Gluten-Free Sources of Fiber

8 non-grain ways to bulk up your diet

The standard advice for increasing fiber in the diet is to eat more healthy whole grains. But what if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity and need to steer clear of grains that contain gluten? There are some gluten-free whole grain products on the market, but they generally don't offer huge amounts of fiber.

This is not a problem. There are plenty of other fiber-rich foods to choose from—primarily vegetables and beans that also offer up additional nutritional benefits. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says women should get 25 grams of fiber each day and men should get 38 grams. Here are 8 food to help you get the recommended amount of fiber in your diet if you're gluten-free. 

1
Beans and Legumes

beans on spoons
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Many types of beans are loaded with fiber. Just one cup of black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans offers nearly 20 grams. Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) have 12 grams per cup, while green peas are more than 13 grams a cup. Lentils, lima beans, and butter beans contain half the fiber or less than some of their legume cousins. 

There's one potential caveat: Bean crops often are rotated with grain crops, exposing beans to gluten before they're even picked. If you find beans make you sick, gluten cross-contamination may be why. 

2

greens
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Raw or cooked, dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, turnip greens, and collard greens are great sources of fiber. Turnip greens have the most—5.5 grams per cup. You'll also get a healthy dose of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, by including greens in your diet. Here's a tip: The darker the leaves, the more beta-carotene. ​

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3

coconut
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A cup of shredded coconut has around 7 grams of fiber, so a healthy sprinkle of unsweetened coconut on, say, a fruit salad will significantly contribute to your daily fiber intake. If you aren't a fan of the flavor of coconut, try baking with coconut flour: half a cup has almost 30 grams of fiber.

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4

Germany, Saxony, Fresh corn cob on tree
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You may regard corn as a vegetable, but in fact, it's a fiber-rich grain. And although corn does contain gluten, it's not the same kind that's dangerous for people with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity. If you eat it on the cob, you'll score 5 grams of fiber per ear of corn. A cup of shucked corn has around 12 grams. 

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5

Close-Up Of Artichokes For Sale At Market
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It can take a bit of work to eat an artichoke—so many leaves before you get to the heart. But after you've done it, you'll have downed nearly 5 grams of fiber. Of course, there's an easier way: Buy artichoke hearts. A small handful in a salad will boost the fiber count by 7 or 8 grams. 

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6

fresh broccoli stalk
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One stalk of this versatile veggie provides just under 4 grams of fiber; a cup of cooked broccoli comes in at around 10 grams of fiber. So whichever way you prefer it you'll get a healthy fiber fix. As a bonus, broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins A and C, folate, and more. 

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7

Raw yams, close-up
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Yams are not the same thing as sweet potatoes. The two vegetables come from completely unrelated plants. The skin of a yam looks like tree bark, and the inside is starchier than a sweet potato, but you can use them interchangeable in most recipes. Never eat raw yams, though; they're toxic uncooked. There are around 6 grams of fiber in a cup of cubed yam and 4 grams of fiber in the same amount of sweet potato. 

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8

Brown and black rice in bowl
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White rice has very little fiber, but both brown rice and wild rice have around 3.5 grams per cup. And whatever form it's in, rice is gluten-free. One possible exception is the rice in seasoned rice mixes, so be sure to read labels carefully before buying one of these. Gluten-free rice bran is another way to get a fiber-fix from rice: Rice brain contains 18 grams of fiber per cup and can be sprinkled on cereal and added into muffins and other baked goods. 

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9
A Word from Verywell

If you eat a very healthy diet and consistently choose foods that contain lots of fiber, you may get enough. However, for most of us that can be difficult, especially if we don't have time to cook every meal from scratch. The truth is, the average American only gets about half of the daily recommended fiber intake.

If you've added up all your daily fiber sources and find you're still not quite meeting your goals, you can consider taking a gluten-free fiber supplement. These supplements can help you fill in the gaps on days when you can't eat enough beans, whole gluten-free grains, and high-fiber vegetables.

Source:

Wild D et al. Evidence of High Sugar Intake, and Low Fibre and Mineral Intake, in the Gluten-Free DietAlimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2010 Aug;32(4):573-81.