Soluble fiber list of foods for ibs: How to Know What’s Right for You if You Have IBS
How to Know What’s Right for You if You Have IBS
Fiber may help relieve some of the problems caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the type of fiber you eat needs to be tied to your specific symptoms.
By Krisha McCoyMedically Reviewed by Kareem Sassi, MD
Soluble fiber can be found in various fruits and vegetables.Richard Drury/Getty Images
Fiber is an important part of your daily diet. That’s especially true for people living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal condition marked by stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. Because the body reacts differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, each type can help or hurt, depending on the IBS symptoms you’re experiencing at any given time.
The Differences Between Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Experts liken fiber to an on-off switch as far as IBS is concerned. Soluble fiber slows things down in the digestive tract, helping with diarrhea, while insoluble fiber can speed things up, alleviating constipation.
“Soluble fiber is hydrophilic so people can think of soluble fiber as being a magnet to water,” says Melissa Majumdar, RD, a senior bariatric dietitian for the Brigham and Women’s Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in Boston.
By attracting water, soluble fiber removes excess fluid, which is how it helps decrease diarrhea. Majumdar recommends that her patients with IBS who are dealing with diarrhea increase their intake of these soluble fiber-rich fruits and vegetables:
- Sweet potatoes
Oats, beans, bran, and barley are also good sources of soluble fiber.
RELATED: 7 Reasons to Eat Oatmeal Every Day
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water, so it stays intact as it moves through your digestive system. “This is something that can be helpful for constipation because it adds bulk to the stool and can get things moving, almost like a laxative effect,” says Majumdar, who is also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
She advises her patients suffering from constipation to focus on adding more vegetables like these to their diets:
- Leafy greens
RELATED: A Detailed Guide to the Cabbage Soup Diet
Other foods rich in insoluble fiber include flaxseed, chia seeds, whole grains, bran, brown rice, cereals, and rolled oats.
Fiber supplements can also help you increase your intake, but Majumdar says that people should turn to this only if they can’t get enough fiber in their diets.
“Some of my patients are limited in their diets and can’t get enough fiber to meet what their body needs, so I would go to a supplement in those cases,” she says.
A meta-analysis published in September 2014 in The American Journal of Gastroenterology evaluated the use of dietary fiber supplementation in 14 randomized, controlled clinical trials involving 906 people living with IBS. The authors concluded that fiber supplementation — especially with psyllium, a soluble fiber — was effective in improving symptoms of IBS when compared with a placebo.
According to a review published in September 2017 in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, dietary fiber supplementation appears to be safe, although if introduced to the body too rapidly, it can lead to unwanted side effects like abdominal bloating.
Still, Majumdar cautions that supplements are considered functional fiber, which means they may not be as beneficial as a whole food. Foods that have labels touting “added fiber” are also forms of functional fiber and should be met with some skepticism.
“Though not harmful, we don’t know that those are beneficial necessarily because they don’t have the same nutrients and biochemicals that a whole food would have,” she says.
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One-Pan Baked Oatmeal
One-Pan Baked Oatmeal is one of the most delicious social media food trends to date — and it’s super easy to make! This oatmeal technique was made viral by the likes of @feelgoodfoodie and @smartgusto — and you’ll be so glad it found its way into your life.
contains Dairy, Tree Nuts
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Cooking or baking spray
2 ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups milk (of your choosing)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 cups fresh berries (frozen would work, too!)
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested
Maple syrup, to taste
For step-by-step directions to make this recipe, visit The Feedfeed.
Amount per serving
Dairy, Tree Nuts, Mediterranean, Gluten-free, Heart-Healthy, Vegetarian, Low-Sodium, High-Fiber, Family-Friendly, Breakfast
Increasing Your Fiber Intake for IBS Symptom Relief
While dietary fiber can improve the function of your digestive system, increasing your intake all at once can leave you feeling bloated and gassy when your body’s not used to high amounts.
If you want to increase your fiber intake to better control IBS symptoms, Majumdar recommends adding fiber one meal at a time, then waiting a few days to a week to see how the body reacts. If all is well, you can continue adding more fiber to your diet.
“The first thing I would do is break down each meal and see where there are places to add fruits and vegetables,” she says.
For example, instead of eating a pastry for breakfast, try Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts, and flaxseed instead. For lunch and dinner, try adding salads, sides of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and farro.
A good rule of thumb is to fill up half your plate with fruits and vegetables, Majumdar says. Also, replace refined grains with whole grains. Instead of white bread, refined cereals, and white rice, choose whole-grain breads, bran muffins, oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, and brown rice.
Remember to make these changes gradually for an easier transition.
And don’t forget to drink plenty of water. “Fiber can’t do its job without water. It can cause more GI distress if it’s not married with fluid,” Majumdar says.
Finally, Majumdar notes that fiber isn’t the only factor in IBS symptoms. She recommends talking to your doctor about your diet and trying elimination diets for periods of time to identify which foods are triggering your symptoms.
Additional reporting by Ashley Welch
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Top 20 Foods High in Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber helps you feel full and supports regular bowel movements. Adding some of these 20 high soluble fiber foods to your diet may help you manage your digestive health.
Dietary fiber is the carbohydrate in plants that your body cannot digest.
