Consuming sufficient dietary fibre is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system. There are two main types of fibre – soluble and insoluble – and many different components of plants act as dietary fibres, including cellulose, lignin, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides.
Insoluble fibre passes straight through the digestive tract unchanged. Because it absorbs water on the way, it softens the stool and helps waste material pass through the intestines more quickly. Important sources include beans, lentils, whole grains and wheat bran.
Soluble fibre is not digested, but it does not pass through the body unaltered – it absorbs water to form a gel, and may be fermented by bacteria within the large intestine. Increasing the amount of soluble dietary fibre in the diet may increase the feeling of fullness, or satiety, and contribute to weight management.
Sources include oats, peas, beans, lentils, fruits such as apples, oats, potatoes and some green vegetables.
The pear is a popular type of fruit that is both tasty and nutritious. It’s one of the best fruit sources of fibre.
Fibre content: 5.5 grams in a medium-sized pear, or 3.1 grams per 100 grams.
Strawberries are incredibly delicious. Plus, they’re a much healthier option than any junk food.
Interestingly, they’re also among the most nutrient-dense fruits you can eat — loaded with vitamin C, manganese and various powerful antioxidants.
Fibre content: 2 grams per 100 grams. This is very high given their low calorie content.
The avocado is different from most fruits. Instead of being high in carbs, it’s loaded with healthy fats.
Avocados are very high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and various B vitamins and they also have numerous health benefits.
Fibre content: 6-7 grams per 100 grams.
Apples are among the tastiest and most satisfying fruits you can eat. They are also relatively high in fibre.
Fibre content: 4.4 grams in a medium-sized apple, or 2.4 grams per 100 grams.
Raspberries are highly nutritious with a very strong flavour. They’re loaded with vitamin C and manganese.
Fibre content: 6.5 grams per 100 grams.
Bananas are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium.
A green or unripe banana also contains a significant amount of resistant starch, a type of indigestible carbohydrate that functions like fibre.
Fibre content: 3.1 grams in a medium-sized banana, or 2.6 grams per 100 grams.
Other High-Fibre Fruits
Blueberries (2.4%) and blackberries (5.3%).
The carrot is a root vegetable that is tasty, crunchy and highly nutritious.
It’s high in vitamin K, vitamin B6, magnesium and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets turned into vitamin A in your body.
Fibre content: 2.8 grams per 100 grams. This is very high given their low calorie content.
The beet, or beetroot, is a root vegetable that is high in various important nutrients, such as folate, iron, copper, manganese and potassium.
Beets are also loaded with inorganic nitrates, which are nutrients shown to have various benefits related to blood pressure regulation and exercise performance.
Fibre content: 2.8 grams per 100 grams.
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
It is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins, potassium, iron and manganese and contains antioxidants and potent cancer-fighting nutrients.
Broccoli is also relatively high in protein, compared to most vegetables.
Fibre content: 2.6 grams per 100 grams.
The artichoke doesn’t make headlines very often. However, this vegetable is high in many nutrients and one of the world’s best sources of fibre.
Fibre content: 10.3 grams in one artichoke, or 8.6 grams per 100 grams.
Brussels Sprouts (2.6%)
The Brussels sprout is a type of cruciferous vegetable that is related to broccoli.
They’re very high in vitamin K, potassium, folate and potent cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Fibre content: 2.6 grams per 100 grams.
Other High-Fibre Vegetables
Almost all vegetables contain significant amounts of fibre. Other notable examples include kale (3.6%), spinach (2.2%) and tomatoes (1.2%).
Lentils are very cheap and among the most nutritious foods on earth. They’re very high in protein and loaded with many important nutrients.
Fibre content: 7.9 per 100 grams.
Kidney Beans (6.4%)
Kidney beans are a popular type of legume. Like other legumes, they’re loaded with plant-based protein and various different nutrients.
Fibre content: 6.4 per 100 grams.
Split Peas (8.3%)
Split peas are made from the dried, split and peeled seeds of peas.
Fibre content: 8.3 per 100 grams.
The chickpea is another type of legume that’s loaded with nutrients, including minerals and protein.
Fibre content: 7.6 per 100 grams.
Other High-Fibre Legumes
Most legumes are high in protein, fibre and various nutrients. When properly prepared, they’re among the world’s cheapest sources of quality nutrition.
Other high-fibre legumes include black beans (8.7%), edamame (5.2%), lima beans (5.3%) and baked beans (5.5%).
Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal that has become incredibly popular among health-conscious people in the last few years.
It’s loaded with many nutrients, including protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and antioxidants, to name a few.
Fibre content: 2.8 per 100 grams.
Oats are among the healthiest grain foods on the planet. They’re very high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
They contain a powerful soluble fibre called oat beta-glucan, which has major beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Fibre content: 10.6 grams per 100 grams.
If your goal is to increase your fibre intake, popcorn may be the best snack you can eat.
Air-popped popcorn is very high in fibre, calorie for calorie. However, if you add a lot of fat, then the fibre-calorie ratio will be reduced significantly.
Fibre content: 14.5 grams per 100 grams.
Other High-Fiber Grains
Nearly all whole grains are high in fibre.
Almonds are a popular type of tree nut.
They’re very high in many nutrients, including healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.
Fibre content: 12.5 grams per 100 grams.
Chia Seeds (34.4%)
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that are immensely popular in the natural health community.
They’re highly nutritious, containing high amounts of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium.
Chia seeds may also be the single best source of fibre on the planet.
Fibre content: 34.4 grams per 100 grams.
Other High-Fibre Nuts and Seeds
Most nuts and seeds contain significant amounts of fibre. Examples include coconuts (9%), pistachios (10%), walnuts (7%), sunflower seeds (8.6%) and pumpkin seeds (18.4%).
Sweet Potatoes (2.5%)
The sweet potato is a popular tuber that is very filling and has a delicious sweet flavour. It’s very high in beta-carotene, B vitamins and various minerals.
Fibre content: A medium-sized boiled sweet potato (without skin) has 3.8 grams of fibre, or 2.5 grams per 100 grams.
Dark Chocolate (10.9%)
Dark chocolate is arguably one of the world’s most delicious foods.
It’s also surprisingly high in nutrients and one of the most antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Just make sure to choose dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70–95% or higher and avoid products loaded with added sugar.
Fibre content: 10.9 grams per 100 grams.