Foods Rich In Dietary Fiber

Order all foods from high to low by content per 100 grams

Vegetables High In Dietary Fiber

Corn

7.3 g / 100g

The versatility of corn cannot be underrated: it can be used as a vegetable, as a flour, as well as dried out and used to make popcorn for a healthy snack alternative to crisps. Some of the recipes that can be made with corn include corn chowder, corn salad, and corn and avocado salsa.

Artichokes

5.4 g / 100g

The rather mild flavour of the artichoke means that it can take on other flavours very well, be it garlic, chilli, basil or thyme. A delicious way to enjoy artichoke is stuffed with almonds, breadcrumbs and herbs, baking it in the oven, then serving with steamed fish and vegetables for a perfect summer meal.

Jicama

4.9 g / 100g

Also known as Mexican yam bean, the jicama vegetable looks quite a lot like a turnip and is often enjoyed raw in salads and coleslaw, however it can also be cooked and mashed up as an alternative to potato. Jicama pie is another delicious way to enjoy this root vegetable, as a tasty alternative to pumpkin pie.

Parsnips

4.9 g / 100g

Roasting parsnips really helps to intensify their natural sweetness. They can then be served as a side dish to roast dinner, or blended with stock to make a delicious soup. For a tasty alternative to regular mashed potato, you can steam parsnips and cauliflower together and then mash them with milk, butter and seasoning.

Collard Greens

4 g / 100g

Whilst many people will serve collard greens as nothing more than a side to other dishes, these pungent greens are excellent as a main course in recipes like collard slaw, Ye’abesha gomen, which is Ethiopian-style collard greens and Sopa da Fuba, which is a Brazilian soup of collard greens, cornmeal and sausage.

Brussels Sprouts

3.8 g / 100g

Brussel sprouts can be roasted with carrots and parsnips to provide a delicious side dish to your Sunday roast and they can be blended into vegetable soups or chopped into vegetable stews. Brussel sprouts can also be used to make a Brussel sprout gratin, a twist on the classic that uses sprouts instead of potato.

Kohlrabi

3.6 g / 100g

This bizarre vegetable is incredibly tasty, being slightly sweeter than most other cabbages, and is excellent for adding to root vegetable mash, grating into coleslaw or adding to spring chicken hotpot recipes. Kohlrabi can also be used to make a delicious and creamy kohlrabi soup. The leaves are also edible and work very well in salads.

Kale

3.6 g / 100g

Kale is touted as something of a superfood, thanks to its high concentration of essential vitamins and minerals, as such it is often added to green smoothies and salads. However, kale can also be enjoyed at breakfast or brunch in chorizo and kale hash that is delicious served with a poached egg.

Dandelion Greens

3.5 g / 100g

Dandelion greens are often sautéed with other strong flavours, like garlic or chilli, and then served as a side dish. However, these bitter, yet tasty greens can also be layered into vegetarian lasagne or added to vegetable curries and stir fries. A cup of dandelion greens contains roughly 8% of your daily fiber needs.

Horseradish

3.3 g / 100g

Horseradish is a fiery vegetable that is ideal for adding to hot or cold winter salads to give them a hearty kick. This flavoursome root can also be used to make a warming beetroot and horseradish soup that is packed full of nutrients that are sure to help fight off those pesky winter colds.

Okra

3.2 g / 100g

The gelatinous nature of okra means that it is perfect for adding to recipes that need thickening. Indeed, there is a delicious stewed okra and tomato dish that makes the most of this quality. Okra can also be used to make ratatouille, and is wonderful when coated in Cajun seasoning and cornmeal, then fried to serve with chicken.

Mustard Greens

3.2 g / 100g

People often use mustard greens in salads or stir fries because of their peppery flavour, but it is exactly this flavour that allows them to work extremely well in soups. Some tasty ones include Italian white bean and mustard soup, and a healthful mustard and collard greens detox soup.

Fennel

3.1 g / 100g

The refreshing, aniseed flavour of fennel can be really appreciated in fennel and cucumber salad, a dish that is perfect for serving at a barbeque on a hot summer’s day. Fennel is also delicious roasted with garlic and tomato for a simple sauce that can be tossed through pasta and even added to vegetarian lasagne.

