Fiber is an important element of a healthy diet and can contribute to good digestion. If a person wishes to incorporate more high fiber foods into their diet, it is advisable to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration or constipation.
People with chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, or medical conditions such as diverticulitis may benefit from eating a diet high in fiber.
A person should aim to consume
This article outlines the benefits and side effects of eating a high fiber diet. It then provides a list of foods high in fiber and tips on how to include more fiber in a person’s diet.
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Researchers have documented several benefits of dietary fiber. Although more research is necessary on this topic, a
- prevention or treatment of constipation
- weight loss
- maintenance of health metabolism
- improvement in gut bacteria health
- reduced inflammation
- decreased risk of depression
- improved life expectancy
- colorectal cancer prevention
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) also states that eating a diet with plenty of fiber can lower the risk of:
Learn more about why people need dietary fiber and the benefits it can have.
Although an increase in fiber intake can help aid digestion, it is possible for a person to consume too much fiber.
According to a
Additionally, those with digestive conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, should limit their fiber intake under medical supervision.
If a person wishes to increase the amount of fiber in their diet, the NHS suggests that a person gradually introduce high fiber foods over the course of 2–3 weeks and drink plenty of fluids. A person can aim to drink 3–4 pints, or 1.5–2 liters, of water per day.
Learn more about how much fiber is too much.
Some foods are better sources of fiber than others. According to the
The following table outlines grains that are high in fiber.
|Grain||Standard portion||Fiber (g)|
|unsweetened, high fiber cereal||1/2 cup||14|
|whole grain kernel cereal||1/2 cup||7.5|
|wheat cereal, shredded||1 cup||6.2|
|bran flakes||3/4 cup||5.5|
|cooked bulgur||1/2 cup||4.1|
|cooked spelt||1/2 cup||3.8|
|cooked teff||1/2 cup||3.6|
The following table outlines fruits that are high in fiber.
|Fruit||Standard portion||Fiber (g)|
|apote or sapodilla||1 cup||9.5|
|Asian pear||1 medium fruit||6.5|
|blueberries, wild||1 cup||6.2|
|passion fruit||1/4 cup||6.1|
|pear||1 medium fruit||5.5|
The following table outlines vegetables that are high in fiber.
|Vegetables||Standard portion||Fiber (g)|
|artichoke, cooked||1 cup||9.6|
|breadfruit, cooked||1 cup||8|
|fufu, cooked||1 cup||7.4|
|canned pumpkin||1 cup||7.1|
|taro root (dasheen or yautia), cooked||1 cup||6.7|
|Brussels sprouts, cooked||1 cup||6.4|
|sweet potato, cooked||1 cup||6.3|
|parsnips, cooked||1 cup||6.2|
|nettles, cooked||1 cup||6.1|
|jicama, raw||1 cup||5.9|
|winter squash, cooked||1 cup||5.7|
|yam, cooked||1 cup||5.3|
|broccoli, cooked||1 cup||5.2|
|tree fern, cooked||1 cup||5.2|
|luffa gourd, cooked||1 cup||5.2|
|turnip greens, cooked||1 cup||5|
|drumstick pods (moringa), cooked||1 cup||5|
Legumes and pulses
The following table outlines legumes and pulses that are high in fiber.
|Pulse or legume||Standard portion||Fiber (g)|
|navy beans, cooked||1/4 cup||4.8|
|small white beans, cooked||1/4 cup||4.7|
|yellow beans, cooked||1/2 cup||9.2|
|lima beans, cooked||1 cup||9.2|
|green peas, cooked||1 cup||8.8|
|adzuki beans, cooked||1/2 cup||8.4|
|French beans, cooked||1/2 cup||8.3|
|split peas, cooked||1/2 cup||8.2|
|lentils, cooked||1/2 cup||7.8|
|lupini beans, cooked||1/2 cup||7.8|
|mung beans, cooked||1/2 cup||7.7|
|black turtle beans, cooked||1/2 cup||7.7|
|pinto beans, cooked||1/2 cup||7.7|
|cranberry (Roman) beans, cooked||1/2 cup||7.6|
|black beans, cooked||1/2 cup||7.5|
|chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cooked||1/2 cup||6.3|
|great northern beans, cooked||1/2 cup||6.2|
Nuts and seeds
The following table outlines nuts and seeds that are high in fiber.
A person can increase fiber in their diet by:
- Choosing cereals that are high in fiber over other breakfast cereals.
- Choosing wholemeal or granary bread over white bread.
- Choosing brown rice instead of white rice.
- Eating potatoes with the skin on, such as baked potatoes or boiled new potatoes.
- Adding legumes, such as chickpeas, to dishes such as curries or salads.
- Eating seeds or nuts as snacks.
A person can also aim to eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into a diet include:
- adding fruit to breakfast cereal
- eating fruits or vegetables as a snack or for dessert
- including salad vegetables as a part of a packed lunch
- using vegetables in stir-fries
- choosing vegetarian dishes, such as vegetable curry, as a main course dish
A person can try the following meal suggestions:
|Breakfast||• high fiber cereal with a portion of fresh fruit|
• wholemeal, granary, or seeded toast
• porridge with fresh or dried fruit
|Lunch||• baked potato with tuna mayonnaise and a side salad|
• chicken and wholemeal pasta salad
• lentil soup
• wholemeal wraps containing hummus and salad vegetables
|Dinner||• vegetable curry containing legumes, such as chickpeas, with brown rice|
• vegetarian bean chili with brown rice
• vegetable stir fry with brown rice or wholewheat noodles
|Snacks or sides||• guacamole with wholemeal pitta|
• a portion of fresh fruit
• a side salad
• unsalted nuts
• dried fruit
The following section includes common questions about fiber.
What foods are the highest in fiber?
According to the
Can you lose weight on a high fiber diet?
There is some
Are fiber supplements beneficial?
According to a thorough
Eating a diet high in fiber can contribute to healthy digestion. It may also have other health benefits, such as helping to reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer and improving gut bacteria health.
If a person wishes to include more fiber in their diet, they should aim to introduce high fiber foods over the course of a few weeks and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Some medical conditions may require a person to monitor their fiber intake under the supervision of a medical professional.