Though it’s essential to your gut and overall health, most people don’t reach the recommended daily amounts (RDA) of 25 and 38 grams for women and men, respectively (1, 2).
Both soluble and insoluble fiber help bulk up your stools and can be used as a food source for good bacteria in your large intestine.
Soluble fiber draws water into your gut, which softens your stools and supports regular bowel movements.
It not only helps you feel fuller and reduces constipation but may also lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels (3).
Here are 20 healthy foods that are high in soluble fiber.
Black beans are not only a great way to give your dishes a meaty texture but also an amazing source of fiber.
One cup (172 grams) packs 15 grams, which is about what an average person consumes per day, or 40–60% of the RDA for adults (2, 4).
Black beans contain pectin, a form of soluble fiber that becomes gummy-like in water. This can delay stomach emptying and make you feel fuller longer, giving your body more time to absorb nutrients (5).
Black beans are also rich in protein and iron, low in calories, and almost fat-free (4).
Soluble fiber content: 5.4 grams per three-quarter cup (129 grams) of cooked black beans (6).
Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are large, flat, greenish-white beans.
They mainly contain carbs and protein, as well as a little fat.
They’re lower in total dietary fiber than black beans, but their soluble fiber content is almost identical. Lima beans also contain the soluble fiber pectin, which is associated with reduced blood sugar spikes after meals (5).
Raw lima beans are toxic when raw and should be soaked and boiled before you eat them (7).
Soluble fiber content: 5.3 grams per three-quarter cup (128 grams) of lima beans (6).
The world may be divided into Brussels sprout lovers and haters, but whatever side you’re on, it’s undeniable that this vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, along with various cancer-fighting agents.
What’s more, Brussels sprouts are a great source of fiber, with 4 grams per cup (156 grams) (8).
The soluble fiber in Brussels sprouts can be used to feed beneficial gut bacteria. These produce vitamin K and B vitamins, along with short-chain fatty acids that support your gut lining.
Soluble fiber content: 2 grams per one-half cup (78 grams) of Brussels sprouts (6).
Avocados originate from Mexico but have gained popularity worldwide.
Haas avocados are the most common type. They’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.
One avocado packs 13.5 grams of dietary fiber. However, one serving — or one-third of the fruit — provides about 4.5 grams, 1.4 of which are soluble (9, 10).
Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, avocados really stand out in this regard.
Compared with other popular fiber sources, they contain lower amounts of the antinutrients phytate and oxalate, which can reduce mineral absorption (11).
Soluble fiber content: 2.1 grams per one-half avocado (6).
Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, beta carotene, B vitamins, and fiber. Just one medium-sized sweet potato packs over 400% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin A (12).
What’s more, the average potato contains about 4 grams of fiber, almost half of which is soluble (12).
Therefore, sweet potatoes can contribute significantly to your total soluble fiber intake.
Soluble fiber may be important for weight management. The more of it you eat, the greater the release of gut-satiety hormones, which may help reduce your overall appetite (13).
Soluble fiber content: 1.8 grams per one-half cup (150 grams) of cooked sweet potato (6).
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that grows well in cool seasons. It’s usually dark green, but you can also find purple varieties.
It’s high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot, and is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin C. It also has antioxidant and anticancer properties (14, 15).
Broccoli is a good source of dietary fiber, with 2.6 grams per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), more than half of which is soluble (14).
The high amount of soluble fiber in broccoli can support your gut health by feeding the good bacteria in your large intestine. These bacteria produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate and acetate.
Soluble fiber content: 1.5 grams per one-half cup (92 grams) of cooked broccoli (6).
Turnips are root vegetables. Larger varieties are usually fed to livestock, but the smaller types are a great addition to your diet.
The most abundant nutrient in turnips is potassium, followed by calcium and vitamins C and K (16).
They’re also great for upping your fiber intake — 1 cup packs 5 grams of fiber, 3.4 of which are soluble (6, 16).
Soluble fiber content: 1.7 grams per one-half cup (82 grams) of cooked turnips (6).
Pears are crisp and refreshing and serve as a decent source of vitamin C, potassium, and various antioxidants (17).
What’s more, they’re an excellent source of fiber, with 5.5 grams in one medium-sized fruit. Soluble fiber contributes 29% of the total dietary fiber content of pears, the main form being pectin (17, 18).
Due to their high fructose and sorbitol contents, pears can sometimes have a laxative effect. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may need to moderate your intake (17).
Soluble fiber content: 1.5 grams per medium-sized pear (6).
Their characteristic shape gave kidney beans their name.
They’re a key ingredient in chili con carne and great source of dietary fiber, complex carbs, and protein. They’re also almost fat-free and contain some calcium and iron (19).
Kidney beans are a good source of soluble fiber, particularly pectin.
However, some people find beans hard to digest. If that’s the case for you, start increasing your kidney bean intake slowly to avoid bloating.
Soluble fiber content: 3 grams per three-quarter cup (133 grams) of cooked beans (6).
Figs were one of the first cultivated plants in human history.
They’re highly nutritious, containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and other nutrients.
Both dried and fresh figs are great sources of soluble fiber, which slows the movement of food through your intestines, allowing more time for nutrient absorption (20).