Endive

3.1 g / 100g

Endive is an excellent source of dietary fiber. In fact, a head of endive contains nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily intake! Include more of this nutritious vegetable in your diet by adding it to stir fries, roasting it to serve as a side dish to fish and using it to make a luxurious Belgian endive au gratin dish.

Sweet Potato

3 g / 100g

A one cup serving of sweet potato contains around 16% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. These beautiful vegetables can be baked and enjoyed in place of regular baked potatoes, used to make sweet potato pie, which is delicious with green vegetables like broccoli and also makes a warming spiced sweet potato soup.

Carrots

2.8 g / 100g

Raw carrots make excellent alternatives to fruit as a snack between meals. They are also very tasty dipped into hummus. Carrots can be used to make a variety of meals including spicy carrot kofte, tasty beetroot and carrot pancakes and even a Thai-style carrot and coconut stew. A cup of carrots contains around 14% of the daily intake of fiber.

Beetroot

2.8 g / 100g

Beetroot is packed full of goodness and should be included as much as possible in the diet, especially since the flavour, whilst earthy, is quite mild. This colourful vegetable can be enjoyed in smoothies and juices, as well as chopped into salads. Beetroot can even be blended into homemade hummus to improve both the colour and nutrition of the dish.

Green Beans

2.7 g / 100g

There are numerous ways to serve up green beans as a tasty side dish including frying them off with garlic and bacon, steaming them with other vegetables, like carrots, and drizzling in infused oil and even adding raw to green salads. Green beans are delicious in Thai green curry or stirred through carbonara.

Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

2.7 g / 100g

Being related to broccoli, broccoli rabe, when prepared properly, is a tasty alternative to broccoli in a number of recipes including stir fries and creamy pasta. Broccoli rabe can also be fried off with some red chilli pepper and garlic to create a delicious, spicy side dish to pizza or chilli.

Broccoli

2.6 g / 100g

Traditionally, broccoli is served as a side dish to other things like meat or quiche, however, broccoli can be the star of the show in recipes like broccoli cheese bake, or broccoli soup. Broccoli is also a reliable source of fiber, containing around 9% of the recommended daily allowance per one cup serving.

Scallions

2.6 g / 100g

Also known as spring onions, scallions are often chucked into stir fries or chopped into green salads, but there are plenty of other exciting ways to use them. These include using them to create a simple scallion sauce to stir through spaghetti; or to make a rich, creamy scallion rice that is perfect for serving with grilled chicken breast and vegetables.

Cabbage

2.5 g / 100g

Leafy green cabbages are simply wonderful in clear broths, or shredded into stir fries. There is also a very tasty Portuguese cabbage soup called Caldo Verde that is perfect for anyone who loves cabbage combined with bacon. Crunchy red and white cabbage is perfect shredded and used in salads.

Potatoes

2.5 g / 100g

Potatoes are an excellent and often cheap way to help bulk out a meal, as well as ensure that you are getting your carbohydrate component. They can be used to make a hearty spiced potato soup, ideal for an autumnal evening or made into wholesome farls that are excellent for breakfast.

Mushrooms

2.5 g / 100g

Adding mushrooms to a dish can really help to improve the flavour or add a meaty texture to otherwise meatless recipes. Use mushrooms to make mushroom soup, grate them into bolognaise to bulk out mince and stuff big mushrooms with breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic, then bake them for a tasty cooked breakfast.

Rutabaga

2.3 g / 100g

Also known as swede or turnip, the rutabaga vegetable can be used to make traditional Cornish pasties, a creamy root vegetable gratin with other root vegetables, like carrots and it can even be used to make a tasty rutabaga casserole that is delicious as a side dish to roast chicken.

Spinach

2.2 g / 100g

The mild flavour of spinach makes it one leafy green that is incredibly easy to incorporate into the diet. It can be added to smoothies, green salads and pasta, but also makes a wholesome spinach soup. Spanakopita is a Greek spinach pie that is perfect for serving with chicken or fish.

