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Fiber, probably one of the least sexiest words out there. It can be synonymous with that orange bottle of powder you have to stir in your water (aka Metamucil) that your doctor probably told you to buy but you don’t want to because it makes you feel old.
While fiber might not be a sexy topic it definitely is something that we should all be eating more of. Here’s why your digestion will thank you for eating more fiber…
Soft and smooth poops that don’t leave you worrying about hemorrhoids
A poop that doesn’t have you straining and maneuvering your body six ways from Sunday hoping it comes out
Poops that don’t look like little rabbit pellets
Or poops that don’t disintegrate into nothingness when you flush
So let’s talk about what fiber foods you should be eating so you can achieve effortless pooping.
Flax has been an up and coming fiber superstar for me. In my first nutrition class, I remember my teacher was talking about how good flax was so that same day I went to Trader Joes and bought my first bag of flaxseed because I was destined to be healthy.
You want to know how long that flax sat in my fridge? Forever. You want to know how I used the flax? I never did. I had no idea how to use that flax.
Now I recommend flax all the time but I do with some very important suggestions.
Use ground flax and don’t buy the seed. Manitoba flax is my favorite one because of how smooth it is and its shelf stable (I’m not paid to say this, I just love it).
The second suggestion is to add it to things you already eat anyways to give you food a fiber boost. Sprinkle in oatmeal, add to your morning smoothie, toss some in your waffle mix, or even add it to the breading of oven-fried chicken.
Two tablespoons of flax clocks in at 4 grams of fiber.
I love walnuts. It’s one of those nuts that I can easily munch on without having my jaw get tired. (I’m looking at you, almonds.) Walnuts also have a slightly earthy taste that I dig.
What is very interesting is that walnuts itself might have some gut health benefits beyond that of just being a great fiber food. There is emerging research taking a look at how walnuts can affect our healthy gut bacteria which is important for healthy digestion.
Try adding walnuts to your smoothie because they blend so easily and then secondly have you heard of walnut taco meat? I bet you haven’t. The first time I had or heard about this was at a vegan restaurant, I became hooked after that. Try this 10-minute taco meat using walnuts for your next Taco Tuesday.
1 oz of walnuts (about 7 whole walnuts) clocks in at 2 grams of fiber. But really, who just eats 7 and calls it a day?
Ah, blueberries. The unassuming little blue fruit that is small but mighty. Berries are a great fiber food but blueberries do double duty as a fiber and brain food.
The skin of berries is what packs in the fiber. Blueberries particularly have been shown to help with improving brain health and memory. If you want to take your blueberry game up a notch then go for wild blueberries. They have twice the amount of antioxidants and flavor than your regular blueberry.
The one suggestion I always give for blueberries is going frozen. Frozen is just as good if not better than fresh. When I buy fresh blueberries chances are those suckers are going to mold before I get to them. Add frozen blueberries to your smoothie, your cereal, or straight out the bag.
1 cup of blueberries clocks in at 3.6 grams of fiber.
Ch, ch, ch, chia! Yes, I am talking about the chia that you would use for chia heads. Nowadays chia does more than just being part of a funky gift.
Chia can look like little black bugs on your kitchen counter when you spill the bag. But no worries, these aren’t bugs but rather a tiny black seed that gels up when it is added to water.
I use chia the same way I add flax, I kind of sprinkle it in everything. But honestly, the best way to use chia is as chia pudding. You can make this the night before and the next morning you have the easiest breakfast that tastes good and is good for you. Try this overnight chia seed pudding recipe for your next breakfast.
2 tablespoons of chia seeds clocks in at 11 grams of fiber.
Avocados do not need an introduction. I mean, when there was going to be a shortage of avocados that made front-page news. Everyone loves avocados. (Unless your my brother, which is ok by me because that means I get to eat his portion.)
We all know about avocado toast but did you know about avocado pudding? I know, this sounds kinda gross at first, but honestly, it’s pretty good. Check out this avocado chocolate mousse that whips up in just 5 minutes.
⅓ of a medium avocado clocks in at 3 grams of fiber.
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.