Did you know that fiber is one of the most critical nutrients people just aren’t eating enough of?
If you’re looking for how to maximize your fiber intake, these lists are indispensable!
In this blog, you’ll learn…
- Why Is Fiber Important?
- What Is Fiber Good For?
- What Foods And Drinks Are Highest In Fiber?
- Are Fiber Supplements Helpful?
- Resync RTD and fiber
Why Is Fiber Important?
Fiber isn’t a macronutrient like carbohydrates, fat, and protein, but it isn’t a micronutrient like vitamins and minerals either. Fiber is in a class of its own, and for good reason: there are unique benefits associated with eating enough fiber that you can’t get anywhere else (see more below).
Fiber comes in two main forms:
Even though both forms are free of calories, they have powerful effects on your health.
Your body can’t digest fiber, but the bacteria in your large intestine can. Those bacteria extract calories from fiber leaving small chain fatty acids as a byproduct. These ‘byproducts’ are actually potent anti-inflammatory signalling molecules that tell your brain that you’re still full. SCFA’s also upregulate anti-inflammatory processes that preserve your gut health and decrease risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, according to research.
Soluble fiber dissolves in, and absorbs, water. It adds soft bulk to your stool.
Insoluble fiber (think roughage that sometimes doesn’t get digested well) absorbs water, meaning that insoluble fiber holds water on to the outside of its surface. Both types of fiber are used to treat constipation as supplements, whereas insoluble fiber can also help treat diarrhea.
This “bulking” effect has some beneficial implications you might not think about.
- Fiber is a good way to reduce absorption of cholesterol and toxic heavy metals.
- It can also slow down your digestion, allowing you to absorb more nutrients from your food.
To prevent disease, the Institute of Medicine recommends Americans get 25g/day for women, and 37 grams per day for men. With the average American intake of fiber at a paltry 13g per day for women and 17g per day for men, you can see why some scientists point to a lack of fiber as a key driver of chronic diseases today.
What Is Fiber Good For?
- Slows digestion, improves nutrient absorption, and helps prevent toxic heavy metal absorption
- Promotes a positive microbiome, which then lead to anti-inflammatory effects on brain health, joint pain, heart health, energy levels and more
- Helps with weight regulation and weight loss by providing the feeling of fullness without the calories
- Lowers the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol
- May help diabetes by helping to regulate blood sugar and improving insulin resistance
- Can be used to fight constipation (laxative effect)
What Foods And Drinks Are Highest In Fiber?
To help you with your grocery list for high-fiber food, drinks and supplements, I’ve made some easy to use lists of the foods with the highest fiber: carbohydrate ratio. This means that you’ll be getting the most fiber with the least sugar, making these lists suitable for people on a ketogenic diet too!
Note that the seeds in the list of high-fiber foods are often used to give smoothies a fiber-full boost. As long as you’re getting enough fiber from a clean (ie. low-sugar) source, it doesn’t matter whether you’re drinking it or eating it.
Lastly, if you’re like most people on Earth, you currently don’t get very much fiber. Don’t just grab one each of every high-fiber food on this list and eat it with every meal. That can lead to stomach pain, flatulence, or more serious gut issues.
Pro tip from a dietitian: to avoid side effects from getting too much fiber too fast, increase your fiber intake gradually by choosing one of these items to incorporate into your diet each day. Give your body a few weeks to get used to the extra fiber, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success!
Highest Fiber Foods
Here’s a list of plant-based, highest-fiber foods, arranged by grams of fiber per 100 total grams of food:
- Psyllium husk: 52g/100g fiber; this is actually what some fiber supplements are made of; careful: it acts as a laxative too and you have to eat it with a lot of water!
