If you get more insoluble fiber in your diet, your bowels will be grateful. Insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that promotes the movement of waste through your intestinal tract, keeping you regular. Getting more insoluble fiber in your diet isn’t as difficult as you may think. There isn't one best source, but basically any type of produce, bean, legume or grain has some kind of insoluble fiber. A few select foods do have more than others, though.
You have another reason to go ahead and grab an extra spoonful of corn: It’s loaded with insoluble fiber. About 88 percent of the fiber in steamed whole-kernel corn is insoluble, giving you 1.4 grams from 1/2 cup. Cooked spinach is another way to go. Almost 70 percent of the overall fiber in sautéed spinach is insoluble, and you’ll get 2.2 grams from a cup. Okra and green peas each have roughly 3 grams of insoluble fiber in a 1/2-cup serving. More than 70 percent of the fiber content in these veggies is insoluble. Additionally, 90 percent of the fiber in tomatoes is insoluble, making them an ideal addition for your favorite entrée. Piling fresh tomato wedges on your salad or pizza adds plenty of flavor, as well as nearly 1 gram of insoluble fiber from a medium-sized, 75-gram plum tomato.
Legumes and Beans
Prepared legumes are a perfect side dish all on their own, but you can add them to soups and stews or even chill them and toss them into a salad. Nearly 90 percent of the total fiber in black-eyed peas is insoluble. One-half cup provides 4.2 grams. Roughly 75 percent of the fiber in kidney beans is insoluble, while 90 percent of the fiber in lentils is insoluble. Kidney beans have an astounding 5.9 grams of insoluble fiber from a 1/2-cup portion. If you love lentils, they’ll give you over 4.5 grams of insoluble fiber for every 1/2 cup you consume.
If you really want a lot of insoluble fiber from a quick meal, opt for all-bran cereal. Nearly 85 percent of the fiber in this type of cereals is insoluble, with a 1/3-cup serving providing 7.2 grams. Some high-fiber cereals have even more. Pouring a bowl of a fiber-enriched cereal can provide over 11 grams of insoluble fiber, depending on the variety, from a moderate 1/2-cup portion. If you prefer flaky cereals, reach for a box of wheat flakes. Insoluble fiber makes up 82 percent of the total fiber in wheat flakes. You’ll get nearly 2 grams of insoluble fiber by enjoying a 3/4-cup serving.
Whole-wheat bread is your best option for insoluble fiber-rich breads. Eighty percent of the fiber in whole-wheat bread is insoluble -- you’ll get 1.2 grams from one slice. More than 55 percent of the fiber content in pumpernickel bread is insoluble, and just one piece gives you around 1.5 grams, according to Harvard University Health Services.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.