Best Fiber Foods

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Tue Aug 29 2023.


Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. It’s a type of carbohydrate that contributes to various bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation, appetite, and digestion. 

Kids and adults need 25-30 grams of daily fiber to maintain good health, but most Americans only get a fraction of that amount. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of health problems like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and heart disease.

Thankfully, eating more dietary fiber is easy. No matter your medical needs or flavor preferences, there are a variety of fiber-dense foods to choose from.

What is Dietary Fiber?

Dietary fiber, or roughage, is plant material that your body is unable to digest. It passes through your stomach and intestines, helping to soften your stool and promote regularity.

There are two types of dietary fiber:

Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel. It helps regulate cholesterol and blood sugar and is found in foods like apples, oats, and beans. 

Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber helps waste move through your digestive system. It bulks up bowel movements, reducing the risk of constipation. This type of fiber is found in wheat bran, wheat flour, and cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli.

“The skin of fruits and vegetables and the outer layer of seeds and grains contain insoluble fiber,”  said Carmelita Lombera, a certified nutritionist and health coach at River Bend Medical Associates in Sacramento, California. “Whereas the "pulp" of fruits and vegetables contains soluble fiber. When you eat whole foods, you get both benefits.” 

Why is Eating Dietary Fiber Important?

Eating dietary fiber is important because it keeps your digestive system healthy.

“In our intestines, we have villi, which act like fingers to pick up nutrients from foods,” Lombera said. “People who eat more fiber have stronger villi, so their intestines are better at absorbing nutrients. In addition, fiber binds to bad stuff in our bodies, like cholesterol, and removes it with other waste products.” 

The 8 Best High-Fiber Foods

1) Legumes

Legumes are a group of vegetables that include beans, peas, and lentils. They’re packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fermentable fiber which helps promote gut health. 

Consider that:

  • One cup of beans has 13 grams of fiber

  • One cup of lentils has 15 grams of fiber. 

Legumes are an excellent (and affordable) addition to soups, salads, pasta, and casseroles. Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix is a flavorful introduction to this fiber-rich food group. 

Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix
Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix

Price: $41.49

2) Avocado

Avocado is a key ingredient in guacamole, but it’s also one of the most fiber-dense fruits. Avocados have vitamins C, E, and K as well as beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids.  Try adding it to salads, burritos, or protein shakes. 

A whole medium avocado has 9.2-10 grams of fiber.

3) Chia Seeds

Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family. The seeds were cultivated in Mexico and Central America for thousands of years but didn’t become an American staple until the 1970s, with the introduction of the chia pet.

Chia seeds can be eaten whole, as an addition to smoothies, yogurt, or cereal,  or they can be ground up and mixed into baked goods. 

Two tablespoons of chia seeds (about one ounce) have 10 grams of fiber. 


4) Quinoa 

Quinoa is an edible seed, like chia. It's been grown and used in South America for hundreds of years but didn’t achieve widespread fame until the early aughts when restaurants started featuring it on their menus. 

Quinoa is gluten-free, making it an excellent high-fiber food for people with celiac disease. And, its somewhat nutty and earthy flavor is appealing to almost everyone, including picky eaters.

Quinoa is incredibly versatile. Mix it with scrambled eggs for a nutrient-rich breakfast, or add it to steamed greens or vegetable soup. 

One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of fiber. 

5) Blackberries

Blackberries are loaded with insoluble fiber, making them an excellent snack for those wanting to improve their digestive health. They contain antioxidants and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, K, calcium, and manganese.

Blackberries are available year-round in most areas, but they’re especially tasty during the months of May-September at peak freshness. 

Add blackberries to yogurt, cereal, or salads. Include them in smoothies or make a blackberry sauce to complement a lean protein, like salmon. 

One cup of blackberries has 8 grams of fiber. 

6) Raspberries

Raspberries are another delicious fruit loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Like blackberries, they’re available year-round but are particularly fresh during the summer and early fall. 

Eat a handful of raspberries for an afternoon snack or add them to smoothies or salads. If you’re allowed to eat ice cream, they provide a healthy alternative to toppings like chocolate sauce and sprinkles.

One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber. 

7) Kale

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable closely related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It’s loaded with antioxidants, calcium, and iron as well as vitamins K and C. 

Because of its high-fiber content, some people find kale difficult to chew. You can address this problem by massaging raw kale or by cooking or steaming it. Cooked kale does lose some of its fiber content, but it’s still beneficial. 

One cup of raw kale has 2.6 grams of fiber. Use it as a base for a salad and that number increases to 8-10 grams of fiber.

8) Flaxseed

Flaxseed comes from the flax plant –– a member of the Linaceae family. Originally, it was grown to produce textiles, like clothing, but it’s now considered a health food staple. 

Carewell Tip

Some people eat flaxseed raw while others prefer it ground up. Regardless of your preference, there are plenty of ways to include flax in your diet. Try adding a tablespoon to your cereal or oatmeal, mix it into smoothies, or bake it into muffins or bread. 

Two tablespoons of flaxseed have nearly 6 grams of fiber. 

Shop Organic Flaxseed

High Fiber Foods - Commonly Asked Questions

1) Is it possible to eat too much fiber?

Yes. When it comes to dietary fiber, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

“If you consume too much fiber, you might end up with constipation, especially if you're not drinking enough water,” Lombera said. “Eating too much fiber can also reduce the absorption of essential nutrients.”

2) I have trouble chewing and swallowing. How can I make eating fiber easier?

If you or your loved one have trouble chewing or swallowing, there are still ways to include fiber in your diet. 

For example, try cooking cruciferous vegetables, like kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli so they’re softer. 

“You can also try making smoothies or soups so it's easier to swallow. Blended foods like applesauce are another excellent option. One cup of applesauce has 3 grams of dietary fiber,” Lobera said.

3) Can fiber supplements complement my diet? Or is it better to stick to high-fiber foods? 

There are a variety of fiber supplements available over-the-counter, but they can’t replace natural, whole foods.

“I don’t recommend fiber supplements because many include artificial sweeteners and coloring,” Lombera said. “Try adding fiber-rich foods to your snacks and meals to get other nutrients like potassium and magnesium.”

It can be challenging to increase your fiber intake, but it isn’t impossible. Start slowly by increasing your fiber intake by 5 grams per day.


Dietary fiber is a key component of a healthy and balanced diet. Eating fiber-rich foods like blackberries, raspberries, kale, and flaxseed can improve your digestion, keep you “regular”, and reduce the risk of health problems like heart disease and colon cancer.

Do you have questions about dietary fiber or any of the foods on this list? Get in touch! Our Care Specialists speak English and Spanish and can provide insights and advice to make mealtimes easier. Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.