best high fibre foods
Medically reviewed by Sara Osman,RD,PT

Introduction

Fibre (or Fiber) is a diverse group of complex carbohydrates that are intrinsic and intact in plants and are not absorbed or digested in the small intestine [1,3].

It is found abundantly in plant-based sources and is an essential nutrient to keep the digestive system in good working order.

Also, there is enough conclusive evidence that consuming recommended intakes of fibre can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases [1,2,3]

Fibre is commonly classified as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve in water.

Soluble fibre can help lower blood glucose level and blood cholesterol levels whereas insoluble fibre can help food move through our digestive system and help prevent constipation [2].

  • All dietary forms of fibre are resistant to digestion in the small intestine and arrive intact in the large intestine leading to the formation of beneficial fatty acids [1,3,4]
  • Viscous fibre delays gastric emptying, thereby slowing and improving the nutrients absorption process in the intestine [1]
  • Fibre is not stored in the body [1].
  • Dietary fibre passes intact through the body and is excreted through faeces.
  • It increases the bulk of stool, thereby promoting regular bowel movements and reducing constipation risk [2,3].

Body Functions

Adequate Daily Intake

How much fibre is recommended daily
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Deficiency Symptoms

Inadequate fibre intake doesn’t induce biochemical or clinical symptoms as it is not an essential nutrient and isn’t stored in the body however, lack of fibre intake can cause inadequate faecal bulk and may detract from optimal health [1].

Fibre Food Sources

foods high in fibre vegan
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Fibre’s Interaction With Other Nutrients

  • Calcium inulin and oligofructose may enhance calcium absorption [3].
  • Phytate – Excess fibre has been found to decrease the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in the same meal because of the phytate present in the cereal fibre rather than the fibre itself [3].
  • Carotenoids β-carotene, lycopene, and lutein: pectin and guar gum may reduce the absorption of these nutrients [3].

Fibre And Health

Nutrient Profiles For Food Groups

Fruits ( i )

Raw or frozen – 2.44 g
Canned – 1.94 g
Dried 2.08 g
Juice – 1.95 g

Legumes ( i )

Flour – 17.91 g
Raw- 8.68 g
Cooked – 6.69 g
Canned – 4.67 g
Dry – 4.24 g

Nuts & Seeds ( i )

Nuts – 4.99 g
Seeds – 5.92 g

Veggies ( i )

Dried – 6.68 g
Cooked – 3.74 g
Canned – 3.74 g
Raw or frozen – 2.94 g

Cereal grains & Flour ( i )

Raw grains – 9.08 g
Flour – 5.57 g
Cooked – 1.99 g

Oils ( i )

Cooking oil – 0 g
Other edible oils – 0 g

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Medically reviewed by Sara Osman,RD,PT

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