A number of clients over the years have requested a high fiber food list to help with planning their menus.
Fiber is often prescribed
- to promote regularity
- to aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels, and
- to help dieters by creating a feeling of fullness.
Keep in mind as you review this list that some of these foods (such as glutenous whole grain products) may be high fiber foods, but not suitable for your candida diet, and maybe even best left off the menus for you going forward, depending on how you feel when you eat them vs. not eating them.
Here’s a detailed list of foods high in fiber:
- Fruits - Especially ones with edible skin (apples and pears, for instance) and those with edible seeds (for example, figs and berries).
- Dark leafy greens including spinach, collards and turnip greens are more good choices.
- Seaweeds – kombu, wakame, agar agar, dulse...
- Beans and legumes - black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chick peas (garbanzos), white beans, fava beans, lima beans, peas, lentils... Buy dried beans and soak them for at least 8 hours before cooking. Avoid canned beans. Better yet, try avoiding beans and legumes altogether for a few weeks and see how you feel.
- Nuts - walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans… Ideally these should be soaked in a salt water solution for a few hours and then slow dried or roasted. The brine soaking deactivates enzyme inhibitors and mineral blockers naturally present in the raw nuts.
- Seeds – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds… These like a good salty soak too.
- Whole grains - wheat, oats, brown rice, barley, corn, buckwheat, millet, quinoa... If you are going eat grains please prepare your grains properly. Read this article for more information. Better yet, try avoiding grains and all grain products for a few weeks and see how you feel.
- Whole grain cereals - with ingredients like whole wheat, wheat bran and rolled oats (though most boxed cereals are not actually healthy foods at all, due to high heat/high pressure extrusion production methods which damage the grains' natural nutritional intergrity). For more information please see
- Whole grain breads and sprouted grain breads. Though as you can tell by now, I'm a fan of leaving them off the menus and seeing how you feel!
- Whole wheat pasta, other whole grain pastas. They make some great gluten-free pasta now, I like that as an occasional comfort food. My favorite is the kind made from brown rice - my daughter and I both really like it.
- Whole grain products like rice cakes, rye crisps, cornbread, polenta. Though rice cakes go through that same damaging high heat/high pressure extrusion method. Grains again, you guessed it, try avoiding.
- Whole grain flours and the products made from them. Make sure you eat only naturally sour leavened or sprouted breads to keep your health in top shape. I can get away with eating 100% rye bread now and then -- the dark, moist kind that comes in vacuum sealed rectangle shape loaves. The ingredient list is very simple, you can taste that the rye has had time to sour. I love the intense flavor of this bread, again as an occasional comfort food. I'm half German, maybe that's it ;)
The health issues that fiber is prescribed to resolve are often better addressed through a well rounded nutrient rich diet. This is not to say that fiber isn't important - it is. A diet rich in a variety of natural, whole foods is naturally rich in fiber.
A diet which includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, high quality proteins, and essential and trace minerals is a better prescription for many people than simply switching from white bread to whole wheat bread.
Avoiding foods high in sugars and grain-based carbohydrates is a good way for many people to help the body achieve a natural state of health.
It puts less strain on the digestive system, helps maintain blood sugar levels and is naturally rich in nutrients that the body can easily absorb.
Depending on family lineage, lifestyle, age and other factors - everyone has a different set of dietary requirements for optimum health. There is no one special diet that works for everyone across the board.
While one person may do well eating whole grains for fiber, another may do better removing grains completely from the diet and increasing starchy, fibrous vegetables in their place.
Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, green beans, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are all good sources of fiber. Artichokes and avocados are excellent choices too. Coconut is high in fiber, and small portions of seaweeds included to the diet will add more fiber as well.
Note: Let’s not go overboard on the seaweed please, it’s a highly concentrated food (including carbohydrates, sodium, iodine and other minerals), just a tablespoon or two of dried seaweed is plenty for a serving.
By avoiding over-processed and refined foods, high-sugar and starchy foods, we have no need for fiber supplementation, or planning menus based around a high fiber food list.
When the candida is back in check, and you're feeling healthy again, it's okay to include more items from the high fiber food Once you've regained natural balance in your body you'll enjoy more items on the high fiber food list (you may choose to incorporate whole grains, whole grain breads & pastas, or you may feel better keeping them off the menus).
If you do go back to eating grains it's best to keep the serving sizes moderate, and eat them along with plenty of other healthy foods (fresh vegetables and fruits, good fats and healthy proteins), since lot of us got into trouble in the first place by eating too many starchy grain-based foods to begin with.
Here’s a tip: Whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds make up the majority of a high fiber food list. It's important to know that these ingredients, when improperly prepared, can inhibit digestion and block mineral absorption in our intestines.
For more information about fiber, and a link to an excellent article on the proper preparation of grains, click here.