If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, omitting gluten from your diet is necessary for your health. While the diet may limit your intake of foods that contain wheat, barley and rye, that doesn't mean it has to be low in fiber. There are many high-fiber, gluten-free grains you can include in your diet, and fruits, vegetables and legumes are naturally gluten-free and high in fiber.
Gluten-Free Whole Grains
Including whole grains in your gluten-free diet is not only a good way to add variety to your regimen, but also a way to get more fiber. One cup of cooked amaranth, buckwheat or quinoa contains 5 grams of fiber. Brown rice is also a good source of fiber, with 4 grams per cup. Other gluten-free grains with fiber include millet, wild rice and teff.
Fruits and Vegetables for Fiber
Including high-fiber fruits and vegetables can help you get more fiber in your diet without the gluten. Berries make a good high-fiber fruit choice. One cup of raspberries or blackberries contains 8 grams of fiber and a cup of blueberries contains 4 grams. Pears, oranges and apples are also good sources of fiber. Eat the skin on your pears and apples to get the most fiber out of the fruit.
Greens, such as collards and mustard greens, contain 5 grams of fiber in a 1-cup cooked serving. Cooked broccoli and cauliflower also have 5 grams of fiber per cup. Other fiber-rich veggies for a gluten-free diet include sweet potatoes, acorn squash and Brussels sprouts.
Beans, Lentils and Peas
Legumes are a nutritional powerhouse that can help you get more fiber, plus boost your intake of protein, vitamins and minerals. One cup of cooked lentils or kidney beans contains 16 grams of fiber. Navy beans and white beans are an even better source of fiber, with 19 grams per cup. Chickpeas, pinto beans, mung beans, lima beans and adzuki beans are both rich in fiber and gluten-free.
How much fiber you need a day depends on your age and gender. For men, fiber needs range from 30 to 38 grams a day, and women require 21 to 25 grams a day.
When increasing fiber in your diet, go slowly to prevent gas, bloating and constipation. You also want to make sure you drink enough water. The Cleveland Clinic recommends 64 ounces of water a day.
To reach your daily fiber needs, try to include a fiber-rich food at each meal and make these foods your first choice for snacks. Getting more fiber in your diet offers a number of health benefits, from improving bowel habits to lowering blood cholesterol levels.