Based on anecdotal evidence, dried figs have been used as a home remedy to relieve constipation for years. While one study found that fig paste improved bowel movements in constipated dogs, human-based research is lacking (21).
Soluble fiber content: 1.9 grams per one-fourth cup (37 grams) of dried figs (6).
Nectarines are stone fruits that grow in warm, temperate regions. They’re similar to peaches, but don’t have the same characteristic fuzzy skin.
They’re a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin E. What’s more, they contain various substances with antioxidant properties (22, 23).
One medium-sized nectarine has 2.4 grams of fiber, more than half of which is soluble (6, 22).
Soluble fiber content: 1.4 grams per medium-sized nectarine (6).
Apricots are small, sweet fruits that range in color from yellow to orange, with the occasional red tinge.
They’re low in calories and a good source of vitamins A and C (24).
Three apricots provide 2.1 grams of fiber, the majority of which is soluble (6, 24).
In Asia, apricots have been used in folk medicine for years, and it’s believed that they can protect people from heart disease (25).
They may also aid digestion. One study found that mice eating fiber from apricots had higher stool weights than those who received insoluble fiber alone (25).
Soluble fiber content: 1.4 grams per 3 apricots (6).
Carrots are one of the most popular and tasty vegetables on Earth.
Boiled or steamed, carrots are a key ingredient in many recipes, but they can also be grated into salads or used to make desserts like carrot cake.
With good reason, you may have been told as a child to eat carrots to help you see in the dark.
Carrots are packed with beta carotene, some of which is converted into vitamin A. This vitamin supports your eyes and is particularly important for night vision (26).
One cup (128 grams) of chopped carrots contains 4.6 grams of dietary fiber, 2.4 of which are soluble (27).
Since many people enjoy this vegetable daily, it can be a key source of soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber content: 2.4 grams per cup (128 grams) of cooked carrots (6).
Apples are one of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world. Most varieties are quite sweet, but others like Granny Smith can be very sour.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old proverb that may have some truth, as eating this fruit is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases (28).
Apples pack various vitamins and minerals and are a good source of the soluble fiber pectin. Apple pectin may have many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and improved gut function (29, 30).
Soluble fiber content: 1 gram per medium-sized apple (6).
Guavas are a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central and South America. Their skin is typically green, while the pulp can range from off-white to deep-pink.
One guava packs 3 grams of dietary fiber, about 30% of which is soluble (6, 31).
This fruit has been shown to reduce blood sugar, as well as total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in healthy people. In part, this may be due to the soluble fiber pectin, which can delay the absorption of sugar (32).
Soluble fiber content: 1.1 grams per raw guava fruit (6).
Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, are tiny brown, yellow, or golden seeds.
They pack a nutritious punch and can be a great way to improve the nutrient content of your smoothies, breads, or cereals.
Sprinkling 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds over your porridge can add an extra 3.5 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein to your breakfast. They’re also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fats (33).
If possible, soak ground flax seeds overnight, as this allows their soluble fiber to combine with water to form a gel, which may aid digestion.
Soluble fiber content: 0.6–1.2 grams per tablespoon (14 grams) of whole flax seeds (6).
Sunflower seeds are a great nutritious snack and often purchased already shelled to reveal the tasty sunflower heart.
They contain about 3 grams of dietary fiber per one-fourth cup, 1 gram of which is soluble. What’s more, they’re rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, protein, magnesium, selenium, and iron (6, 34).
Soluble fiber content: 1 gram per one-fourth cup (35 grams) of sunflower seeds (6).
Hazelnuts are a delicious type of nut that can be eaten raw or roasted for a stronger flavor. They’re also often used as an ingredient in chocolate bars and spreads.
One-fourth cup of hazelnuts packs about 3.3 grams of dietary fiber, one-third of which is soluble. Additionally, they’re rich in unsaturated fats, vitamin E, thiamine, and iron (6, 35).
Partly due to their soluble fiber content, hazelnuts may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol (36).
Soluble fiber content: 1.1 grams per one-fourth cup (34 grams) of hazelnuts (6).
Oats are one of the most versatile and healthy grains around. You can use them to make breakfast cereals, breads, scones, flapjacks, or fruit crumbles.
They contain beta glucan, a form of soluble fiber that’s associated with reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol and improved blood sugar control. It’s estimated that 3 grams of oat beta glucan per day can reduce your risk of heart disease (37, 38).
About 1.25 cups (100 grams) of dry oats contain 10 grams of total dietary fiber. This is divided into 5.8 grams of insoluble and 4.2 grams of soluble fiber, 3.6 of which are beta glucan (39, 40, 41).
Beta glucan is also what gives porridge its characteristic creamy texture.
Soluble fiber content: 1.9 grams per cup (233 grams) of cooked oats (6).
Some people may associate barley with the brewing industry, but this nutritious ancient grain is also often used to thicken soups, stews, or risottos.
Like oats, it contains about 3.5–5.9% of the soluble fiber beta glucan, which has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease (42).
Soluble fiber content: 0.8 grams per one-half cup (79 grams) of cooked barley (6).
Soluble fiber is great for your gut and overall health, reducing your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and helping you balance your blood sugar levels.