- Flaxseed meal: 27g/100g; make sure to get ground for the best omega-3 absorption
- Chia seed meal: 34g/100g; make sure to get ground for the best omega-3 absorption
- Pumpkin seeds (hull on): 18g/100g; excellent source of minerals like magnesium
- Nuts: 13g-16g; almonds and pecans are highest
- Sesame seeds and tahini: 12g/100g; also an excellent source of minerals
- Quinoa and other ancient grains: 10-16g/100g; other ancient grains include amaranth, millet, farro, teff, and others
- Oats: 10g/100g - the carbohydrate content makes these not suitable for keto diets
- Beans & legumes: 6-13g/100g; highest in black beans and great northern beans
- Berries 6g-13g/100g: focus on goji berries, raspberries and choose wild blueberries over regular, other berries have more sugar and less fiber than these
- Avocado: 7g/100g: as well as an excellent source of healthy fats
- Hemp hearts: 7g/100g; unique source of anti-inflammatory gamma-linoleic acid
- Dark green veggies and leafy vegetables: 2-5g/100; these are typically higher in fiber than listed because of the water content lost in cooking; plus, a;ll are low-calorie and most are a great source of natural nitrates
If you’re looking for the best way to incorporate these ingredients in your diet, as well as all the other recovery-, performance, and sleep-enhancing benefits, check out my new ebook! It's part cookbook, part-research review that looks at food combinations to decrease inflammation, bolster physical and mental performance, and improve health daily by improving your sleep and recovery with what you eat.
Highest Fiber Drinks
Besides fruit and vegetable smoothies and fiber supplements, drinks are not what you usually think of first for their fiber content. A revolution in the beverage industry is underway, though, and I think you’ll want to be paying attention to where this industry is headed.
You’ll notice some old names in this list - in the past there really hasn’t been much of a choice when it comes to high-fiber beverages.
Pay attention to the best drinks on this list - the future of sparkling beverages is happening, and you can reap the rewards of better health by joining the fray and casting a vote for health with every dollar well spent.
Here’s our list of highest-fiber beverages and drinks:
6. V8® 100% vegetable juice: 2g / 12oz
5. Prune juice: 5g / 12oz
4. Kombucha with chia seeds: 6g / 12oz
3. Olipop®: 9g / 12oz can
2. Homemade smoothies: 5 to 10g or more, depending on the ingredients
1. Resync RTD: 7g/ 11.4oz can
Even though all of these provide some fiber, what really separates them is the presence of healthful ingredients or harmful ingredients. Resync RTD and homemade smoothies have all kinds of other beneficial ingredients, but many of the others on this list are full of that pesky, often-hidden, harmful ingredient: sugar.
Whether it’s added or natural, or if it goes by any other name (fructose, sucrose, glucose, syrups and more), sugar is still sugar. High blood sugar can damage your connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia and more), increase your risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and cause you to gain weight.
I only recommend intentionally crafted smoothies (see below for recipe ideas) and Resync RTD when it comes to fiber-rich beverages that also limit the sugar. Why would you want to take pro-inflammatory sugar with anti-inflammatory ingredients anyway?
Resync Ready to Drink Is An Excellent Source of Fiber
Soda-alternatives have been adding health-promoting functional foods that can help shift the unhealthy trajectory most soda-drinkers are on (read more in our last post here). It’s a win-win: you’re getting the fiber you need without the excessive amounts of sugar in most pop, and the industry is getting a facelift that puts the health of their customers first.
It’s not the beverage giants that are leading this revolution, though, it’s small businesses like Resync that are paving the way to a future of better health.
At Resync, we’ve developed a new vegan sparkling multi-functional beverage that promises to take your taste buds to heaven while leaving your body in the best shape possible! It makes the top of the list for a reason - Resync made a new kind of drink with science-backed ingredients to support your immune system, digestive system and heart health. We packed in as much nutrition as possible while still delivering a unmatched taste.
According to the FDA, when it comes to fiber a food product has to have 20% of the total recommended dietary intake in order to qualify as an excellent source of fiber.
Resync RTD has that and more. And we use two different fiber sources, beta-glucan from oats and inulin, both of which have been studied in clinical research for their potential benefits.
For example, beta glucan has been studied since the 1970s to lower cholesterol levels, and is even approved by the FDA at a dose of 3 grams per day to lower the risk of heart disease in combination with a healthy lifestyle and a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Exciting new research is emerging to suggest that beta-glucan may also have immune system boosting effects, even though there has to be more high quality studies to prove it.
Inulin is a popular fiber source that has been known to have all the benefits of other fiber sources, and then some. Inulin has been studied for it’s glucose, insulin, and cholesterol-lowering effects, making it a perfect addition to a soda-alternative that prioritizes your heart health.
