If you struggle with constipation, you likely know you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet. In this article, we’ll go over some easy high fiber foods that will help eliminate constipation.
Constipation is defined as having a bowel movement less than three times a week. If you fall in this category, you would benefit from consuming more fiber in your diet. The general rule of thumb is to eat 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories you consume. If you are unsure of how many calories you are eating, you can just remember that women should have around 25 grams and men should have 38 grams.
These foods work in two ways. They help soften your stools, so they are easier to pass, and also help bulk your stools. By doing these two things, your stools will be regular, solid and easy to pass.
Legumes are very high fiber foods – great for constipation. Plus, they are super versatile and delicious! On the high end of the range, there are navy beans, coming in at 9.6 grams of fiber per ½ cup. On the lower end of the range, there are soybeans, coming in at 3.8 grams of fiber per ½ cup, which is still quite high!
Some other high fiber beans include:
- Chickpeas, ½ cup = 8.1 grams
- Lentils, ½ cup = 7.8 grams
- Pinto beans, ½ cup = 7.7 grams
- Black beans, ½ cup = 7.1 grams
- Lima beans, ½ cup = 6.6 grams
- Kidney beans, ½ cup = 5.7 grams
Here are some great products to help you get in those legume servings in an easy, delicious way:
Pears are not only delicious, they are high in fiber too! Just one medium pear has 5.5 grams of fiber. It’s important to remember that you need to consume the whole fruit to get the fiber. Fruit juices may help you get in some great nutrients, but they contain no fiber. The fiber is left behind in the flesh of the fruit.
If you dislike raw pears, you can try out these products to get in your fiber:
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are delicious, crunchy and high in fiber! One ounce of pumpkin seeds contain 5.2 grams of fiber. I love making them at home using the seeds of a fresh pumpkin. But nowadays, there are so many store bought options that are just as delicious and healthy.
Here are a few of my favorite products containing pumpkin seeds:
Who doesn’t like a nice slice of avocado toast in the morning? Or a heaping bowl of guacamole with chips? Not only is avocado delicious and creamy, ½ a cup of avocado provides 5 grams of fiber!
If you buy them fresh, make sure they are ripe before using. If you can easily press down on the avocado and it feels soft, it is ripe. If it still feels hard, wait another day and try again. You can also buy avocado in pouches or already in guacamole form.
Though I prefer it fresh, these are some great on-the-go options:
Apples are a childhood favorite! They are full of nutrients, easy to store and a high fiber food that helps with constipation! One apple contains 4.4 grams of fiber. But make sure you eat it with the skin, since this is where most of the fiber resides.
Again, make sure you are eating the whole fruit, not just the juice. I love slicing up my apples and dipping it in a sauce or nut butter. You can also throw them into a smoothie!
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are very unique, in the way that they gelatinize in water while maintaining a crunchy texture. Plus, 1 tbsp of chia seeds contains 4.1 grams of fiber! Personally, I love throwing chia seeds in a smoothie. It’s an easy way to increase my intake, plus they add a nice crunch, similar to strawberry or raspberry seeds.
Here are my favorite chia seed brands:
Raspberries are delicious, sweet, and even a little sour (in the best way possible). ½ cup of raspberries contains 4 grams of fiber. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to fresh raspberries, try frozen raspberries. They work very well in smoothies and jams.
I like to add them to my yogurt bowls for an extra fiber boost. They are also a great addition to desserts. Just throw them in your brownie or cake batter and voila! You have a higher fiber dessert option.
8. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a great high fiber food to help with constipation. One medium sweet potato contains 3.8 grams of fiber. A regular potato contains 3.6 grams, so if you prefer plain potatoes, that is another great option.
Sweet potatoes are very versatile, depending on how you bake them. For example, you can bake it as a whole potato, slice it in half, slice it into cubes, or into slivers. You can even make sweet potato fries by slicing them into strips and tossing them in olive oil and spices before baking.
Popcorn is a great, easy snack to get in some extra fiber. Three cups of popcorn contains 3.5 grams of fiber. There are plenty of great microwave options, but if you are feeling adventurous, you can try making it from the kernels.
Simply combine 1 tbsp oil and ¼ cup popcorn kernels in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover and wait until popping begins, then shake the pan so that all the kernels can reach the bottom. Once the popping stops, transfer to a large bowl and top with butter or other toppings!
I like topping it with some butter and furikake, a Japanese seasoning with seaweed flakes, sesame seeds, and sea salt.
Almonds are a great way to add in some extra fiber. One ounce has 3.5 grams of fiber. There are so many creative variations you can buy right from the store nowadays. You can really switch it up depending on your mood.
Try out these unique variations:
11. Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole grains have long been known to have a high fiber content. Whole wheat pasta is a great way to get in more fiber and is a easy swap for white pasta. One-half cup of whole wheat pasta has 3.2 grams of fiber, though who only eats ½ a cup of pasta?
Here are some really tasty brands that I love:
Oranges are not only juicy and high in vitamin C, they are filled with gut loving fiber! 1 medium orange has 3.1 grams of fiber. Peel them, cut them into slices, go crazy! They are such an easy snack since they travel well.
Talk about another super easy snack! Bananas are so easy to travel with and are a great high fiber food for constipation. One medium banana contains 3.1 grams of fiber.
Have a banana by itself, or with some nut butter. It also works great in a nut butter banana sandwich. If you’re feeling adventurous, add a banana to your ice cream at night with some nut butter and chocolate chips to make a high fiber banana split.
Yes, peanuts are a high fiber food! Surprisingly, peanuts fit better into the legumes category than the nut category, which is probably why they are so high in fiber. One ounce of peanuts has 2.7 grams of fiber.
Here are some “better for you” peanut butter brands:
Similar to peanuts, quinoa is often put into the wrong category. It’s actually more similar to a nut than a grain! They are also high in fiber, ½ cup contains 2.6 grams of fiber. Quinoa works great in cold salads or in a pilaf.
How do I incorporate these high fiber foods to reduce constipation?
The best way to incorporate these foods is to make swaps. Swap out your white pasta for whole wheat pasta or quinoa. Maybe try chia seed pudding instead of regular pudding. You don’t need to swap out every low fiber food for the high fiber version, but at least play around and see what swaps you genuinely enjoy.
Also, start trying out some high fiber foods and see where you can fit them in your current diet. Hungry around 3pm every day? Add in an apple and almond butter as a snack. Is your breakfast not filling enough for you? Add in some peanut butter and raspberries! Not only is fiber great at keeping you regular, it also keeps you full for longer, so you are more satisfied after meals!
Adding fiber to your diet doesn’t need to be daunting. Keep it fun! Try out new recipes, swap out certain foods and see what works for you.