If you want to increase your soluble fiber intake, it’s often best to start slowly and build it up gradually.
It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water. This will help the soluble fiber form a gel, which aids digestion and prevents constipation.
All fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes contain some soluble fiber, but certain foods like Brussels sprouts, avocados, flax seeds, and black beans are the cream of the crop.
Foods rich in fiber: a list of their benefits for the body
Dietary fiber helps you feel full, lose weight and improve overall health. By following our tips and adding more fiber to your diet, you can look and feel better.
What is fiber?
Many of us associate fiber only with digestive and intestinal health. But eating foods high in dietary fiber can do much more than just maintain a normal diet. Fiber can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, improve skin condition, and help you lose weight. Eating fiber can even prevent colon cancer.
Fiber, also known as “coarse fiber,” is a component of plant foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans) that the body cannot break down. It passes through the body undigested, keeping the digestive system clean and healthy, facilitating bowel movements, and flushing cholesterol and harmful carcinogens from the body.
Fiber comes in two forms: insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is a dense fiber that helps prevent constipation and is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, helps control blood sugar and lowers cholesterol. Its sources are barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.
Many foods contain both types of fiber. In general, the more natural and unprocessed foods, the more fiber they contain. There is no fiber in meat, dairy products and sugar. Refined or “white” foods, such as white bread, white rice, and baked goods, contain little or no fiber.
Health benefits of fiber
Fiber is an effective way to maintain a healthy diet, but it’s not the only reason we should include it in our diet. Many studies have shown that a high-fiber diet can boost your immune system and overall health, as well as improve your appearance and well-being.
Here are some other features of fiber:
Healthy digestion. Dietary fiber normalizes bowel function, thinning the stool and making it easier to pass. It can help relieve and prevent both constipation and diarrhea. Eating plenty of fiber can also reduce the risk of diverticulitis (inflammation of the intestines), hemorrhoids, gallstones, kidney stones, and relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some studies have also shown that a high-fiber diet can lower stomach acid levels and reduce the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and ulcers.
Diabetes. A diet high in fiber, especially insoluble fiber from grains, may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, eating soluble fiber can slow down sugar absorption and increase blood sugar levels.
Cancer. There are some studies that show that a high-fiber diet can help prevent colon cancer, although there is no hard evidence for this yet. Diets high in fiber are also associated with a lower risk of developing other common cancers of the digestive system, including cancer of the stomach, mouth, and pharynx.
Skin health. When yeast and fungi are released through the skin, they can cause acne. Fiber, especially psyllium husk (a type of plant seed), can flush out toxins from the body, improving skin health and appearance.
Heart health. Fiber, especially soluble fiber, is an important element of any cardiovascular diet. A high-fiber diet can improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. A high fiber intake may also reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Fiber also helps lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and reduce belly fat.
Fiber and weight loss
In addition to aiding digestion and preventing constipation, fiber promotes satiety, which is key to both losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. The addition of fiber will help you feel full faster. Because fiber stays in your stomach longer than other foods, you feel full longer, helping you eat less. High-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables tend to be low in calories, so adding fiber to your diet will make it easier for you to cut calories.
There are other reasons why a high fiber intake may contribute to weight loss:
Fiber regulates blood sugar levels, supports the body’s fat-burning capacity, and helps avoid insulin surges that cause hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods.
Eating a lot of fiber promotes the accelerated passage of fats through the digestive system, due to which less fat is absorbed.
By eating high fiber foods like fruits, you will have more energy for physical activity.
How to add fiber to your diet
Depending on your age and gender, nutrition experts recommend consuming at least 21-38 grams of fiber per day to maintain good health. Studies show that most of us do not consume even half of this amount.
While reaching your daily goal may seem like a daunting task at first, by eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, you can get the fiber you need to start enjoying the health benefits.
Whole grain fiber
Refined and processed foods contain less fiber, so try to make whole grains an integral part of your diet. There are many easy ways to add whole grains to your meals.
Start your day with fiber. Look for whole grain cereals to increase your fiber intake at breakfast. Simply switching from corn flakes to bran flakes can add an extra 6 grams of fiber to your diet. If you don’t like these cereals, try adding a few tablespoons of raw wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grains. Try wild rice, barley, whole wheat pasta and bulgur. These foods contain more fiber than their more common counterparts, and you may find that you enjoy the taste of them. For toast and sandwiches, choose whole grain bread.
Increase the amount of baking. If you are baking at home, replace half or all of the white flour with whole wheat flour as whole wheat flour is heavier than white flour. In yeast bread, use a little more yeast or let the dough rise better. Try adding crushed bran or unprocessed wheat bran to muffins, cakes, and cookies. Or add psyllium husk to gluten-free baked goods like bread, pizza dough, and pasta.
Add flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol levels. The seeds can be ground in a coffee grinder or food processor and added to yogurt, applesauce, or breakfast cereal.
Fiber from fruits and vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and this is another good reason to include them in your daily diet. Here are some simple strategies that can help:
Include fruits in your breakfast. Berries are high in fiber, so try adding fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries to your morning cereal or yogurt.
Keep fruits and vegetables handy. Wash and cut fruits and vegetables and store them in the refrigerator for quick and healthy snacks. Choose recipes that include these ingredients, such as cold cuts or fruit salad.
