Dietary fiber is the carbohydrate in plants that your body cannot digest.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber help bulk up your stools and can be used as a food source for good bacteria in your large intestine.
Soluble fiber draws water into your gut, which softens your stools and supports regular bowel movements.
It not only helps you feel fuller and reduces constipation but may also lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels (3).
Here are 5 healthy foods that are high in soluble fiber.
Black beans are not only a great way to give your dishes a meaty texture but also an amazing source of fiber.
Black beans contain pectin, a form of soluble fiber that becomes gummy-like in water. This can delay stomach emptying and make you feel fuller longer, giving your body more time to absorb nutrients (5).
Black beans are also rich in protein and iron, low in calories, and almost fat-free (4).
Soluble fiber content: 5.4 grams per three-quarter cup (129 grams) of cooked black beans (6).
Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are large, flat, greenish-white beans.
They mainly contain carbs and protein, as well as a little fat.
They’re lower in total dietary fiber than black beans, but their soluble fiber content is almost identical. Lima beans also contain the soluble fiber pectin, which is associated with reduced blood sugar spikes after meals (5).
Raw lima beans are toxic when raw and should be soaked and boiled before you eat them (7).
Soluble fiber content: 5.3 grams per three-quarter cup (128 grams) of lima beans (6).
The world may be divided into Brussels sprout lovers and haters, but whatever side you’re on, it’s undeniable that this vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, along with various cancer-fighting agents.
What’s more, Brussels sprouts are a great source of fiber, with 4 grams per cup (156 grams) (8).
The soluble fiber in Brussels sprouts can be used to feed beneficial gut bacteria. These produce vitamin K and B vitamins, along with short-chain fatty acids that support your gut lining.
Soluble fiber content: 2 grams per one-half cup (78 grams) of Brussels sprouts (6).
Avocados originate from Mexico but have gained popularity worldwide.
Haas avocados are the most common type. They’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.
Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, avocados really stand out in this regard.
Compared with other popular fiber sources, they contain lower amounts of the antinutrients phytate and oxalate, which can reduce mineral absorption (11).
Soluble fiber content: 2.1 grams per one-half avocado (6).
Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, beta carotene, B vitamins, and fiber. Just one medium-sized sweet potato packs over 400% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin A (12).
What’s more, the average potato contains about 4 grams of fiber, almost half of which is soluble (12).
Therefore, sweet potatoes can contribute significantly to your total soluble fiber intake.
Soluble fiber content: 1.8 grams per one-half cup (150 grams) of cooked sweet potato (6).