High Fiber Fruit – Why You Need More in Your Diet

Looking to add more fiber to your diet? Why not try some high fiber fruit? A delicious and effortless way to increase your daily fiber intake.

Sounds good but don’t have a clue what is the best fruit for fiber?

Don’t worry in this post, we will explore all the high fiber fruit and why you need more in your diet. So you can choose the best fruit to put in your trolly each week.

These will help ensure you get all the fiber your body needs, effortlessly. And most importantly, in a way that is super delicious and easy to consume. No matter whether you’re a busy mum or workaholic, high-finer fruit is a super easy snack to pick up during the day.

And don’t let the thought of all those sugars scare you off. You will see exactly why you shouldn’t fear sugar in fruit, why our body needs all that fiber and the many benefits of eating more fresh fruit.

 

How much fiber should I eat each day?

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adult men consume 34g depending on their age per day and adult women consume 28g depending on their age per day.

The British Nutrition Foundation recommends those aged 17 and over, consume 30g of fiber per day.

While the Institute of Medicine (IOM) encourage men age 14 to 50 years to take in 38g total fiber per day. For women, between 19 and 50 years they recommend 25g per day.

How much are we eating?

Despite these guidelines, studies show an average fiber intake of 15-20g a day.

Now,  if your like me and mainly eating a plant-based diet, then you may not need to worry about your fiber intake so much.

Research shows that those following a plant-based diet tend to have a higher consumption of fiber than the average intake.

High Fiber Fruit - Why You Need More in Your Diet

What are the benefits of fiber?

Fiber has so many positive effects on your body and overall health. To learn more about the importance of fiber check out: Why is Fiber Important?

But just as a quick reminder, below is a list of some benefits that you will obtain by simply adding more fiber to your diet.

  • Promotes regularity
  • Helps to relieve constipation and haemorrhoids
  • Improves gut flora
  • Increases satiety 
  • Reduces cravings
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Slows digestion
  • Stabilises blood sugar levels
  • Lowers your risk of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)
  • Reduces your risk of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
  • Improves your immune function
  • Lessons hormonal imbalances

High Fiber Fruit pomegranate

What are the benefits of fruit?

Real whole fruit, with its luscious sweetness, makes any meal complete. Loaded with minerals and vitamins, these nutrients dense foods are a perfect way to satisfy a sweet craving.

And a great way to take in plenty of vitamin C, potassium and folate. The plant compounds and nutrients found in fruit are vital for your health and maintaining your body.

Potassium, for example, helps reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Fruit also helps reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and helps decrease bone loss as you age.

Additionally, the water content of the fruit helps you stay well hydrated. Research also shows that fruit may also help protect against certain types of cancer.

Fruit is the perfect, healthy snack.

Not only do they taste delicious, but the sheer amount of nutrients and minerals that can be found in all fruits make these a perfect snack food.

It’s somewhat surprising that we even need to convince people to eat more fruit! They’re just so tasty and delicious.

Eating plenty of fruit, such as a whole apple or some fresh raspberries, helps lower your risk of developing certain diseases and brings a powerful whack of nutrition into your life. What’s not to like about that?

Fruit and fiber?

Fruit, each of which will vary in fiber content, is such a convenient, natural and great source of additional fiber.

Studies indicate that consuming more high fiber fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in soluble fiber, can help reduce cholesterol levels, slower the absorption of carbohydrates, aid weight loss, while also increasing satiety 1 2 3     4  (7, 8, 9, 10).

So eating plenty of high fiber fruit keeps your digestive system happy, makes you feel more energized as well as healthy. To top it all off, we haven’t even mentioned the sheer abundance of antioxidants that can be found in certain fruit. Antioxidants are great to help combat free radicals in your body. However, studies also show, on average, the majority of us are not taking in enough of these antioxidants daily.

Why are antioxidants important?

According to Dr Michael Greger, each time we digest food, free radicals are created.

Years ago the food we consumed was less processed and commercialised. Therefore, the majority of sugars and starches consumed would have been prepackaged with antioxidants.

So when you drink an orange juice, rather than a sugary soda, you don’t get that level of oxidation that would typically occur with the processed sugar drink.

Yet it’s not only vitamin c in the orange juice that is good for us. Dr Greger highlights the importance of the citrus phytonutrients and how these nutrients help to beat back oxidation.

What’s really important is that if we fail to consume phytonutrient-rich foods with meals (fruit for example) then for hours after we eat our bodies are tipped out of balance into a pro-oxidative state. And this can set us up for oxidant stress diseases.

What does the research say about antioxidant foods?