Replace dessert with fruit. Eat a piece of fruit, such as a banana, apple, or pear, at the end of your meal instead of dessert. Add cream or frozen yogurt for a delicious treat.
Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice. You will get more fiber and consume fewer calories. For example, a 200g glass of orange juice contains almost no fiber and contains about 110 calories, while one medium fresh orange contains about 3g of fiber and only 60 calories.
Eat the peel. Fruits like apples and pears are best eaten with the skin on.
Include vegetables in your meals. Add pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables to soups and sauces. For example, add chopped frozen broccoli to a prepared spaghetti sauce or add fresh carrots to a stew.
Add more vegetables to soups and salads. Liven up a boring salad with nuts, seeds, kidney beans, peas, or black beans. Artichokes are also high in fiber and can be added to salads or eaten as a snack. Beans, peas, lentils, and rice are tasty additions to high-fiber soups and stews.
Don’t forget the beans. Add kidney beans, peas, or lentils to soups, or black beans to green salads.
Make snacks complete. Fresh and dried fruits, raw vegetables, and whole grain crackers are all good ways to add fiber to your snack. A handful of nuts can also be a good high-fiber snack.
Although the best way to increase the amount of fiber in your diet is to eat foods that are naturally rich in fiber – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts. In cases where this is difficult, taking fiber supplements will help to fill the lack of fiber. Supplements may also be helpful in filling fiber deficiencies during the transition to a high fiber diet.
Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms, including powders that can be dissolved in water or added to food, chewable tablets, and wafers. However, there are downsides to getting your fiber from supplements rather than fiber-rich foods:
- Fiber supplements do not provide the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in high-fiber foods.
- Supplements do not satiate and do not help control weight.
- Fiber supplements can interact with some medications, including some antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and the anticoagulant warfarin. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects before taking a supplement.
- If you have diabetes, fiber supplements can also lower your blood sugar, so again, check with your health care provider before adding supplements to your diet.
If you choose to take fiber supplements, start small, increase gradually, and drink plenty of fluids.
what products contain, how to take them correctly according to doctors
Fiber by its nature is food hollow fibers, and by chemical affiliation it is a complex carbohydrate. But unlike most of the carbohydrates that we get from food, it is not broken down in the gastrointestinal tract and is not absorbed into the blood, but passes through the intestines in transit. Why, in this case, is it necessary to include foods rich in fiber in the diet if dietary fiber does not linger in the body? This is because in a short time spent in the gastrointestinal tract, fiber manages to do a lot of useful things – provided that it enters the body in sufficient quantities.
Let’s talk about the benefits of fiber and the foods that you should pay attention to if you want to enrich your diet.
Useful information about fiber
|Types of fiber
| • Soluble. It is not digested in the body, but is easily soluble in water. Therefore, in the gastrointestinal tract it swells, turns into a gel-like substance. It is a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the colon. It is found mainly in vegetables, fruits, legumes, potatoes, algae.
• Insoluble. It does not dissolve in water, is not digested, remains in its original form, passing through the gastrointestinal tract. Absorbs fluid and absorbs (i.e. absorbs) the by-products of digestion. Found in cereals, citrus fruits.
|Possible benefits of fiber
| • Removes toxins and other harmful substances;
• slows down the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, helping to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels;
• improves the intestinal microflora;
• creates a feeling of fullness, prevents overeating;
• improves insulin sensitivity;
• helps to cleanse the intestines, prevents constipation;
• prevents diverticulitis (protrusions – “bags” in the intestines, in which food gets stuck).
|Possible damage to fiber
| • Constipation – occurs when there is not enough fluid.
• Flatulence, bloating – a consequence of “brute force” with fiber.
• Together with toxins, this substance can flush out useful microelements and vitamins – this also happens when there is an excess amount of fiber in the body.
| Daily allowance for women: up to 50 years – 30 g, after 50 years – 25 g.
Daily allowance for men: up to 50 years – 38 g, after 50 – 30 g.
|What is the best way to use foods rich in fiber
|The body perceives vegetables rich in fiber well with protein foods: meat, poultry, fish. You can combine seeds, nuts with kefir or natural yogurt. Legumes are compatible with almost all products. Cereals are useful with seafood, mushrooms, herbs.
|Unsuitable combinations for products containing fiber
| • Cereals and meat.
• Nuts and meat.
• Fruits and any other products.
By the way!
Many vegetables and fruits contain two types of dietary fiber. For example, in the pulp of apples, the fibers are soluble, in the peel – insoluble.
Who is recommended to eat foods rich in fiber
Fiber has a beneficial effect not only on the gastrointestinal tract, but on the entire body. Therefore, it is recommended for people with certain problems or requests.
For weight loss
Do not lose weight directly from fiber. But she plays an important role in this process. Getting into the gastrointestinal tract, fiber swells, creates volume and a long feeling of satiety. In addition, dietary fiber helps improve insulin sensitivity. This means that the risk of fat deposition is reduced.