Asparagus

2.1 g / 100g

You just know that the warm weather is here when the asparagus is in season, so make the most of this delicious vegetable by chucking it on the barbeque, chopping it into green salads or turning it into soup for a light lunch. Asparagus is also very tasty in salmon and asparagus quiche.

Cauliflower

2 g / 100g

The wonderful flavour of cauliflower can be really appreciated in one of a number of cauliflower soup recipes, be it traditional cauliflower soup, or a spiced one. Cauliflower can also be used to make a warming and moreish cauliflower and lentil curry that is perfect with warm garlic naan bread!

Fruits High In Dietary Fiber

Passion Fruit

10.4 g / 100g

Passion fruit has the power to change a smoothie or juice from something that tastes good, to something that tastes absolutely divine! It can be used to make a refreshing passion fruit curd that is excellent with scones and can also be used to make a tasty mango and passion fruit lassi, which is a yogurt-based drink from India.

Dates

8 g / 100g

It isn’t hard to see why dates are used as a natural sweetener: they are very sweet and perfect as a snack for people with a sweet tooth who are trying to reduce or eliminate their sugar intake. Dates can also be used to make a beautiful lamb or chicken tagine, and are heavenly in red lentil stew.

Prunes

7.1 g / 100g

Prunes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, containing roughly 39% of the recommended daily intake per one cup serving. They are often used to help treat constipation. They can be enjoyed in banana prune muffins that are ideal for breakfast and they are one of the main ingredients in chicken kozani, which is a sweet, smoky chicken Greek dish.

Avocados

6.7 g / 100g

It may be surprising to learn that avocado is not only rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, but is also a very good source of fiber, with one cup containing 40% of the recommended intake! Avocado can be used to make avocado salad, and is also a popular component of breakfast smoothie bowls.

Raspberries

6.5 g / 100g

It is incredibly easy to include raspberries in the diet: they can be eaten raw as a snack, added to smoothies, and chucked in fruit salads or yogurt for a healthy breakfast. Raspberries can also make a wonderful raspberry sauce that is perfect for serving with game meats, like duck.

Guavas

5.4 g / 100g

Guava is quite often added to smoothies, juices and fruit salads to provide a delicate, exotic flavour. However, this delicious fruit can also be used in savoury dishes by turning it into a marmalade that can be used to glaze meats like pork. You can even make or buy guava paste to make tasty cheese and guava pockets.

Blackberries

5.3 g / 100g

A cup of blackberries can contain as much as a third of your daily requirement of dietary fiber and can easily be consumed as a snack in one sitting. Blackberries can be used to make compote that is delicious on bread, or added to yogurt for a healthy snack.

Cranberries

4.6 g / 100g

A cup of fresh cranberries contains around a fifth of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. They can be added to smoothies and juices or used to make a tasty cranberry sauce for serving with meat or cheese. Cranberries also work very well in sausage, apple and cranberry stuffing, which is ideal for serving at Christmas.

Pomegranates

4 g / 100g

A wonderful and healthy dessert that is perfect for serving in winter is spiced pears and pomegranate - it is simply divine with a drizzle of warm honey and cream or yogurt. Pomegranate can also be used to create a tasty, creamy pomegranate sauce that pairs very well with chicken or turkey.

Raisins

3.7 g / 100g

Raisins can be enjoyed as an easy snack on-the-go, added to porridge or pancakes for breakfast and even chucked in homemade coleslaw. These little bundles of goodness can also be used to make a fruity cashew nut and raisin pilaf that is perfect for serving with chicken or curry.

Olives

3.2 g / 100g

Olive tapenade is an excellent way to make the most of olives. It can be used as a dip for crudités, or spread in things like pitta and sandwiches for a tasty alternative to traditional fillings. Olives can also be used to make a delicious olive and sun-dried tomato flatbread that is perfect for serving with pasta.

Pears

3.1 g / 100g

There are numerous ways to enjoy pears when they are ripe, including on their own as a simple, healthy snack and chopped into fruit salad. Pears can also be stewed, or poached in brandy, then served with Greek yogurt or cream for a delicious dessert that is far healthier than many others available.