This study in which Dr Greger was referring to concluded that the consumption of high antioxidant foods with each meal is recommended in order to prevent periods of postprandial oxidative stress. 5

What’s even more important is if we don’t eat enough phytonutrient foods, our body has to dip back into its back up supply of antioxidants. However, as Michael emphasises, you can only get away with this for so long. Aiming to at least break even each day would prevent us from depleting our antioxidant stores.

How many antioxidants should we consume per day?

The estimation of how many antioxidants we each need each day is dependent on the number of calories consumed throughout the day.

So a woman consuming 1800 calories, for example, would approximately need 8000 mmol of antioxidants per day to help prevent the use of stored antioxidants. 6

High Fiber Fruit Raspberries and Blueberries

How Much High Fiber Fruit Per Day?

If you’re worried about overdoing it on the fruit, don’t be.

While the USDA recommends that we consume 2 servings of high fiber fruit per day and the American Heart Foundation suggest getting in between 4 to 5 servings a day, studies to date show no adverse effect of consuming more 7. One study, in fact, demonstrated that where participants consumed 20 servings of fruit daily not only were no adverse effects found but actually the higher consumption offered some possible health benefits. 8

High fiber fruit and weight loss?

If you are striving for weight loss and worried about the extra sugars and calories, just remember how filling and satisfying eating a piece whole fruit is. The extra fiber in fruit can be surprisingly filling. Additionally, eating a piece of fruit can provide you with the sweet kick you may be craving.

Having a piece of fruit, particularly after a meal, takes away the sweet fix you’re looking for. High fiber fruit will help ensure that you don’t over-consume. Think about how many times you’ve eaten more than 2 whole apples for example in a row. Now can you say the same about that cookie!

What about juicing?

If you’re juicing your fruit you may need to be a little bit more aware of how much and what type of fruit you’re putting into your juice.

Again if we think about it, it’s very easy to drink more apples and oranges when juiced, rather than eating them in their whole form.

But this certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t juice.

Juicing, and smoothies can be another great way to get large quantities of nutrients into your body on a daily basis. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll be looking at the benefits of eating more fiber, and fiber-rich fruits in their whole form.

High Fiber Fruit Berries

Is natural fructose bad?

You may have heard that we need to consume less sugar. While that is indeed true, natural fructose found in fruit is not the same as industrial or added-sugars.

So while fructose and high-fructose corn syrup should be avoided, not the same is said for natural fruit fructose.

Studies show the daily intake of fructose and high-fructose corn syrup is associated with declining liver function and is a risk factor for metabolic alterations. 9 Added sugars, not natural fruit fructose, is further associated with hypertension. 10

Will natural fructose affect weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, a study compared a diet that restricted both added sugar and fruit (low fructose diet) to one that only restricted the added sugars.

It found that those who only restricted the added sugars had the better outcome with greater weight loss 11. The study stated that the different effect that natural fructose has on the body might be explained by the positive effects of other nutrients such as fiber and the antioxidants found in fresh fruit.

More research on natural sugars…

Another study, highlighted by Dr Greger, had twenty healthy women consume whole blackcurrants or lingonberries (150 g served as purées) or blackcurrant or lingonberry nectars (300 mL), each with 35 g added sucrose. It then compared this with the effects of drinking a glass of water with 3 tablespoons of table sugar. Sucrose alone (35 g in 300 mL water) was used as a reference.

In comparison with sucrose alone, ingestion of sucrose with whole berries resulted in reduced glucose and insulin concentrations during the first 30 min and a slower decline during the second hour and a significantly improved glycemic profile.

Berries prevented the sucrose-induced late postprandial hypoglycemic response and the compensatory free fatty acid rebound.

Nearly similar effects were observed when sucrose was consumed with berry nectars. The improved responses were evident despite the higher content of available carbohydrate in the berry and nectar meals, because of the natural sugars present in berries.

What the effects of the water-sugar mix on our body?

Within 30 minutes of consuming the water-sugar mix, the participants experienced a large rise in their blood sugar levels. The body, in response, releases so much insulin, attempting to bring down that spike, that it overshoots.

Within 90 minutes of initially drinking the mix, we are relatively hypoglycemic. Our blood sugars drop below the levels they were at before drinking the mix. In response, the body dumps fat into the bloodstream as if we are starving because of our blood sugar dropping so quickly below fasting levels.

However, Dr Greger points out that when berries were used there was no additional blood sugar spike and no hypoglycemic dip afterwards. Blood sugar just increased and decreased but there was no overshooting or surge of fat into the blood like before.

What was the studies conclusion?

The study concluded that blackcurrants and lingonberries, as either whole berries or nectars, optimize the postprandial metabolic responses to sucrose. The responses are consistent with delayed digestion of sucrose and consequent slower absorption of glucose 12.

