30 Best High-Fiber Foods

If you are looking to add more fiber to your diet—here are 30 foods that can help.

Fiber is a carbohydrate that can't be digested, according to Harvard Health. It can lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol, and may even play a role in preventing colon cancer. But, few people are getting enough fiber in their diet.

It is recommended that people consume 25–35 grams of fiber daily, according to Harvard Health. Eating fiber-rich whole foods—not foods that tout "added fiber"—is the best way to increase your fiber intake, said Carolyn Brown, RD, a nutritionist at Indigo Wellness Group.

Here is a list of high-fiber foods and different ways you can eat them.

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Corn

We're most familiar with the sunny, yellow version, but corn comes in a rainbow of colors—from pink to blue to black. Corn is a whole grain that packs a lot of fiber and a variety of health benefits such as protecting against certain cancers, according to Harvard Health.

A single ear of corn contains 2 grams of fiber, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Popcorn is also a terrific and low-calorie fiber source, with about 8.7 grams of fiber per bag of microwave popcorn, according to the USDA.

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White Beans

White beans have a great source of fiber. One cup of white beans contains 12.6 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

In addition to being rich in fiber, protein, and iron, white beans are one of the best nutritional sources of potassium at 1190 milligrams of potassium per cup. The National Health Institute recommends a daily intake of 2,600–3,400 milligrams of potassium per day for most adults.

Beans get a bad rap when it comes to gas, but the key is to amp up your fiber intake gradually, Brown said. "If you only eat (low-fiber) foods right now, don't suddenly switch to eating 40 grams of fiber a day, because that will cause a lot of stress to the digestive system."

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Black Beans

One cup of cooked black beans contains 15 grams of fiber and about 15 grams of protein, according to the USDA. Black beans contain many nutrients as well as antioxidants, according to this study from 2015 in Nutrients. As you add beans and other high-fiber foods to your diet, be sure to drink more water, too, Brown said.

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Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are rich in fiber, protein and iron, according to the USDA. Just one cup of canned kidney beans contains 11 grams of fiber, 13.4 grams of protein, and 3 milligrams of iron.

Beans are also a great source of potassium and magnesium, both of which help with heart function and controling blood pressure, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

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Garbanzo Beans

Also known as chickpeas, these versatile legumes come in two varieties: the light-colored "Kabuli" type, most common in the United States, and the darker "Desi" variety, often used in India and the Middle East, according to Harvard Health. One cup of boiled chickpeas contains 12.5 grams of fiber and 14.5 grams of protein, according to the USDA.

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Avocado

Avocado is a great fiber source; one avocado contains 13.5 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. Avocados are also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats—the "good" kind that can help lower cholesterol and reduce heart-disease risk, according to the American Heart Association. Avocados contain 19.7 grams of monounsaturated fat.

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Whole-wheat Pasta

Swapping out traditional pasta for the whole wheat kind is a great way to introduce more fiber to your diet. "Really small changes will make a difference," Brown said. One cup of rotini whole wheat pasta contains over 4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

But whole-wheat pasta can be an acquired taste for those who are used to the white version. Grocery stores are likely to have whole-wheat pasta in several brands and shapes; you may want to try a few types to find the one with the taste and texture combination you like best.

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Brown Rice

If you've been strictly a white-rice eater, the chewier texture and nuttier taste of brown rice can take some getting used to—but it's worth the effort. Every cup contains over 3 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Edamame

Long popular in East Asian cuisine, edamame are immature soybeans boiled in the pod. You can pop them out of the pod into your mouth, or mix them into a tasty dip. A one-cup serving of edamame contains 18.4 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Whole-wheat Bread

White bread and other refined grains are milled, meaning the outer coating of the grain (bran) has been removed, along with the germ, a tiny part of the kernel that serves as the seed's "embryo." Whole wheat retains these nutrient- and fiber-rich elements, according to the American Heart Association. So switching from white to whole wheat is a smart nutritional move. One slice of whole wheat bread contains about 2 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

"Making it your go-to will make a big difference in terms of the number of grams of fiber you're getting," said Brown.

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Lentils

This tiny member of the legume family is super rich in fiber, with 20.5 grams per cup, according to the USDA. Additionally, lentils are rich in protein, iron, and vitamin C. They contain 12.5 milligrams of iron, 47.2 grams of protein, and 8.6 milligrams of vitamin C.

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Pear

As with most fruits with edible skins, pears are most nutritious and fiber-rich when their skins are left intact. "Keeping the skin on is really important for fiber," Brown said. A medium-size unpeeled pear contains about 5.5 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Artichoke

Artichokes aren't only rich in fiber; they also contain vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium. A single boiled artichoke contains 6.8 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Oatmeal

One cup of oats contains 16.5 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. In addition, oats contain beta-glucan, a special type of fiber that has particularly powerful cholesterol-lowering effects, according to this review from 2019 in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Oats also feature a good mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows digestion and may lower the risk of heart disease while insoluble fiber helps food pass more quickly through the digestive tract, according to MedlinePlus.

