Fiber is a crucial part of any diet. If you’re looking to add more fiber to yours, there are plenty of easy ways to do so.

Several bowls of high fiber foods such as beans and lentils.Share on Pinterest
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Here’s a riddle: what do oats, artichokes, raspberries, and beans all have in common? Well, other than being a delicious part of a well-rounded diet, these foods are all high in a type of carbohydrate known as dietary fiber.

Dietary fiber, or just fiber, describes the type of carbohydrates in food that our bodies can’t digest. We can find fiber in a wide variety of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds, and there are two main types — soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.

Eating fiber is one of the many ways that we nourish our gut, but research has shown that there are even more benefits to eating a high fiber diet. Below, we’ll explore some of those benefits, and share how you can get more high fiber foods onto your plate and into your gut.

Health experts consider a high fiber diet any diet in which someone eats as much as, or more than, the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. Generally, these recommended amounts for adults are as follows:

  • 25 grams for females 19–50 years of age
  • 21 grams for females ages 51 and older
  • 38 grams for males 19–50 years of age
  • 30 grams for males ages 51 and older

For example, if you’re a 30-year-old cis woman, your diet is considered high in fiber if you eat at least 25 grams of fiber or more each day.

Transgender individuals have unique nutrition needs that will likely change throughout the course of their transition. The fiber needs of intersex individuals will also be highly individualized.

Due to the lack of research on transgender and intersex populations, it’s best to discuss this with your doctor or dietitian about your ideal fiber intake.

Although there’s no shortage of high fiber foods, most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diet. In fact, research suggests that Americans only eat an average of 15 grams of fiber a day — just around half of the recommended amount for most adults.

But why is fiber so important, and what are the health benefits of eating a diet high in fiber?

One large literature review published in 2020 explored the available research on the health benefits of fiber. The results of the review found that the main benefits of dietary fiber are:

Ultimately, there’s overwhelming evidence that fiber is beneficial for more than just your gut, which is why experts recommend eating at least the recommended amount per day.

You’ve probably already been eating foods that are high in fiber. But just in case — here are a few of our top picks for high fiber foods to add to your plate.

Lentils

  • 20.5 grams of fiber per cup, uncooked
  • 10.7 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Lentils are a great source of nutrients and an even better source of dietary fiber. Just 1 cup of uncooked lentils nets over 20 grams of fiber, which makes them great for batch recipes like curries, stews, and soups.

Oats

  • 16.5 grams of fiber per cup, uncooked
  • 10.6 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Oats are another quick, easy, and affordable source of dietary fiber, especially for breakfast. But even if you’re not a fan of oats in the morning, you can still use them in other baking recipes, like breads, muffins, and more.

Black beans

  • 15 grams of fiber per cup, cooked
  • 8.7 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Black beans are a staple in plant-based diets because they’re not just high in fiber — they’re also a great source of protein. One cup of cooked black beans has 15 grams of fiber, which is around half the recommended daily amount.

Kidney beans

  • 13.1 grams of fiber per cup, cooked
  • 7.4 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Like black beans, kidney beans are also high in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Kidney beans are versatile and can be found in a variety of recipes, like vegetarian chili, red beans and rice, and even cold salads.

Chickpeas

  • 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, cooked
  • 7.6 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Chickpeas are another great plant-based source of protein and dietary fiber. And you might be surprised by all the ways you can eat them — in soups, stews, salads, curries, and even roasted in the oven for a crunchy snack.

Avocado

  • 10 grams of fiber per cup
  • 6.7 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Avocados are deliciously creamy and nutrient-dense — with plenty of fiber, too. Most people enjoy avocados on toast or in salads, but if you’re looking for a little extra fiber in the morning, they also taste great in smoothies.

Chia seeds

  • 9.75 grams of fiber per ounce, dried
  • 34.4 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Chia seeds are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that helps slow down digestion and balance blood sugar. If you want to add chia seeds to your diet, your body will process them easier if you soak them first.

Raspberries

  • 8 grams of fiber per cup
  • 6.5 grams of fiber in every 100 grams

Raspberries may seem like a sweet treat, but did you know that they’re also high in fiber? Adding 1 cup of these berries to your breakfast or a snack will net you 8 grams of fiber, getting you that much closer to your fiber goal.

Unless your doctor has advised you to do so, it’s not really necessary to cut foods out of your diet if you’re on a high fiber diet. But if you do want to fill your plate with mostly high fiber foods, here are some of the foods that contain less fiber:

  • meat
  • fish
  • poultry
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • refined grains
  • processed snacks
  • fruit juices
  • fried foods

Of course, a high fiber diet can still include these foods, and most people who eat plenty of fiber still enjoy a wide variety of foods on their plate. Eating well is all about moderation and finding a balance that works for you.

Keep learning about nutrition

A high fiber diet is one way that you can improve your health, but the benefits of good nutrition don’t end there. Consider checking out some of our top nutrition resources to help you learn more about the foods we eat:

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Fiber is a nondigestible type of carbohydrate that has multiple health benefits, from nourishing our gut flora to protecting our heart health, and much more.

If you find it difficult to eat enough fiber each day, you’re not alone — and there are steps you can take to get your fiber intake up. By filling your plate with foods that are high in fiber, like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and seeds, you’ll be giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.