The 10 Foods with the Most Fiber
Fiber is an essential component in diets. This element has several implications at the gastrointestinal level. If intake isn’t sufficient, constipation or alterations in the composition of the microbiota may appear. Therefore, we’re going to tell you all about the foods with the most fiber.
It’s essential to include foods with fiber in culinary preparations. Care must be taken in the production methods of the products, as long cooking or mechanical grinding could affect the function of the substance.
Before we dive into high-fiber foods, we have to talk about the benefits derived from the consumption of this substance. First of all, it’s important to note that it can be classified into soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The difference is in the ability to capture water.
Fiber is characterized by being an indigestible compound that increases the volume of the fecal bolus. Thanks to this effect, a greater stimulation of the mechanoreceptors of the digestive tract is experienced.
According to a study published in the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology , an insufficient presence of this substance in the diet could be one of the causes of constipation. Also drinking little water or being sedentary can have a decisive influence on this problem.
On the other hand, it should be noted that soluble fiber can play an important role in the digestive tract. It is an indigestible compound, but it is fermentable. It serves as an energy substrate for the bacteria that live in the intestine, thus improving the density of the microbiota.
Now, to achieve adequate bacterial diversity, it’s important to complement fiber intake with the consumption of food with probiotic bacteria inside. These have been shown to be very effective in ensuring gastrointestinal health.
The foods with the most fiber
Below, we’re going to introduce you to the foods with the highest fiber content. Keep in mind that daily consumption of at least 25 grams of the substance is recommended.
A single cup of peas is capable of providing 16 grams of fiber; more than half of the recommended daily amount. In addition, they’re characterized by their protein concentration. Therefore, they’re vegetables that must be present in the daily diet.
It must be taken into account that meeting protein requirements is considered essential to prevent functional alterations in lean mass, as well as its catabolism. According to research published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, sedentary people need at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Legumes are also among the foods with the most fiber. One cup of lentils provides 15.5 grams of this substance.
Now, legumes can increase gas production in people with a certain predisposition. This also has to do with the fiber content of the food. To soften the effect, it’s best to cook this type of food for long periods over low heat.
3. Chia seeds
These seeds are products that are currently very popular in Western countries. This is due to their high nutritional density.
They contain proteins, high-quality fatty acids, and essential micronutrients. Among other things, they provide calcium, an essential element to ensure bone health. This is stated by a study published in the journal Nutrients.
In addition, chia seeds are also characterized by containing large amounts of fiber. Twenty-eight grams of this product provide up to 10 grams of the substance, so they’re considered a source of the element.
At the same time, it should be noted that chia seeds are especially beneficial foods for athletes. These require higher nutritional contributions compared to those of a sedentary person. With a small quantity of seeds, the presence of a greater quantity of essential micronutrients can be ensured.
Fruits are also products capable of providing significant amounts of fiber. Above the rest, raspberries stand out, as they contain about 8 grams of the substance per cup. As if this weren’t enough, they concentrate significant doses of vitamin C, a nutrient that has been shown to be essential for the immune system.
Also, raspberries are a good source of phytonutrients with antioxidant capacity. These elements manage to neutralize the formation of free radicals.
Raspberries have excellent organoleptic characteristics and are very versatile foods. They can be consumed alone, naturally, or also added to salads, desserts, and yogurts.
Among the vegetables with a high fiber content, special mention should be made of crucifers. Specifically, broccoli stands out for the presence of this substance. One cup of it provides 5 grams of fiber, which is a more than significant amount.
Crucifers contain a series of compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Their regular presence in the diet helps reduce the incidence of many chronic and complex diseases.
Now, if the broccoli is consumed boiled, it’s advisable to take advantage of the cooking broth. Many vitamins and other water-soluble compounds can pass into the liquid.
Apples provide 4.5 grams of fiber for each medium unit. Now, it’s a particularly beneficial type of fiber that falls within the soluble type, known as pectin. There is evidence that this element is capable of fermenting in the digestive tract.
The inclusion of apples in the diet is beneficial to prevent and treat episodes of constipation. It also manages to avoid colonization by pathogenic microorganisms.
Oatmeal is another of the foods with a high concentration of soluble fiber. In this case, we’re talking about beta-glucans, beneficial elements for the bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Each cup of oatmeal is capable of providing about 5 grams of fiber.
Keep in mind that oatmeal is one of the best cereals that exist. It has in its interior low glycemic index carbohydrates, capable of providing energy in a sustained way without generating major alterations in blood glucose levels. For this reason, it’s a good product for athletes.
