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Foods high in soluble fibre: 20 options to improve gut health

Foods high in soluble fibre help solve many digestive ailments such as constipation and cholesterol. Read on to know which foods to include in your diet.
A woman eating oats
Soluble fibre is great when it comes to solving digestive problems such as constipation and cholesterol. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Updated: 22 Mar 2024, 12:24 pm IST
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Fibre is a very important part of a balanced diet, and it should never be ignored. There are two types of fibre present in foods – soluble and insoluble fibre. Both are very important for a healthy gut. Be it your blood sugar levels or lowering your cholesterol, soluble fibre plays a big role in solving many digestive issues. So, it is imperative that foods rich in soluble fibre must be included in your diet regularly.

Foods such as oats, beans, apples are a great source of soluble fibre and help in keeping you healthy. Health Shots got in touch with dietitian Kejal Shah, who tells us the importance of soluble fibre and food options that have soluble fibre.

What is soluble fibre?

Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance during digestion, slowing down the digestion process. “These foods are often nutrient-dense, providing essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that support various bodily functions and promote long-term health,” says Shah.

How does soluble fibre help your body?

Soluble fibre plays a crucial role in promoting overall health and well-being through various mechanisms:

1. May regulate blood sugar levels

Soluble fibre slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, which helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.

2. May lower cholesterol

Soluble fibre binds to bile acids in the digestive tract and helps remove them from the body. This process reduces the reabsorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream, ultimately contributing to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.

3. May promote digestive health

The gel-like consistency formed by soluble fibre in the digestive tract helps regulate bowel movements and prevents constipation. It also provides a food source for beneficial gut bacteria, supporting a healthy gut microbiome.

A bowl of apples
Apples are a great source of soluble fibre. Image courtesy: Freepik

4. May increase satiety

Foods high in soluble fibre tend to be more filling and can promote a sense of fullness, reducing overall calorie intake. This can be beneficial for weight management and weight loss efforts.

5. May support heart health

By lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar, and promoting a healthy gut, soluble fibre contributes to overall heart health and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

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

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20 high soluble fibre foods to add to diet

1. Oats

Oats contain 1.9 g of soluble fibre, per cup. Oats are a rich source of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

2. Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)

Legumes are high in soluble fibre, which supports digestive health, regulates blood sugar levels, and provides a good source of plant-based protein. Beans contain 3 grams of soluble fibre in 133 grams, after cooking.

3. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, promoting heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting digestive function. One tablespoon of flaxseeds contain 0.6 to 1.2 grams of soluble fibre.

4. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are high in soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, aiding in weight management, reducing inflammation, and supporting digestive health. One portion of chia seeds contain 24 grams of soluble fibre.

5. Psyllium husk

Psyllium husk is a concentrated source of soluble fiber that helps regulate bowel movements, improve satiety, and lower cholesterol levels. One portion of psyllium husk contains 67 grams of soluble fibre

6. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in soluble fibre and antioxidants, supporting digestive health, regulating blood sugar, and boosting immunity. Half cup of cooked sweet potato has 1.8 grams of soluble fibre.

7. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are high in soluble fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They promote gut health, reduce inflammation, and suppor heart health. Half cup of brussel sprouts contains 2 grams of soluble fibre.

8. Apples

Apples are a good source of soluble fibre called pectin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, support digestive health, and aid in weight management. One medium sized apple has one gram of soluble fibre.

9. Carrots

Carrots contain soluble fibre that supports digestive health, regulates blood sugar, and promotes healthy skin and vision. One cup of carrots have 2.4 grams of soluble fibre.

10. Berries

Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, are rich in soluble fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins. These support heart health, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy ageing. Three fourth cup of blueberries have 0.3 grams of soluble fibre.

11. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in soluble fibre and antioxidants. It promotes digestive health, supporting detoxification, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Half cup of cooked broccoli has 1.5 grams of soluble fibre.

12. Artichokes

Artichokes are a good source of soluble fibre that supports digestive health, liver function, and cholesterol management. One medium artichoke has 4.7 grams of soluble fibre.

13. Pears

Pears contain soluble fibre that supports digestive health, regulates blood sugar levels, and promotes satiety and weight management. One medium sized pear has 1.5 grams of soluble fibre.

14. Barley

Barley is a whole grain rich in soluble fibre, promoting heart health, regulating blood sugar levels, and supporting digestive function. Half cup of barley has 0.8 grams of soluble fibre.

A bowl of green peas
Green peas help in overall nutrition as they have soluble fibre as well as other minerals and nutrients. Image courtesy: Freepik

15. Green peas

Green peas contain soluble fibre, protein, and vitamins, supporting gut health, weight management, and overall well-being. Half cup of green peas has 3.2 grams of soluble fibre.

16. Nuts

Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are high in soluble fibre, healthy fats, and antioxidants. They support heart health, reduce inflammation, and provide satiety. One ounce of almonds have 0.7 grams of soluble fibre.

17. Quinoa

Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal that is high in soluble fibre, protein, and vitamins. Apart from supporting digestive health, it helps to manage blood sugar level and promotes weight loss. Half cup of cooked quinoa has 1.7 grams of soluble fibre.

18. Oranges

Oranges are rich in soluble fibre and vitamin C. These support immune function, digestive health, and collagen production. One medium orange has 2.1 grams of soluble fibre.

19. Prunes

Prunes are a concentrated source of soluble fibre that helps to support digestive health, relieves constipation, and regulates blood sugar levels. Four medium prunes have 1.3 grams of soluble fibre.

20. Seeds

Seeds, such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, are high in soluble fibre, healthy fats and minerals. These contribute to improved heart health, better weight management, and overall nutrition.

What happens if you have too much soluble fibre?

While soluble fibre is good, it should be have within the required amounts. Too much intake of soluble fibre can lead to bloating, gas and other gastric issues. it can also lead to constipation or even a bowel obstruction in some cases.

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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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