Fiber for your Gut

What is Fiber?

Fiber gives plants structure and is indigestible by humans. Because it is not digestible, it does not add calories. Fiber is found only in plant foods, but not just in whole grains. It also is in fruits, vegetables, dry beans, and nuts. Fiber is not found in animal products, such as milk, cheese, fish, poultry, or meat.

Types of Fiber

Dissolves in water
Attracts water and forms a gel
Helps slow down digestion
Delays stomach emptying
Mostly found in:
–   Oatmeal and oat cereal
–   Beans, lentils, chickpeas 
–   Apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery and carrots
–   Flaxseed and chia seeds (better if milled)
High in roughage
Increases stool bulk
Speeds passage of stools through the bowel
Helps prevent constipation
Mostly found in:
–   Whole-wheat and whole grains
–   Corn, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur
–   Zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, dark leafy vegetables, grapes

A diet high in fiber helps to increase movement through the gastrointestinal tract, therefore decreasing the symptoms associated with constipation. Increased fiber may also be beneficial in reducing the risk of colon cancer and lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Ideally, adults should consume 25-35 grams of fiber per day and children about 15 grams per day. When beginning the high-fiber diet it is important to slowly increase the amount of fiber over a course of a few weeks. Adding fiber too quickly can cause bloating, diarrhea, or pain.  It is also important to ensure your drink enough of fluids while on the high fiber diet allowing for fiber to be processed without discomfort.  

Fiber Values

FruitServing SizeDietary Fiber
Apple, raw with skins1 large4
Apricots, dried5 halves2
Apricots, raw with skins21.4
Avocado½ med9
Bananas1 med3
Blackberries, raw½ cup5
Cherries, raw10 large1.1
Cranberries, raw½ cup4
Dates, dried32
Figs, dried1 med3.7
Grapefruit, raw½ 0.8
Grapes, purple150.5
Guava1 med3
Kiwi1 med2.1
Mango1 med3.3
Melon1 cup1.5
Nectarine, raw with skin1 small1.5
Orange, without skin1 small2.3
Peach, raw with skin1 med2.3
Pear, raw with skin1 med6
Pineapple, raw½ cup0.8
Plums, raw with skin3 small2
Prunes, dried612
Raisins¼ cup2
Raspberries, raw½ cup4.6
Strawberries, raw½ cup2
Tangerine1 large2
VegetablesServing SizeDietary Fiber
Asparagus½ cup3.5
Bean sprouts, raw½ cup1.5
Beans, green, cooked½ cup2.1
Beets, cooked½ cup2.1
Broccoli, cooked½ cup3.5
Brussels sprouts, cooked½ cup2.3
Cabbage, cooked½ cup2.1
Carrots, raw½ cup1.8
Cauliflower, cooked½ cup1.6
Celery, raw½ cup1.1
Collard greens, cooked1 cup5
Corn, fresh1 med ear5.2
Cucumber, raw½ cup1.1
Kale, cooked½ cup1.3
Lettuce1 cup0.8
Mushrooms, raw½ cup0.9
Mustard greens, raw½ cup1
Okra, raw½ cup1.6
Onion, raw½ cup1.2
Peas, green½ cup4
Pepper, green, raw½ cup1.1
Potato, baked with skin1 med3.8
Radishes, raw½ cup1.3
Spinach, cooked½ cup6.5
Squash, summer, cooked½ cup2
Squash, winter, cooked½ cup3.5
Sweet Potato, cooked1 med4
Swiss chard, cooked1 cup4
Tomato, cooked½ cup1.5
Tomato, raw1 small1.5
Turnip, cooked½ cup2
Yam, cooked½ cup3.9
Zucchini, raw½ cup2
Breads & CerealsServing SizeDietary Fiber
Bran muffin12
Sprouted1 slice5
Whole grain1 slice2.1
Whole wheat1 slice1.3
Grains, cooked:  
Quinoa1 cup5
Rice, brown½ cup2.4
Rice, wild1 cup3
Pasta, whole wheat1 cup6
Pasta, chickpeas1 cup16
100% All Bran⅓ cup8.4
40% Bran Flakes1 cup6
Bob’s Red Mill High Fiber Hot Cereal1/3 cup, dry10
Bran Chex1 cup8.2
Corn Bran1 cup8.8
Grapenuts⅓ cup5.4
Oatmeal, instant, dry1 package3.3
Oats, whole, dry¼  cup2.9
Puffed Wheat1 cup4.5
Shredded Wheat1 biscuit2.8
Total1 cup3.3
Unprocessed Bran1 tsp2
Wheat Chex1 cup3
Wheaties1 cup3.5
Legumes, cookedServing SizeDietary Fiber
Beans, black½ cup7.5
Beans, brown½ cup8.4
Beans, kidney½ cup9.7
Beans, lima½ cup8.3
Beans, pinto½ cup8.9
Beans, white½ cup7.9
Lentils, cooked½ cup3.7
NutsServing SizeDietary Fiber
Almonds1 oz3.5
Brazil nuts1 oz2.1
Cashews1 oz0.9
Chestnuts1 oz1.5
Peanuts1 oz2.4
Pecans1 oz2.7
Pistachios1 oz2.9
Walnuts1 oz1.9
Snack FoodsServing SizeDietary Fiber
Edamame1 cup6
Crackers, rye wafers1 ounce6
Popcorn, popped3 cups3
Pumpkin seeds½ cup3
Sunflower seeds¼ cup3

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