Eggplant

3 g / 100g

Also known as aubergine, eggplant provides a wonderful meaty texture to vegetarian and vegan dishes, which helps you to feel more satisfied with the meal. Eggplant can be used to make a delicious baingan bharta, or aubergine curry and can even be used in place of lasagne sheets in lasagne!

Kiwifruit

3 g / 100g

Kiwifruit jam is an excellent way to preserve this tasty fruit when it is in season and, therefore, plentiful. Kiwifruit can also be blended until smooth with natural yogurt, sweetened to taste with maple syrup and then frozen in lolly moulds for a healthy summer treat for children and grown-ups alike.

Figs

2.9 g / 100g

Figs are a pretty good source of dietary fiber, with one average sized fig containing around 6% of the recommended daily allowance. These tasty fruits can be grilled with honey and cinnamon, then served with cream or Greek yogurt for a healthful, yet delicious dessert. They can also be used to make fig raita.

Lemons

2.8 g / 100g

Lemons are excellent for squeezing over green salads, or fruit salads to help prevent the fruit or vegetables from browning when cut. They also help to make a refreshing drink when the juice is added to a glass of fizzy, plain water. Their flavour can be really appreciated in smoothies and homemade iced tea.

Limes

2.8 g / 100g

The zesty flavour of limes can be enjoyed in a number of recipes, both sweet and savoury. Squeezed into fizzy water or added to smoothies, lime juice provides a refreshing, cleansing kick to drinks. Limes can also be combined with habanero chillies and butter to make a delicious sauce to serve over salmon.

Bananas

2.6 g / 100g

Bananas are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed as a wholesome snack between meals, added to smoothies or chopped into your morning porridge. They can also be frozen in slices and blended until smooth for a very healthy alternative to ice cream.

Apples

2.4 g / 100g

Sweet-tasting apples are wonderful when chopped and stewed with a pinch of cinnamon to create a compote that can be added to yogurt or porridge for a healthy start to the day. Sour-tasting apples are excellent shredded into coleslaw. Apples are also an excellent source of fiber, with one average sized serving containing around 19% of the daily requirement.

Blueberries

2.4 g / 100g

Blueberries can be added to a whole host of recipes including wholemeal breakfast muffins, granola, pancakes and breads. They can also be cooked into porridge where they will burst and release not only their wonderful flavour, but also their amazing colour! Dried blueberries can be enjoyed as an easy on-the-go snack.

Oranges

2.4 g / 100g

Good quality oranges can be used to make a zesty marmalade to spread on toast. The juice and zest of oranges can also be added to wholemeal bread dough with sultanas, ground mixed spice and some soft brown sugar for a tasty spiced fruit loaf that is perfect for breakfast on an autumnal morning.

Strawberries

2 g / 100g

Strawberries can be blended with yogurt and frozen in moulds for a healthy summer treat that children will simply love. They can also be used to make a sweet, yet tart strawberry salad when combined with balsamic vinegar and soft brown sugar. A cup of strawberries contains around 12% of the daily allowance of fiber.

Apricots

2 g / 100g

Dried apricots are an excellent snack, especially for people trying to give up refined sugar, but who might be craving something sweet. Fresh apricots are wonderful chopped into fruit salads or yogurt, but can also be used to make a wholesome apricot and chicken curry that can be served with fragrant rice or naan bread.

Nuts & Seeds High In Dietary Fiber

Chia Seeds

34.4 g / 100g

The wonderful gelatinous quality of chia seeds makes them perfect for adding to porridge or overnight bircher muesli. They can even be used to make their very own chia seed porridge, without oats. A single ounce of chia seeds contains as much as 42% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.

Flax Seeds

27.3 g / 100g

Flax seeds are incredibly nutritious and should be included in the diet as much as possible. You can increase the quantity of flax seeds in your diet by adding them to smoothies, cereals, porridge, homemade breads and flapjacks. A cup of flax seeds also contains as much as 183% of the recommended intake of fiber.

Almonds

12.5 g / 100g

Almonds add an extra crunchy texture to breaded recipes, such as homemade goujons and they are excellent in homemade flapjack and bread recipes. The mild, creamy flavour of almonds means that they can also work very well as an alternative to pine nuts in homemade pesto. One cup of whole almonds contains 70% of the daily allowance of fiber.

