How much fiber do you need every day — and where to get it from?

Fiber contributes to a lot of healthy processes in our body such as digestion and heart health. Know all about the right daily fiber intake and its sources.
Oranges cut and whole
High fibre foods and fruits are the best way to fill up on your daily requirements of fibre. Image courtesy: Pexels
Anjuri Nayar Singh Updated: 22 Apr 2024, 12:39 pm IST
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Be it heart diseases or blood sugar and insulin levels, digestion or even obesity, the right daily fiber intake can help you regulate almost everything in your body. When you include high fiber foods in your diet, your gut health is strengthened and beneficial gut bacteria is produced. This can help your body in many ways.

A survey done by National Institute of Health points out that people in the West consume only half of their daily fiber requirement. It also states that only 5 per cent of the population is able to eat enough fiber in a day. An individual must have at least 30 grams of fiber in a day, and this can be met by the intake of high fiber foods.

What are high fiber foods?

When it comes to high fiber foods, it usually refers to food in the form of roughage or bulk, that the body can’t digest or absorb. “Fiber is an essential component in everyday diet. It is a carbohydrate that helps to regulate sugar levels and promotes a healthy stomach,” explains Archana S. It cannot be digested by the body, and as a result, fiber continues to stay and leave the body in the same form. It also helps in controlling hunger and promotes bowel health.

Daily fiber intake
High fibre foods list includes food items such as Greek yogurt, beans, peas. Image courtesy: Pexels

What are the two types of fiber?

Fiber is of two types – soluble fiber and Insoluble fiber.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fibers slow down digestion, helping you feel full for a longer time. “It lets water soak into it and create a gel-like structure around and makes it easier for bowel movements,” says Archana. Oats, barley, fruits, vegetables and legumes like lentils and peas are examples of soluble fibers. A study published in Current Atherosclerosis Reports states that soluble fiber lowers the bad cholesterol, which is called LDL, in your body.

Insoluble fibers

Insoluble fibers work faster in your body than soluble ones and they don’t absorb water. It helps with hydration and regulates bowel movements, states a research, published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Theraputics. It also adds bulk to the faeces, preventing constipation. Some examples of insoluble fibers are almonds, walnuts, skins of fruits and vegetable, green leaves and brown rice.

Benefits of fiber

Fiber is an essential nutrient and has a host of health benefits for our body. It helps to normalise our bowel movements and helps to prevent constipation. It also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut. besides this, it helps to lower cholesterol levels and is beneficial in controlling blood sugar as well. You can also meet your weight goals by regular consumption of fiber and it helps you to feel full for a long period of time as well.

Also Read: Fibre: Why do you need this nutrient in your daily diet? 

Which foods are high in fiber?

Grains like barley, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and whole wheat are all part of the high fibre foods list that help you meet your daily nutrition needs. “Avocado, passion fruit, pear, apple, berries, and veggies like peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beetroot, carrot, and tomatoes are high fiber foods. You can include them in your daily diet as salads or juices. Beans, lentils, and nuts like walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds have lots of fiber,” says Archana. They can help prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes and make your heart strong. They also help you lose weight. You can read all about what high fiber foods to include in your diet here.

Also read: 18 high fiber foods worth adding to your diet to manage weight and constipation

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Oranges and a pill
Fibre requirements can be met through high fibre foods as well as supplements. Image courtesy: Pexels

What should be the daily fiber intake?

According to the National Institute of Health, these are the daily fiber requirements of different age groups that can be met by eating high fiber foods.

  • Children of the age group 1-3 years, both male and female should consume 14 grams of fiber daily.
  • Girls in the age group of 4-8 years should consume 16.8 grams of fiber daily, while and 19.6 grams of fiber should be had by boys in the same age group, everyday.
  • In pre-adolescent girls of the age 9-13, the intake must be 2.4 grams while boys should have 25.2 grams of fiber.
  • In teens, girls belong to the age group of 14-18 years require 25.2 grams of fiber while boys require 30.8 grams.
  • In adults, women in the age group of 19-50 years should have 25 grams of fiber daily, while men, in the same age category, must have 38 grams of fiber.
  • Women, who are 51 years old and older, must intake 21 grams of fiber daily, while men that age must have 30 grams of fiber every day.

    Difference between foods rich in fiber and fiber supplements

High fiber foods refers to the food items that contain fiber naturally in them. These foods are natural, like beans, leafy greens, and berries, and they are packed with fiber. However, fiber supplements refer to additional sources of fibers which are taken in the form of pills. Some examples of fiber supplements are psyllium, insulin and methylcellulose. “Fiber supplements do not contain the vitamins and minerals that are found in food. It is best to get fiber directly from high fiber foods than from supplements,” says Archana.

Choosing a supplement that contains prebiotic might be a better idea than to choose one that does not. Prebiotics lead to a stronger gut and contribute to the overall wellness of a person, claims this study published in Advanced in Food and Nutrition Research.

How to increase your fiber intake?

There are various ways that you can meet your daily fiber intake requirements. Here are few of them for your to try.

  • Eat whole-carb foods: These are fruits, vegetables with starch, legumes as well as whole grains. This will help you stay full for longer as well.
  • Load up on veggies: Vegetables, ones with starch in them, are good sources of fiber. Make sure to have these regularly during the day. These are carrots, broccoli as well as beetroot.
  • Eat high-fiber snacks: Instead of a processed package of chips, choose high fiber options as snacks such as popcorn, or fruits. Combining fruits with nut butter or cheese, will also help you in meeting your weight goals.
  • Fiber supplements: Fiber supplements come in the form of gummies and powders. These can be taken but make sure to consult a doctor for the dosage.
  • Include seeds: Seeds such as chia are high sources of fiber and must be included in your diet.

Also Read: 15 low calorie, high fibre foods to keep your overall wellness in check

How can I get 30g of fiber a day?

Your daily fiber intake should be 30 grams of fiber, and here is a simple way to meet this requirement.

  • Whole grain foods: You should have ideally four servings of these during the day. This would include your whole grains as well as cereals.
  • Vegetables: You should consume five servings of vegetables in a day. This includes raw vegetables, legumes as well as greens.
  • Fruit: You should have two servings of fruit in a day. This can include dried fruits as well.


What precautions should I take while consuming fiber?

If you are on the road to increase your fiber consumption, make sure that you are hydrating yourself well. If enough water is not consumed, your stool can get dry, and get stuck in the rectum. You should have 48 ounces of water everyday.

What can happen if too much fiber is consumed?

Make sure to stick to your daily fiber requirement. If you go overboard, you can experience gas, bloating, as well as abdominal pain. Therefore, it is very important to find a balance.



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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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