For the prevention of diabetes and type 2 diabetes
High fiber foods have a lower glycemic index. So, with their help, you can maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
Particles of insoluble fibers irritate receptors in the intestinal mucosa, thereby activating its motility. In addition, fiber increases the volume of feces and softens it, which helps to get rid of constipation. This is especially important for hemorrhoids – softened feces pass through the rectum without irritating the mucous membrane (1).
But too much fiber can have the opposite effect.
For the intestines
Fiber enters the intestine unchanged and passes through it, taking with it everything the body does not need. In addition, dietary fiber regulates the intestinal microflora, preventing the development of dysbacteriosis, and puts the excretory function of the intestine in order.
What foods contain fiber
Fiber is found in foods of plant origin. Therefore, meat, dairy products, fish are generally not considered as sources of dietary fiber. Most fiber in cereals, legumes, nuts.
Among vegetables there are leaders in fiber content: green peas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots. Berries and fruits are not inferior to vegetables in terms of fiber content. Raspberries, blackberries, bananas, apples and pears were especially distinguished.
The list of fiber-rich foods is quite extensive, including all types of cabbage, artichoke, pumpkin seeds, bulgur, asparagus, chickpeas, parsnips, pumpkin, beets, celery, hazelnuts, sweet potatoes, turnips, guava, pistachios, eggplant and many others .
We have compiled a list of foods with the highest fiber content.
1. Wheat bran
This is the outer shell of the wheat grain. Champion in fiber content – 43.6 g per 100 g of product. There are, of course, bran and other cereals, but it is wheat that is considered as a digestible source of fiber, because. they are more easily absorbed by the body.
Bran, if there are no contraindications, can be eaten as an independent product, poured with boiling water or kefir, or added to cereals and other dishes. They can be included in the dough for pancakes, bread and other baked goods. If you are trying this product for the first time, it is best to start with a teaspoon of bran per day, gradually increasing the daily rate to three tablespoons (that’s about 5 g of fiber).
In addition to fiber, bran contains useful minerals, including deficient selenium.
2. Chia seeds
Whole grain product. The fiber content in the popular superfood is more than 30 g per 100 g of product. In addition, tiny chia seeds are a source of many vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds clearly demonstrate their ability to absorb water when soaked: they swell, turning into a gel-like mass.
You can use them in this form, you can sprinkle them on salads, cereals or add them to yoghurts and baked goods, use them instead of eggs as a thickener. It is recommended to consume the seeds at two tablespoons per day – this is approximately 11 g of fiber.
3. Flax seeds
The value of flaxseed is that it contains soluble and insoluble fiber. A total of about 27 g of dietary fiber per 100 g of raw seeds. Plus plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
For assimilation, it is recommended to soak or grind flax seeds before use, add them to yoghurts, kefir, cereals, pastries, salads. One to two tablespoons of flax seeds is 1 g of soluble and 3 g of insoluble fiber.
Mushrooms become especially useful after drying. Dried porcini mushrooms contain 26.4 g of fiber per 100 g of the product, fresh – 12 g. Chanterelles contain about 8 g of fiber per 100 g.
Mushrooms, moreover, are a low-calorie product rich in vegetable protein.
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The fiber content of carrots increases after drying. Raw, the popular root vegetable contains 2.8 g of fiber per 100 g of product, boiled – a little less, 2 g, and dried – 23.6 g of dietary fiber.
Carrots do not need advertising, they are part of various dishes, from salads to desserts. And it is valued as a source of beta-carotene, part of which is converted into vitamin A.
Beans are valued as a rich source of vegetable protein and fiber. In different varieties of beans, its amount varies, but on average it is 15-18 g per 100 g of product. Most fiber in black and lima (moon) beans.
The number of bean dishes is huge, it goes well with a variety of products. To neutralize phytic acid, beans must be soaked for several hours before cooking.
7. Dried apricots
The case when a fresh product is noticeably inferior in fiber content to a dried one: in apricots 2. 1 g per 100 g, and in dried apricots – 18 g. and minerals to normalize the work of the heart and blood vessels. And the excellent taste makes dried apricots an excellent addition to cereals, yoghurts and other compatible products.
It is important to buy a quality product and wash thoroughly before use.
It’s amazing how many useful things fit in these little seeds. For example, about 17 g of fiber per 100 g of product. And also a high content of such vital trace elements as selenium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, calcium, etc.
You can sprinkle sesame seeds on salads, add it to pastries and meat dishes. Sesame seeds are an essential ingredient in hummus. To neutralize phytic acid, sesame seeds are best roasted in a dry frying pan. But you should not get involved in them – the product is quite high-calorie.
Figs are a good source of fiber both fresh and dried. In dried fruits, the content of dietary fiber is higher – up to 18 g per 100 g. A handful of dried figs can provide your body with half the daily fiber requirement.
Dried fruit can be added to porridge, yogurt, smoothies after soaking.
In addition, figs are valued as a heart-healthy fruit: they contain magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and other beneficial nutrients.
Barley contains 15.6 g of fiber per 100 g of product. No wonder barley porridge is called a “brush for the digestive tract.” In addition, barley is rich in lysine, which is involved in the production of collagen, and other amino acids. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including selenium.
