Unlike other food nutrients, many people are not familiar with fibre. You probably know foods rich in protein and carbohydrates off the top of your head, but how many foods highest in soluble fibre do you know? Although this food class is very vital for healthy living, it is often neglected. Perhaps from today, you will pay more attention to your fibre intake after you have learnt its benefits and the foods rich in it.
What Is Soluble Fibre?
Firstly, it is important to mention that there are two types of fibre your body needs; soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. However, for the sake of this article, we will focus more on soluble fibre.
Generally, dietary fibre is the compound in plants that your body cannot digest. Hence, it passes almost unchanged through the stomach and intestine. It is mostly made up of carbohydrates. More so, fibre plays an important role in keeping our gut healthy. It also serves as a food source for the good bacteria in our large intestine. The recommended daily amount (RDA) of fibre is 25g for women and 38g for men.
Soluble fibre is the type of fibre that dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance as it moves down the gut. Insoluble fibre on the other hand does not dissolve in water and it adds to the bulk of stool.
Health Benefits of Eating Foods Highest in Soluble Fibre
If you are still wondering why it is important to eat foods highest in soluble fibre, here are some of its health benefits.
- Soluble fibre reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- It also helps to lower the risk of heart disease
- The gut bacteria it sustains helps to improve digestion and lower inflammation
9 Common Foods Highest in Soluble Fibre
1. Black Beans
Beans are generally rich in fibre. More so, black beans have a pretty higher fibre content. With about 5.4g of fibre per 129g (3/4 cup) of black beans, this food provides a significant quantity of your daily fibre requirement.
It contains a form of soluble fibre called pectin. Pectin becomes somewhat sticky in water. Hence, it slows down bowel emptying and gives your body enough time to absorb nutrients.
2. Lima Beans
Lima beans are also called butter beans. It is flat, large, light, and greenish. These beans have a similar soluble fibre content to black beans. It contains about 5.3g per 128g (3/4 cup). Also, its fibre content is pectin. Raw lima beans are toxic. Hence, you should soak and boil them before eating.
Avocado is known to contain vitamin E, potassium and unsaturated fat. In addition to this, it also contains a good amount of dietary fibre. 1/2 avocado contains 2.1g of soluble fibre. More so, it is one of the foods highest in soluble fibre that contains both soluble and insoluble fibre.
4. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is one food that provides both sweetness and immense health benefits. It contains a good amount of potassium, vitamin A as beta carotene, vitamins B and C, and fibre. A medium-sized sweet potato contains up to 4g of fibre, half of which is soluble. The actual soluble fibre content for sweet potato is 1.8g per 150g (1/2 cup) of the food.
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Asides from being very common and easy to come by, another good thing about oat is that it is easy to make. This is in addition to being one of the foods highest in soluble fibre. Cooked oat contain up to 1.9g of soluble fibre per 233g (1 cup) of the food.
This dark green vegetable grows well in cool conditions and it sometimes comes in purple. Aside from being one of the foods with highest soluble fiber, it contains other important nutrients like vitamins K and C, potassium, and folate. Similarly, it has anticancer and antioxidant properties. The soluble fibre content in this veggie is 1.9g per 92g (½ cup) of the veggie.
7. Sunflower Seed
Not all snacks are unhealthy, thus, sunflower seed is one of the most healthy snacks you could have. It is one of the best foods highest in soluble fibre, protein, iron, minerals like magnesium and iron, healthy fat, antioxidants, and vitamin B6. Sunflower seed contains 1g of soluble fibre per 35g (1/4 cup) of the snack.
If you are looking for one great source for both your protein and fibre nutritional needs, lentil is the way to go. The legume contains a high amount of protein and up to 8g of soluble fibre per 100g (1/2 cup) of the food. This legume is not only quick to cook, but it also ranks high on the list of foods highest in soluble fibre.
9. Brussels Sprout
Brussels sprout is very similar to broccoli, and like the latter, it has a good amount of soluble fibre content. The veggie contains about 2g of soluble fibre per 92g (1/2 cup) of it. Aside from being one of the foods with highest soluble fiber, it is also rich in vitamins, minerals and anticancer agents.
Most people overlook the importance of soluble fibre in their meals mostly because they do not understand how important it is. Like protein, carbohydrates and every other nutrient, soluble fibres have immense health benefits. This list of foods highest in soluble fibre should help you understand the importance of this nutrient and its common sources.
If you found this list helpful, kindly let us know in the comment section below. Also, we’ll like to know which is your favourite soluble fibre-containing food.