Great news for those of us who love munching on those berries!

High Fiber Fruit Bowl Full Of Mixed Berries

Fruit and Diabetes?

The current recommendations for diabetics are the same as the rest of the population – consume 2-4 servings of high fiber fruit per day. Medical nutrition therapy is recognized as an important treatment option in type 2 diabetes. Most guidelines recommend eating a diet with a high intake of fiber-rich food including fruit. This is based on the many positive effects of fruit on human health.

Some health professionals have concerns that fruit intake has a negative impact on glycemic control and therefore recommend restricting the fruit intake. However, a study carried out on the effect of fruit restriction on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes found that this was not necessary. It concluded that a recommendation to reduce fruit intake as part of standard medical nutrition therapy in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes resulted in eating less fruit. It had, however, no effect on HbA1c, weight loss or waist circumference.

In the outcome of this study, it was recommended that the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes. HbA1c (glycosylated haemoglobin) is a measure of the amount of glucose attached to the body’s red blood cells 13.

It’s all about eating whole fruit in its natural form.

Research has also shown that when high fibre fruits are consumed in their whole form, they have little effect on blood sugar levels, while the fiber content helps to slow digestion and absorption of sugar. This thereby improves overall sugar control 14 15 16 (12, 13, 14). However, as with anything health-related, always consult with your physician or registered dietitian before changing your diet.

List of high fiber fruit

While leading authorities vary slightly with their recommendations, most of us could do with eating more fiber. And there’s no better way to do that than eating more fruit.

Below is a list of some high fiber fruits to make getting that extra bit of fiber even more delicious. Think of all those extra minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins you’ll also be taking in while snacking on some fruit.

The key to any healthy diet is to consume the most nutrient-dense foods daily. Therefore, always aim to take in a wide variety of fruits by picking different colors and flavors.

And remember eating foods high in fiber will have tremendous benefits for your body and long-term health.

Enjoy this list of high fiber fruits, and be sure to let me know in the comments any ones that I’ve missed!

High fiber fruits:

(Amounts of dietary fiber (DF) and calories are approximations per 100g)

Passion Fruit – 10g DF – 97 calories

Coconut – 9g DF – 354 calories

Dates – 8g DF – 282 calories

Prunes – 7g DF – 240 calories

Avocado – 7g DF – 160 calories

Raspberries – 7g DF – 53 calories

Elderberries – 7.0g DF – 73 calories

Currants – 7g DF – 283 calories

Sapodilla – 5g DF – 83 calories

Blackberries – 5g DF – 43 calories

Breadfruit – 4.9g DF – 103 calories

Cranberries – 4.6g DF – 46 calories

Gooseberries – 4.3g DF – 44 calories

Raisins – 3.7g DF – 299 calories

Pear with the skin – 3.1g DF – 57 calories

Eggplant – 3g DF – 25 calories

Persimmon (Fuyu) – 3.6g DF – 70 calories

Kiwi – 3g DF – 61 calories

Figs – 2.9g DF – 74 calories

Star Fruit – 2.8g DF – 31 calories

Banana – 2.6g DF – 89 calories

Blueberries – 2.4g DF – 57 calories

Orange – 2.4g DF – 47 calories

Blueberries – 2.4g DF – 57 calories

Apple with the skin – 2.4g DF – 57 calories

Plantains (Cooking Proteins) – 2.3g DF – 122 calories

Strawberries – 2g DF – 33 calories

Apricot – 2g DF – 48 calories

Papaya – 1.8g DF – 39 calories

Tangerine – 1.8g DF – 53 calories

Nectarine – 1.7 DF – 44 calories

Chayotes – 1.7g DF – 19 calories

Cherries – 1.6g DF – 50 calories

Mango – 1.6g DF – 60 calories

Grapefruit – 1.6g DF – 42 calories

Peach – 1.5g DF – 39 calories

Pineapple – 1.4g DF – 50 calories

Plum – 1.4g DF – 46 calories

Cantaloupe – 0.9g – DF 34 calories

Grapes – 0.9g DF – 67 calories

Honeydew – 0.8g DF – 42 calories

Watermelon – 0.4g DF – 30 calories

High Fiber Fruit - Why You Need More in Your Diet Infographic of high fiber fruit

Conclusion

There you have it. My list of high fiber fruit.

So now it’s up to you. Start filling your shopping cart with plenty of this high fiber fruit and you’ll be well on your way to better health.

Which will you try first?

Let me know in the comments what’s your favourite fruit?


You may also enjoy reading:

How To Lose Weight Naturally

Clean Eating For Beginners – 13 Essential Tips

Plant-based Diet Grocery List

Whole Food Plant-based Diet Food List & Tips To Help You Succeed


 

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