta, potatoes
Inulin In plants like chicory
Pectin In fruit skins and vegetables
Raffinose Legumes

Foods Rich in Fibre

If fibre-rich foods are not a part of your daily diet, you may be losing out on many health benefits. Here is a list of the top fibre foods which you can include in your daily diet. It helps to support your health and reduces the risk of many health conditions and diseases.

Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts which one can easily consume daily to reap the maximum benefits. Let us see each of these categories of food in detail below.

Fruits

If you are looking to add plenty of fibre to your daily diet, look no further than the fruits stocked up in your basket. Fruits naturally contain fibre along with other minerals and vitamins.

Thus, they make a wonderful food choice to fortify your diet and gain health benefits from several nutrients. You can consider having apples, bananas, oranges, prunes, and such fruits to meet your dietary needs.

Fruit Portion Fibre Content 
Figs dried ½ cup 8 g
Raspberries 1 cup 8 g
Pear 1 medium 6 g
Prunes ½ cup dried 6 g
Apple 1 medium 4 g
Orange 1 medium 4 g
Banana 1 medium 3 g
Peaches dried ¼ cup 3 g
Strawberries 1 cup 3 g

Vegetables

Veggies have always been highly recommended for great health and fibre is another reason to add them to your diet.

As much as consuming fruits is associated with a healthy body, vegetables work the same. Adding them to your daily diet will not only fulfil the fibre requirements but also provide you with plenty of other nutrients like vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium and so on.

Vegetable Portion Fibre Content
Artichoke 1 raw 6.9 g
Sweet Potato 1 cup 6.2 g
Kale 1 cup cooked 5.7 g
Collard Greens 1 cup 5.6 g
Beetroot 1 cup cooked 5 g
Carrot 1 cup 3.6 g
Brussels Sprouts 1 cup 3.3 g
Broccoli 1 cup 2.4 g

Grains

Whole grains are fortified with nutrients and taste extremely delicious. You can include them in several ways into your food and enjoy a wholesome meal. Grains are superstar foods and have unique characteristics, one of which is being gluten-free.

Grains Portion Fibre Content
Rye 1/4 cup 7 g
Barley 1 cup 6 g
Whole wheat cooked 1 cup 6 g
Bran flakes ¾ cup 5.5 g
Quinoa cooked 1 cup 5 g
Oatmeal 1 cup 4 g
Brown rice cooked 1 cup 3.5 g
Popcorn air popped 3 cups 3.5 g

Legumes, Nuts and Seeds

Legumes are plants or seeds or the fruits of a plant in the family Fabaceae. They provide carbohydrates to the body resulting in steady energy.

They also contain antioxidants that prevent cell damage and diseases and are also a great source of fibre. Similarly, they are a rich source of proteins, healthy fats, and fibres.

Legumes, Nuts, & Seeds Portion Fibre Content
Lentils 1 cup 15.6 g
Kidney Beans 1 cup 13.1 g
Chickpeas 1 cup 12.5 g
Peas 1 cup 8.8 g
Flaxseed 1 ounce  8 g
Almonds 1 ounce 4 g
Sesame seeds 1 ounce 4 g
Pistachio nuts 1 ounce 3 g
Sunflower seeds 1 ounce 3 g

It is best to include fibre-rich foods in your diet strategically so you can derive maximum benefits and maintain good health.

Below are some of the ways which can help you to smoothly add fibre to your daily food.

Ways to Include Fibre in Your Diet

Include veggies and eat them first- One of the best ways to include vegetables to get fibre and other essential nutrients is to eat them before a meal. This helps you to eat more vegetables than those that you consume as salads or other ways during a meal.

Snack on healthy fibres- We all love snacking and the right way is to include healthy foods that satiate your hunger and also provide you with the necessary fibre. Popcorn, nuts and seeds, and fruits, are some of the best options you can choose.

Include whole grains and not refined- It is always recommended to consume minimally processed grains as the processed ones tend to lose beneficial content like fibres, vitamins, etc.

Consume whole fruits instead of juices- Experts believe that even cold-pressed juices lose their nutritional value. Thus, it is best to consume whole fruits to gain all the benefits including fibre.

There is not one but many reasons to Incorporate fibre in your diet. Dietary fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. The top fibre foods keep the gut healthy and reduce the risk of many other diseases.

Benefits of Fibre

Helps to maintain a healthy weight- Fibre-rich foods like fruits and vegetables keep you fuller for longer durations. This is especially beneficial for those who aim to reduce weight.

Reduces risk of diabetes- Including fibre foods in the diet slows down the absorption of sugar in the body which helps to keep sugar levels in control after meals.

Beneficial for gut health- Both soluble and insoluble fibres are known to benefit digestive health by keeping the stools moving and guarding you against constipation, diarrhoea, and other gut issues.

Reduces the risk of cancer- Fibres such as pectin are rich in antioxidants which makes them effective against certain types of cancers like colon cancer.

Manages cholesterol- Soluble fibres may interact with the bile acid in the body and pull them out. When bile acid is not available, the liver uses cholesterol from the blood to make new bile acid, thus reducing cholesterol levels and protecting the heart.

Despite plenty of benefits of fibres they are not much talked about. Not consuming enough fibre can lead to many health issues which are discussed below.

What Happens if You Do not Eat Enough Fibre?

  • Underconsumption of dietary fibre can lead to inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Weight management becomes difficult when there is insufficient fibre intake as the digestion and absorption of food do not slow down, leading to consuming more food.

  • You may experience high sugar levels and develop diabetes as insufficient fibre leads to a spike in sugar levels.

Just as there are side effects of not consuming enough fibre, overconsumption can also be harmful to the body in several ways.

Precautions or Side Effects of Consuming Fibre

Fibre intake beyond the recommended quantity can lead to abdominal pain and an increase in flatulence.

It also leads to under-absorption of other essential nutrients like minerals and vitamins.

Too much fibre can also cause gas, bloating and diarrhoea.

It can also lead to temporary weight gain in some people.

If you experience the symptoms of consuming too much fibre, you can do the following to minimise the effects:

  • Avoid high-fibre foods

  • Drink more water

  • Resort to a bland diet

  • Stop fibre supplements, if any

Conclusion

Including some of the top 10 fibre foods in your diet is a natural way to boost your health. It also provides your body with the nutrients needed for smooth functioning and better absorption of other vitamins and minerals.

While a healthy diet supports your well being, supplementing it with a medical insurance plan is advisable. Taking the right health insurance ensures you get all the necessary financial help whenever you need to undergo expensive medical treatments and tests to keep your health in top condition.

At Tata AIG, we offer several medical insurance plans as per your requirements so you can stay healthy.

It is always wise to compare health insurance and opt for the one that provides you maximum benefits while meeting all your requirements. With our customisable health insurance plans,, you can enjoy cashless treatment at a hospital of your choice, without worrying about the expenses!

FAQS

What should I eat every day to get a high dose of fibre?

You can consume fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts to get fibre on a daily basis. They help to keep the stool moving and prevent constipation.

How much fibre does the body need?

Adult men up to the age of 50 need 38 g of dietary fibre, whereas women up to 50 years of age require 25 g of fibre per day.

Which foods are an excellent source of fibre?

Whole grains, lentils, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds contain high amounts of fibre.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on top sources of fibre. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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