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Raspberries

Whether they're ruby-red or blue-black, raspberries are nutrition superstars. Just one cup contains 8 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. They're also chock-full of vitamin-C at 32 milligrams. Vitamin-C is a powerful antioxidant, which are substances that can prevent cell damage, according to Harvard Health.

When raspberries aren't in season, buying them frozen is easier on your wallet. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are great options for meeting your daily fiber needs, too.

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Peas

The humble pea, eaten straight out of the pod, bought frozen or cooked, or dried and made into split-pea soup, is a tasty and versatile fiber source. One cup of cooked peas contains a not-too-shabby 8.8 grams, according to the USDA.

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Broccoli

By now we all know that broccoli is very good for you. A member of the cruciferous vegetable family and known for its cancer-preventing properties (according to a 2015 review from Current Pharmacology Reports); this veggie also contains a respectable amount of fiber: You'll get about 5 grams in one small stalk of boiled broccoli, according to the USDA.

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Apples

When you're talking about apples, the skin's the thing—you've got to leave it on or you'll be missing out on fiber and a host of beneficial phytochemicals, according to Harvard Health. Phytochemicals are substances found in plants that may reduce the risk of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"Once you take the skin off, you take off a lot of the good stuff that's in there," Brown said. A single medium-sized apple contains about 4.4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Almonds

Almonds, and pretty much every other edible nut and seed you can think of—pistachios or pumpkin seeds, anyone?—are good sources of fiber that are packed with healthy fats, protein, potassium, and magnesium, according to Harvard Health.

But all that goodness comes with a high calorie count, so keep your eye on serving size. One cup of whole almonds has almost 18 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Barley

It may be best known as a raw ingredient in beer and whisky, but barley is a whole grain, too, and a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy beta glucan, which can lower choelsterol, according to Harvard Health.

One cup of hulled barley (meaning that it isn't too processed) contains 31.8 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. You can add barley to soups, salads, or use it as a rice substitution.

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Split Peas

This protein-packed pulse (the umbrella term for beans and peas), is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, found in soups and stews. But whether you opt to whip them into a hearty soup or add them to a grain bowl, one thing is certain: Split peas are a fiber powerhouse. In fact, just one cooked cup contains 16.3 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Brussels Sprouts

You may have despised these little cabbages as a kid, but with so many new tasty ways to prepare them, there's no reason to leave Brussels sprouts out of your diet. That's especially true because these veggies are also an excellent source of protein, boasting 2 grams per half cup, boiled, according to the USDA. They also have 2 grams of fiber as well. Try them roasted with crispy capers and carrots, or charred and topped with a pancetta and fig glaze.

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Chia Seeds

In addition to containing calcium, protein, phosphorous and a slew of other vitamins and minerals, these little seeds are bursting with fiber. A 1 ounce serving of chia seeds has almost 10 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. Plus, they're incredibly easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Sprinkle some chia seeds on your oatmeal, smoothies, or salads. You can also combine them with nut milk to create a delicious and healthy pudding, or use them as an egg replacement in baking.

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Guava

What's great about guava? Not only does this fleshy tropical fruit provide about 3 grams of fiber, but it packs a lot of vitamin C, according to the USDA. One guava contains 125 milligrams of vitamin C.

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Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, according to Harvard Health. They're also rich in phytochemicals that have the potential to prevent disease. A single medium-sized sweet potato, cooked (with the skin on) contains almost 4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Carrots

They're known for their vision-supporting dose of vitamin A, but you should also eat your carrots because they're full of fiber and water. One cup of chopped carrot contains about 3.5 grams of fiber and 113 grams of water, according to the USDA.

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Beets

This ruby-red (or yellow or red-and-white striped) root veggie isn't everyone's favorite, but if you love the earthiness of beets, there are lots of reasons to include them in your diet. One-half cup of cooked beets contains almost 2 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

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Collard Greens

Add this green leafy vegetable to your dinner rotation for their fiber content—and more. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked, chopped collard greens provides about 8 grams of fiber, plus 773 micrograms of vitamins K, which is important for bone health, according to Harvard Health.

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Quinoa

If you're looking for a versatile grain that packs protein and fiber, you can't go wrong with quinoa, according to Harvard Health. You'll get more than 5 grams of fiber and more than 8 grams of protein per one cup of cooked quinoa, according to the USDA. There are so many ways to prepare quinoa—from adding it to a salad or soup, or using it as a substitute for pasta or rice—you'll never get bored.

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Dark Chocolate

Why not indulge your passion for chocolate every now and then? Surprise, surprise: One bar of dark chocolate (containing 70-85% cacao solids) provides more about 11 grams of fiber, according to the USDA.

If you are looking to increase the fiber in your diet, there are plenty of options to do so. From berries, leafy greens, whole grains, and many more—there is something for everyone.

Updated by
Karen Pallarito
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Karen is a senior editor at Health, where she produces health condition “explainers” backed by current science. 
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