At the same time, it should be noted that oats are marketed with a very low degree of refinement, so their characteristics aren’t diminished. It also has a large number of essential micronutrients.
Tubers are also high-quality carbohydrate sources. They’re less energetic than cereals, as they contain a higher proportion of water. At the same time, they provide important vitamins, such as vitamin C.
It’s important to bear in mind that just one medium potato provides about 4 grams of fiber. Choosing the right cooking method is crucial. The best thing is to always opt for cooking with water or baking.
When the tubers are subjected to a frying process, their energy value is significantly increased. In addition, a good amount of trans-type lipids adhere to the surface. These have an inflammatory character, as evidenced by a study published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome.
The fiber content of nuts shouldn’t be underestimated. Twenty-three units of walnut can provide 3.5 grams of this substance, thus helping to improve intestinal health. However, they’re foods with high energy density, so they should be consumed in moderation.
Nuts, in a reasonable quantity, must appear regularly in the diet. These products have high-quality protein and fatty acids. Those of the omega-3 series stand out above all, for their anti-inflammatory abilities.
A medium carrot has 1.5 grams of fiber. But in addition, it’s a vegetable that provides essential vitamins for the body. Among all of them, special mention must be made of vitamin A.
Now, when carrot is overcooked, the fiber it contains can lose its capacities. It’s always recommended to consume it raw or slightly hard.
When should you limit the consumption of foods with the most fiber?
Although in normal conditions, the intake of fiber is considered essential and necessary, there are some situations under which the contribution of this element must be reduced. For example, in cases of diarrhea or inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract.
Even dysbiosis processes can be more difficult to treat. In these cases, an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria is generated. Fiber could promote the reproduction of these microorganisms, worsening the process. To achieve an effective treatment, the temporary suppression of the fiber supply is usually suggested.
In the most aggressive cases, it may be necessary to use antibiotics that kill the bacteria that are causing the damage. Just the same, this is considered the last option among all those available.
Strategies to fight constipation
In some settings, fiber intake is insufficient to treat or manage constipation. It’s important to implement other complementary strategies to solve the problem. The first one has to do with an increase in water consumption. In this way, the effect of fiber on the level of stimulation of the receptors of the digestive tract is increased.
At the same time, the practice of physical exercise is decisive. Movement stimulates transit and reduces episodes of constipation.
Additionally, probiotic supplementation may be required. Influencing the composition of the intestinal microbiota can have a positive impact on transit.
Eat foods with more fiber to improve gut health
Now you know which foods have the most fiber content so you can include them in your diet. These products will ensure good intestinal health. They must be consumed regularly to avoid constipation and alterations of the microbiota.
In any case, don’t forget that the presence in the diet of edibles that have gone through a fermentation process is also a determining factor. These contain probiotic bacteria.
However, if you experience discomfort after consuming products with a high fiber content, consider consulting a specialist. You may have dysbiosis.It might interest you...
- Sharma, A., & Rao, S. (2017). Constipation: Pathophysiology and Current Therapeutic Approaches. Handbook of experimental pharmacology, 239, 59–74. https://doi.org/10.1007/164_2016_111
- Lee, E. S., Song, E. J., Nam, Y. D., & Lee, S. Y. (2018). Probiotics in human health and disease: from nutribiotics to pharmabiotics. Journal of microbiology (Seoul, Korea), 56(11), 773–782. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12275-018-8293-y
- Richter, M., Baerlocher, K., Bauer, J. M., Elmadfa, I., Heseker, H., Leschik-Bonnet, E., Stangl, G., Volkert, D., Stehle, P., & on behalf of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) (2019). Revised Reference Values for the Intake of Protein. Annals of nutrition & metabolism, 74(3), 242–250. https://doi.org/10.1159/000499374
- Vannucci, L., Fossi, C., Quattrini, S., Guasti, L., Pampaloni, B., Gronchi, G., Giusti, F., Romagnoli, C., Cianferotti, L., Marcucci, G., & Brandi, M. L. (2018). Calcium Intake in Bone Health: A Focus on Calcium-Rich Mineral Waters. Nutrients, 10(12), 1930. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121930
- Beukema, M., Faas, M. M., & de Vos, P. (2020). The effects of different dietary fiber pectin structures on the gastrointestinal immune barrier: impact via gut microbiota and direct effects on immune cells. Experimental & molecular medicine, 52(9), 1364–1376. https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-020-0449-2
- Islam, M. A., Amin, M. N., Siddiqui, S. A., Hossain, M. P., Sultana, F., & Kabir, M. R. (2019). Trans fatty acids and lipid profile: A serious risk factor to cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 13(2), 1643–1647. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsx.2019.03.033