11. Unsweetened Coconut Pulp
You don’t need to buy and crack a whole coconut to get fiber from this product. Coconut flesh is sold in crushed form and is widely used in desserts. 100 g of coconut pulp contains about 15 g of fiber. Of the vital minerals, first of all, copper and manganese can be noted, which are necessary for the metabolism of fats and fermentation processes.
Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, cutting off the skin means depriving yourself of fiber. But apples, like many other fruits, become richer in fiber when they lose moisture. Therefore, the top fiber-rich foods include dried apples (14 g of dietary fiber per 100 g). Apple chips, which are easy to make yourself, are a great snack option instead of unhealthy fast food.
Almonds contain more fiber than any other nuts – 12.5 g per 100 g. In addition, almonds are a source of valuable trace elements and vitamins that have a positive effect on health. Conducted studies confirm the positive effect of this product in diabetes (2).
A handful of almonds has 4 g of fibre. To get the maximum benefit from the nut, it must be soaked before use.
Oats are one of the healthiest grains. 100 g of dry oatmeal contains 10 g of fiber, which consists of insoluble fibers (5.8 g) and soluble (4.2 g). Moreover, the latter are mainly beta-glucan, which helps reduce bad cholesterol and stabilize sugar levels. A serving of oatmeal porridge cooked with water is 4-6 g of fiber.
A fruit with a unique oily structure, valued for its high content of healthy monounsaturated fats, folic acid, potassium and other beneficial nutrients.
Avocados are consistently ranked among the top high fiber foods. One fruit weighing just over 100 g contains 9-13 g of fiber. Unlike other high-fiber foods, avocados have the least amount of antinutrients that can interfere with the absorption of minerals and vitamins. Use it raw as an independent dish, or as an addition to salads, sandwiches.
The benefits of avocado
How to choose
100 g of buckwheat contains 10 g of fiber. Unlike many cereals, buckwheat does not contain gluten, is rich in antioxidants, atypical for cereals. And buckwheat protein is unique in its composition and the presence of amino acids, which are usually found not in plants, but in meat and dairy products.
17. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains 10.9 g of fiber per 100 g. This is due to the high content of dietary fiber in cocoa beans. Therefore, if we consider dark chocolate as a source of fiber, then only without additives that contradict a healthy diet and with a cocoa bean content of at least 70%.
By the way, almost a third of cocoa powder consists of fiber, and a drink made from it can also be considered as a source of dietary fiber.
Water-cooked lentils contain 7.9 g of fiber per 100 g of product. This representative of legumes contains a large amount of protein, few calories, almost no fat, an impressive set of vitamins and minerals (including group B), iron, phosphorus, copper, selenium.
Lentils are good as a low glycemic side dish, they are used in soups and cereals and even in desserts.
Raspberry is one of the leaders in fiber content among berries: 7 g per 100 g of product. And one of the tastiest sources of dietary fiber. Contains juicy berry and vitamins B, C, E, K, manganese, potassium and magnesium. A glass of raspberries contains about 50% of the daily dose of vitamin C and about 40% of manganese. The berry can be eaten just like that, but it is also good as an addition to desserts and cereals.
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A good source of fiber in any form. Even in young green peas, it is contained in a decent amount – 5.6 g per 100 g of product. And dry peas boiled in water contain more than 8 g of fiber per 100 g.
Peas are primarily nutritious soups, as well as side dishes and salads.
Gooseberries contain 4.3 g of fiber per 100 g. It contains various vitamins and minerals. Gooseberries can be eaten fresh, made into jams or jams, added to desserts. Citric acid, found in gooseberries, has been shown to help prevent stroke and Alzheimer’s disease (3).
How to eat fiber-rich foods
Fiber-rich foods require a special approach to get the most benefit from them and not harm the body. By and large, they are all harmless, the only question is how and with what they are eaten. And here there are important nuances.
Fiber needs water
Entering the stomach, fiber swells in volume, presses on the walls of the stomach and intestines, and the brain receives a signal of satiety. But in order to start this mechanism, it is necessary that there is a sufficient amount of water in the body at this moment. Therefore, at least half an hour before meals, you should drink a glass of water or herbal tea.
Soak legumes, nuts and grains
Soak nuts, legumes, seeds, cereals before cooking and eating. Everyone has their own soak time. For buckwheat, 5 hours is enough, and for almonds, you need twice as much.
The fact is that in addition to useful fiber, all these products contain phytic acid, which is harmful to humans, which prevents the absorption of vegetable protein and useful micro- and macroelements.
Raw is better than cooked
Fiber tolerates heat treatment well and does not disappear. But in fresh products it is more. Therefore, what can be eaten raw is better consumed in this form than boiled.
But it happens that in the process of cooking the volume of a product (for example, spinach) decreases, you can eat more of it, which means that more fiber will enter the body.
Save the peel
If the peel of a fruit or vegetable is edible, don’t discard it – you’ll waste about ⅓ of the fiber with it. For example, an apple contains about 3.7 g of fiber. After peeling off the skin, 2.4 g will remain.
Follow the incremental principle
Increase your fiber intake in increments of 2 g until you reach the recommended daily intake. Also gradually increase the amount of water consumed.
Cooking the right porridge
Whole grains are preferred for porridges. You can cook in milk or water, adding dried fruits, nuts, berries to the finished porridge for taste.