Sesame Seeds

11.8 g / 100g

Sesame seeds are used make challah, which is a delicious Jewish bread that is served on the Sabbath and at festivals - it is excellent with soups and stews. These tasty little seeds can also be used to create a crust on meats like tuna and chicken before cooking and then serving with soy sauce for dipping.

Pistachio Nuts

10.3 g / 100g

Pistachio nuts are a very good source of dietary fiber, with a one cup serving containing more than half of the recommended daily allowance. These moreish nuts can be enjoyed as simple snacks, but are equally yummy when used to garnish soups or as a crusty topping to meats like rack of lamb.

Hazelnuts

9.7 g / 100g

There are a number of amazing savoury recipes that can be created with hazelnuts, including hazelnut and brandy chicken that is perfect for the Christmas dinner table. Vegetarian options include nut loaf, leek and hazelnut risotto and glazed carrots and hazelnuts that make a wonderful side dish.

Pecans

9.6 g / 100g

Pecans can be chopped into porridge or granola and drizzled with maple syrup for a healthful start to the day. These wonderful nuts can also be used to make a delicious apple and pecan coleslaw that is perfect for barbeques and can even be cooked in curry and cinnamon flavoured syrup for a tasty snack.

Coconut

9 g / 100g

Traditionally, coconut is used in cake and dessert recipes, however, it also works very well in savoury and breakfast recipes. Desiccated coconut can be added to homemade granola, porridge and even wholemeal pancakes, whilst coconut milk is perfect in smoothies, or used to make curries and spicy stews taste creamy.

Macadamia Nuts

8.6 g / 100g

Macadamia nuts are a very good source of dietary fiber, containing around 42% of the recommended daily allowance per one cup serving. They can be used to make pesto, in place of pine nuts; added to stir fries for extra crunch; and chopped macadamia nuts are delicious combined with yogurt and seasoning to coat salmon before baking.

Sunflower Seeds

8.6 g / 100g

Sunflower seeds can be added to homemade nut loaves, soaked with other ingredients in bircher muesli and included in cranberry and coconut energy bars. These tasty seeds can also be enjoyed on their own as a snack. A cup of seeds contains around 16% of the recommended intake of fiber.

Brazil Nuts

7.5 g / 100g

Like pine nuts, Brazil nuts can be used to make a tasty pesto that can be served with broccoli as a side to fish or meat. These creamy, mild flavoured nuts can even be turned into a simple vegan cheese that is coated in herbs and served with bread or crackers.

Walnuts

6.7 g / 100g

The smoky flavour of walnuts lends itself very well to vegetarian burgers, giving them a somewhat meaty flavour. Walnuts can also be blended into smoothies and enjoyed as simple snacks with other nuts and dried fruit. A cup of walnuts contains nearly a third of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.

Pumpkin Seeds

6 g / 100g

These delicious seeds can be blended with a little salt and any flavouring of your choice to make a wholesome, nutrient-rich seed butter that is excellent on rice cakes and toasted pitta bread. Pumpkin seeds can also be added to green salads and can even be used to make a pumpkin seed and coriander pesto.

Pine Nuts

3.7 g / 100g

Like most nuts, pine nuts are an excellent source of nutrients and their mild flavour allows them to be easily incorporated into the diet in a number of ways including chopped into fruit or vegetable crumble toppings, chucked into salads and tossed through roast broccoli and lemon to serve as a side dish.

Cashew Nuts

3.3 g / 100g

Cashew nuts can be blended until smooth, with almost any flavour enhancer that you like, in order to make a nutritious, tasty nut butter that is perfect for spreading on rice cakes and toasted pitta. These mild, creamy nuts form the basis of many vegan meals including many varieties of cashew nut “cheese”.

Grains High In Dietary Fiber

Oats

10.6 g / 100g

Oats are incredibly versatile and can be used in so many recipes from making porridge for breakfast, to bulking out mince for tea. They are an excellent source of fiber, containing around two-thirds of the daily allowance per cup. Oats can also be used to make a wonderful oat and fig stuffing that is perfect for serving at Christmas.