Are Fiber Supplements Helpful?
If you’re wondering “should I supplement with fiber?”, the answer depends on what else you eat and what you’re using fiber for. Always clear it with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle.
With the average diet so deficient in fiber, supplementing can be a good choice for many people to see the benefits seen in research and recommended by official agencies like the Institute of Medicine.
Some research shows that taking different types of fiber can help increase the diversity of your gut bacteria, which is in turn linked with beneficial effects on gut health. So, if you supplement with fiber, make sure to get it from a few different sources for the largest benefit.
How Do I Eat And Drink For More Fiber?
Getting extra fiber in the form of supplements can increase your fiber intake up to the FDA recommended level, leading to many of the benefits seen in research, but I have to ask: why not get that fiber from your food?
A well-balanced diet provides ample fiber to reduce the risk of disease, plus the variety of fiber you get from whole foods sources might amplify the effect of a positive microbiome. Not to mention the wealth of other benefits from eating more fruits and vegetables.
Do you want better gains from exercise?
Better sleep and the ability to wake up refreshed?
Do you want natural energy without the caffeine- or sugar-crash?
These are the side stream benefits of the other ingredients present in a variety of high fiber whole foods. Check out my new ebook, Recover Every Layer of Your Body: 40 Science-Based Recipes For Better Sleep, Faster Recovery and Healthier Connective Tissues for more, including pages, tables, and references so you can make the best decisions for yourself. Here’s one high-fiber smoothie sample to help you fight inflammation and improve your energy. If you like this you’ll love my other recipes!
We want to hear from you!
Want the practical details on how to eat and supplement to support your exercise, heart health, beauty, and energy? Subscribe to our feed and never miss our best content! If you want more, leave a comment or question below, and we’ll get back to you!
While other companies try to sell you through clickbait and fake news, we back up what we say with hard data. We believe that when you have the right information, you are empowered to make the best decision possible. That’s why we break down complex science into practical takeaways you can use today.
Wishing you the best in your health,
The Resync Team
Ahmed, Waqas, and Summer Rashid. “Functional and Therapeutic Potential of Inulin: A Comprehensive Review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 59, no. 1, Taylor & Francis, Jan. 2019, pp. 1–13. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, doi:10.1080/10408398.2017.1355775.
Erkkilä, Arja T., and Alice H. Lichtenstein. “Fiber and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: How Strong Is the Evidence?” The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, vol. 21, no. 1, Feb. 2006, pp. 3–8. PubMed, doi:10.1097/00005082-200601000-00003.
FDA. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.54. Accessed 17 Mar. 2021.
Institute of Medicine (U.S.) and Institute of Medicine (U.S.) - 2005 - Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate.Pdf. https://www.nal.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fnic_uploads/energy_full_report.pdf. Accessed 17 Mar. 2021.
Johnson Rachel K., et al. “Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health.” Circulation, vol. 120, no. 11, American Heart Association, Sept. 2009, pp. 1011–20. ahajournals.org (Atypon), doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192627.
Le Bastard, Quentin, et al. “The Effects of Inulin on Gut Microbial Composition: A Systematic Review of Evidence from Human Studies.” European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, vol. 39, no. 3, Mar. 2020, pp. 403–13. Springer Link, doi:10.1007/s10096-019-03721-w.
Murphy, Emma J., et al. “β-Glucan Metabolic and Immunomodulatory Properties and Potential for Clinical Application.” Journal of Fungi, vol. 6, no. 4, Dec. 2020. PubMed Central, doi:10.3390/jof6040356.
Ríos-Covián, David, et al. “Intestinal Short Chain Fatty Acids and Their Link with Diet and Human Health.” Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 7, 2016, p. 185. PubMed, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00185.
So, Daniel et al. “Dietary fiber intervention on gut microbiota composition in healthy adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 107,6 (2018): 965-983. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy041
This content is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute the practice of any professional healthcare service, INCLUDING the giving of medical advice. No provider-patient relationship is formed. The use of this information, and the materials linked to this content is at the user's own risk. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should abide by the advice of their healthcare provider, and should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have.