Combining foods correctly
Meat with vegetables, not cereals. Cereals are best combined with herbs, mushrooms, seafood (examples of dishes: risotto, paella, buckwheat with mushrooms, etc.). Porridge with berries is also a good option. Nuts are good as an independent snack or as an addition to yogurt or kefir. Legumes can be combined even with meat, even with vegetables. But fruits are better to eat in general separately.
Physician’s reviews of fiber foods
— Sufficient fiber intake is essential for good health. And it’s not just about the good work of the digestive tract. After all, different types of dietary fiber have a wide range of effects: from normalizing cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood, to immunomodulatory and antitumor effects, – says Svetlana Zelentsova, nutritionist, member of the Association of Physicians of Integral Preventive and Anti-Aging Medicine, Candidate of Medical Sciences . “In addition, fiber helps control body weight and is also critical for the gut microbiota. Large studies have shown the dependence of the development of coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity and intestinal cancer on the amount of fiber consumed.
– It should be remembered that excessive consumption of dietary fiber can adversely affect the intake of other nutrients in food, – notes Yulia Esipenko, gastroenterologist, therapist. – Too much dietary fiber reduces the absorption of fats and, accordingly, vitamins A, D, E and K. Also, an excess of fiber can lead to malabsorption of calcium, zinc and iron.
Too much fiber can cause diarrhea. And if a person has gastritis or stomach ulcers, pancreatitis, cholecystitis, colitis and anemia, excessive fiber intake is undesirable. Care must be taken with bran. On the one hand, they are very rich in composition: wheat bran contains insoluble fiber and combines a complex of vitamins PP, B1, B2, B6, E and provitamin A necessary for the body. They are rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, chromium, copper , zinc, etc.
But bran is contraindicated in exacerbations of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: colitis, gastritis, enteritis, duodenal ulcer, stomach, erosion, adhesions in the abdominal cavity. When the exacerbation passes, bran can be consumed again by pouring boiling water over them and drinking plenty of water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fiber-rich foods are plentiful, but many people’s diets may not be enough. Filling the deficiency of dietary fiber is easy. Here’s what the experts advise.
How do I get my daily fiber requirement?
– To get enough fiber, you need to eat whole foods (grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes), whole grain cereals (barley, oatmeal, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, wheat grains), use dietary fiber supplements , flax and chia seeds, give preference to high-fiber berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), do not cut the peel from vegetables and fruits, add fiber during breakfast, lunch and dinner, recommends gastroenterologist Yulia Esipenko.
How to compensate for fiber deficiency?
“Unfortunately, the average daily diet is extremely low in dietary fiber,” says nutritionist, anti-aging medicine doctor Svetlana Zelentsova. – To remedy the situation, first of all, it is necessary to eat a variety of vegetables with each meal. In this case, in addition to fiber, you will get a lot of other biologically active substances. Useful in this regard will be mushrooms, legumes, seeds, nuts, cocoa. You can use some tricks.
For example, greens are not eaten raw, but slightly steamed. In this case, most of the fiber remains intact, but the volume of the finished product is significantly reduced – so you can eat more of it.
Add vegetables to any meal: minced meats, casseroles, sauces, soups. As a thickener, you can use mashed cauliflower or pumpkin. Instead of juices, opt for smoothies. If it is not possible to get the required amount of fiber with food at all, it is possible to use them in the form of supplements. The industry now offers them in large quantities.
• Psyllium (psyllium husk). It is used for constipation, diarrhea and as an additional source of fiber. Depending on the desired effect, it can be used as a powder or added to pastries, sauces, etc. Warning: May cause allergic reactions!
• Flaxseed, chia seeds. Good source of soluble fiber. But it is important to monitor the expiration date: the fats in their composition are quickly oxidized. Especially if the seeds are already crushed.
• Inulin (Jerusalem artichoke, chicory) is a powerful prebiotic. It also promotes the absorption of useful minerals (calcium, magnesium, etc.).
• Apple, beet, citrus pectins —
are able to effectively remove heavy metals from the body, reduce excess cholesterol and glucose.
• Gum – these additives delay gastric emptying, thereby maintaining a feeling of fullness, and also normalize blood glucose levels.
• Special types of fiber: fungi and algae beta-glucans, crustacean chitosan, etc. – have a powerful effect on the body, including immunomodulatory, antitumor and other effects. It is advisable to discuss their reception with a specialist.
But various types of bran are rather rough substances in relation to the intestinal mucosa.
It is important to gradually increase the proportion of fiber in the diet, otherwise gastrointestinal disorders (bloating, cramps, stool disorders, etc. ) are possible. Combine different types of fibers. And it is absolutely essential that you drink plenty of fluids, especially when taking fiber supplements.
If one type of fiber doesn’t work for you, another might work.
Increasing dietary fiber in the presence of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) results in worsening of symptoms. In this case, preliminary treatment of these conditions is required.
Can there be an excess of fiber in the body? Why is he dangerous?
This is possible if you exceed the norm of fiber intake per day and bring its amount in the diet to 50 g and more. This may be accompanied by constipation or diarrhea, bloating.
- Effects of dietary fiber on subjective appetite, energy intake and body weight: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. A J Wanders, J J G C van den Borne, and others.