Quinoa

7 g / 100g

This wonderful grain can be used in so many ways other than as an alternative to rice. Blueberry and chia seed quinoa can be cooked in the slow cooker overnight for a tasty alternative to porridge. Quinoa can also be used to make quinoa and black bean burgers that are vegetarian, but will even satisfy meat eaters!

Brown Rice

3.4 g / 100g

As you might expect, brown rice is a good source of dietary fiber, containing around 14% of the recommended daily allowance per one cup serving. Brown rice is a tasty, healthier alternative to white rice and can also be used to make a wholesome rice, spinach and cheddar cheese pie.

Beans & Legumes High In Dietary Fiber

Kidney Beans

24.9 g / 100g

Traditionally, kidney beans are added to chilli con carne and bean chilli, but they are also used to make a delicious kidney bean curry called rajmah chawal. Kidney beans are also excellent as an alternative to meat in vegan versions of sloppy joes. One cup of beans contains more than half of your daily fiber needs.

Lima Beans

19 g / 100g

Sometimes referred to as butter beans because of their creamy, buttery texture, lima beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, containing more than half of the daily allowance per cup. These wonderful pulses can be used to make a hearty sweet potato and lima bean soup, and also work very well tossed through bean salad.

Black Turtle Beans

15.5 g / 100g

Black turtle beans can be used in most recipes that call for beans. They are also used to make a warming black bean soup, as well as a delicious turkey and black turtle bean chilli that can be served with brown rice or wraps. A cup of beans contains nearly 40% of the recommended daily intake of fiber.

Adzuki Beans

12.7 g / 100g

The naturally sweet flavour of the adzuki bean works really well in adzuki bean curry, which is a delicious and comforting meal that is perfect for cool autumnal evenings. Adzuki beans can also be used in bean chilli, or added to cold pasta salad to enhance the nutritional content.

Garbanzo Beans

12.2 g / 100g

Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans are an excellent source of nutrients, including dietary fiber, with one cup containing half of the recommended daily intake. They can be used to make a vegetarian chickpea sandwich filling that is a tasty alternative to egg mayonnaise and can also be made vegan by using a vegan mayonnaise.

Lentils

10.7 g / 100g

These excellent little pulses are packed full of goodness; indeed, they contain around 63% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber per one cup serving. Lentils can be used to make delicious vegan-friendly bolognaise or chilli, but are also very tasty when cooked into a simple, yet satisfying lentil soup.

Peanuts

8.5 g / 100g

A cup of peanuts can contain anywhere from 37% to 50% of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber, depending on how they have been processed. These nutritious legumes can be enjoyed as a simple snack, chopped into granola or used in curries. Peanuts can also be used to make peanut sauce that is excellent with pork and chicken.

Peas

5.1 g / 100g

Peas are a very good source of dietary fiber, containing around 30% of the daily requirement per cup. These tasty little vegetables can be pureed to create a delicious sauce for fish. Peas are also used to make pea and ham soup, which is an excellent way to use up roast dinner leftovers, if there is such a thing!

Edamame

4.8 g / 100g

A one cup serving of edamame contains around a third of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. These immature soybeans can be enjoyed in a number of ways including chucking them in all kinds of soups, stews and pasta sauces, but also by using them to make a delicious Egyptian edamame stew.

Herbs & Spices High In Dietary Fiber

Cinnamon

53.1 g / 100g

It might be surprising to discover that cinnamon is an excellent source of dietary fiber! Indeed, a single tablespoon of this fragrant spice contains around 16% of the daily intake. Cinnamon can be added to curries and stir fries for a delightfully warm, pungent flavour, and pairs very well with ginger in almost any recipe.

Oregano

42.5 g / 100g

Because oregano is a herb, it can be used in a whole number of recipes, but pairs incredibly well with tomatoes, garlic, beef and chicken. Oregano is also delicious when kneaded into herby flatbreads, and adds a wonderful flavour to homemade cheese straws for dipping in hummus and other wholesome bean dips.

