Fiber: It Does a Body Good

Fiber makes us envision digestive relief, while also conjuring images of those awkward timed-bathroom break commercials. But it’s true–fiber is the best when it comes to promoting digestive health. And if you are good about it, there are even more health benefits to be reaped.

On a diet? Fiber can keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time—a great way to stave off odd-timed cravings. Also, fiber is a complex carbohydrate, so it does not cause the extreme fluctuations in blood sugar that your afternoon soda does. That means your body can regulate blood sugar better and in the long run, fiber can help to prevent diabetes. As if that weren’t enough, fiber actually binds up some of the fats in your gut, preventing them from being absorbed and can actually help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

For most individuals, 25-40 grams of fiber is the recommended daily intake. This weighs out to about 14 grams per 1,000 calories of food consumed.

Besides the usual suspects—oatmeal and whole wheat bread, for example–there are many other food items that pack a good amount of fiber, and can be incorporated into your daily diet.

So go for the unexpected. Here are our top five fruit picks, just in time for summer:

  • Figs. The best source of fiber among its fruit competitors, a half-cup of dried figs can provide about 8 grams of fiber.
  • Pears. When thinking of fiber, pears probably would not jump to the top of our list, but one medium pear can pack about 6 grams of fiber.
  • Prunes. No longer a dietary staple restricted to the elderly, a half-cup of dried prunes can provide 6 grams of fiber.
  • Apples. Sitting innocently in the fruit basket, the fiber within is not apparent to novices, but eating a medium-sized apple can account for 4 grams of fiber.
  • Oranges. A great option to peel and eat while on the go, a medium orange can provide 4 grams of fiber.

Have a few of nature’s candies such as these, and you’re set for a fiber-full day.

Try this apple and almond halwa for a hot treat that’s bursting with fiber. Top it with figs or prunes for an extra boost.

Munia Islam is a contributing food writer at