Dietary fiber, also called roughage or bulk, does not digest or absorb into the body. Instead, it passes through the stomach and intestines relatively intact. Dietary fiber lowers blood cholesterol, helps control blood sugar, aids in weight loss and may reduce your risk for colorectal cancer. Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
Berries are high in fiber. Blackberries have 7.6 g of fiber per cup, raspberries 8 g per cup, strawberries 3.8 g per cup and blueberries 4 g per cup, according to Colorado State University. Other high-fiber foods with a dietary content that does not break down in the body include raisins, with 5.4 g per cup; pears, 5.5 g each; and apples, with 4.4 g each.
Vegetables are also a good source of fiber. Some of the top choices in vegetable roughage include artichokes. with 10.3 g each; cooked peas, 8.8 g per cup; broccoli, 5.1 g per cup; and winter squash, with 5.7 g per cup. Vegetables' cell walls are made of cellulose, which is not digestible by humans. Other nondigestible fibers in vegetables include hemicellulose, pectin, gum and mucilage.
Whole grains are high in fiber and include the entire grain. Whole grains include wheat, rice, oats and corn. Bran, a high-fiber grain that isn't digested in the body, is a cereal fiber that's effective at increasing stool size. Bran contains 8.8 g per half-cup. Other high-fiber grains include barley, with 6 g per cup; bran flakes, 5.3 g per 3/4 cup; and whole-wheat spaghetti, with 6.2 g per cup.
Legumes are plants that have seeds in pods. The seeds can be eaten fresh or cooked. Legumes are nutritional powerhouses loaded with dietary fiber. Split peas have 16.3 g per cup, lentils 15.6 g per cup, black beans have 15 g per cup, lima beans have 13.2 g per cup and baked beans have 10.4 g per cup. Other types of legumes include alfalfa, chickpeas, soy, carob and peanuts.