Sage

40.3 g / 100g

This humble herb is a pretty good source of dietary fiber, containing around 3% of the daily intake per tablespoon. It is often paired with onion in recipes like gravy and stuffing because the two flavours complement each other very well, however, sage can also be used to make a creamy mushroom and sage sauce to serve with pasta.

Other Foods High In Dietary Fiber

Dark Chocolate

7 g / 100g

Good quality dark chocolate is an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals, so can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet either as a snack, chopped into homemade granola and flapjacks or added to homemade wholemeal banana bread for a naughty, but nice twist on a healthy favourite.

About Fiber

Fiber is often referred to as roughage and plays an important part in maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are two forms of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and both are found only in plant-based foods, but in varying quantities. Good sources of soluble fiber include kidney beans, broccoli, courgettes and apples. Good sources of insoluble fiber include dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Why is fiber Important?

Soluble fiber, which means that it is soluble in water and becomes gelatinous, is understood to bind with fatty acids in the gut, slowing down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood stream and also helping to remove cholesterol from the gut before it can enter the blood stream.

A recent review of studies on fiber and the risk of cardiovascular disease has shown that increased fiber intake is strongly associated with lower cholesterol levels and, therefore, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

The second type of fiber is insoluble fiber and is the type that is more associated with roughage. It does not change form whilst in the digestive tract, which means that it helps to move waste products through the digestive system and, therefore, also helps speed up the elimination of toxins from the body.

Recommended Intakes

Generally speaking, the amount of fiber people should be getting in their diet varies slightly from country to country and, for the most part, the guidelines given allow for an adequate intake of fiber in the diet rather than being a specific recommendation.

That said, on average, it is recommended that children aged between one and three years old get about 15 g of fiber a day, and that children between the ages of four and eight get around 18 g per day. Current research and health advice does not appear to have a recommended intake or guidelines for infants under the age of twelve months.

From the age of nine onwards, the recommended intakes vary for males and females in many countries, with the recommendation of 24 g per day for boys and 20 g per day for girls aged between nine and thirteen years old; 28 g per day for males and 22 g for females between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. Those who are pregnant need to be getting around 25 g a day and breastfeeding mothers needing 27 g.

The greatest discrepancy with regards to dietary fiber recommendations lies within the suggestions for adult males and females aged nineteen years and over. It seems that adult males under the age of fifty should be aiming to get about 30 g – 38 g of fiber in their diets each day. Those over the age of fifty should be getting around 30 g per day. Females of all ages should be trying to get about 25 g – 30 g of fiber per day. Those who are pregnant need 28 g and breastfeeding mothers requiring 30 g.

Fiber Deficiency

Because of the way that fiber works in the body, it isn’t really possible to experience a fiber deficiency as such, but it is possible to not have an adequate amount of fiber in the diet and this can result in symptoms that affect the digestive system. Such symptoms can include bloating, constipation, excess gas and even diarrhoea.

There is also some suggestion that not getting enough fiber in the diet will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is probably due to the fact that fiber removes cholesterol from the gut before it can enter the blood stream and also because it helps to leave you feeling satiated and, therefore, less likely to snack on unhealthy foods that can contribute to cardiovascular problems with their high levels of sugar and unhealthy fats.

Risks and Warnings

Whilst there aren’t really any risks associated with consuming too much fiber, if you add more fiber too quickly to your diet, you run the risk of experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms. Such symptoms can include bloating, cramps and excess gas. It is best to slowly increase the level of dietary fiber that you consume over a few weeks to allow your body to get used to the new diet.

Some people who suffer from allergies are unable to consume most foods that contain fiber, however there are certain foods that are considered to be less allergenic and, therefore, more suitable for people who are allergic to other high-fiber foods. They include pumpkin, apples, potatoes, broccoli, pears and carrots.

It is also important to remember that some of the fiber you eat needs fluid to help it do its job properly, therefore you should be trying to consume plenty of water to help push it through the system. It is generally recommended that you consume six to eight glasses per day. Not doing so could lead to a build-up and blockage caused by the fiber being unable to move through your digestive tract, and this in turn can lead to constipation.

Order all foods from high to low by Dietary fiber content per 100 grams