Getting 25-30 grams of fiber per day in your diet is harder than it sounds. If you’re not already checking online nutrient charts to keep a basic food journal, it’s time to start making regular online searches to get an idea of how much fiber the foods you eat regularly include. (Hint: kale? Not as much as you think. Sorry.) There are a lot of formidable reasons to make sure your diet includes plenty of high fiber foods. Fiber balances sugar levels, helping you maintain energy and feel full longer. It also “scrubs” your digestive track, absorbing toxins and balancing the PH in your stomach and intestines. People who suffer from chronic acid reflux really need to up fiber intake to help reduce stomach acids and reduce flare-ups. We asked the editorial staff for their best fiber “cheats” or high fiber foods that are easy to add to meals and snacks to get you up to your 25 daily grams.
1. Raw Cacao Powder
Cacao powder is the raw, unprocessed and unfiltered version of cocoa powder. We’re not talking about the can of Hershey’s you use for baking. Raw cacao is full of powerful antioxidants (more than blueberries), especially flavonoids, which you can find higher doses of in cacao than in red wine and green tea. Cacao is also a great source of fiber. You can get up to 4 grams of fiber per tablespoon, depending upon which brand you find. We like Healthworks a lot, based on its consistency and quality. (Please note that the package we took this photo of specifies that it has 9 grams of fiber in 28 grams, which is roughly two tablespoons.)
What to do with your raw cacao? Just about anything. We like adding it to our favorite smoothies, but we LOVE this quick and easy dairy-free hot chocolate recipe, which makes a delicious great high fiber midday snack.
- 8 ounces of sweetened soy, hemp, rice, or almond milk
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Add the sugar, cacao and milk to a blender.
- Turn blender to the lowest setting and mix ingredients together.
- Scrape down the sides until all the powder mixes with the liquid.
- Pour into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and heat until almost boiling, whisking occasionally to keep the ingredients from separating.
- Serve in a ceramic or glass mug.
2. Flax Seed Crackers
Flax seeds are the mother load of nutrition. They are high in both healthy omega 3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. You can grind them and add them to smoothies, but we can’t go on and on (and on and on and on) about how much we love Flackers from Dr. in the Kitchen. Each serving of 6 crackers gives you a whopping 7 grams of fiber and only 110 extra calories. There are a wide variety of flavors, but the Savory and Rosemary varieties taste great with one ounce of your favorite cheese. Eat them with your sandwich at lunch instead of chips. If you’re looking for a cookie alternative (who isn’t?), try Cinnamon and Currants with some raw peanut or almond butter with a drizzle of honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.
3. Bean Chips
A single cup of black beans contains 15 grams of fiber, making legumes one of the naturally highest sources of fiber on earth. While carrying around a can of beans may not be convenient, Beanitos has solved that problem for you in the yummiest of ways. Think of these as the true healthy alternative to snack chips. A single serving of Beanitos Black Bean and Sea Salt chips is only 140 calories per ounce (about 12 chips) and gives you five grams of dietary fiber. Compare this to Cool Ranch Doritos, which has 10 more calories per serving, double the amount of saturated fat and only two grams of fiber. If black beans aren’t your thing, the White Bean Nacho Cheese chips have the same nutrient and calorie content as the black bean chips and are eminently snackable.
4. Nutty Snack Bars
If you haven’t had a Kind Bar yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. These are non-perishable, so you can keep them on hand as the perfect midmorning or afternoon high fiber snack anywhere you go. Depending on the flavor you get (we are insane over the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt and the Caramel Almond and Sea Salt), you can swap out those useless candy bars with empty fat calories for something with some nutritional value. Each bar has only 5 grams of sugar (compared to 20 in a Snickers bar), and a great dose of daily fiber. Example: the Dark Chocolate Nut bar has 7 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Did we mention how yummy these are?
5. Pumpkin Seeds
So, we love pumpkin seeds once they’re out of the shell. In a one-ounce serving: 261 mg of potassium, and 18% of your daily magnesium allowance (women, this helps reduce the pain and swelling from menstrual cramps and men, this is good if you like to break a sweat). There are five grams of daily fiber and protein in that same ounce, making them one of the greatest grab and go high fiber snacks. What we like to do is buy raw pumpkin seeds and toast them at home. This easy recipe below is tasty and takes no time at all.
- One cup raw pumpkin seeds (out of the shell, they’ll be green in color)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat the pan on medium heat.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds by stirring constantly until they turn a brownish color (once you hear little popping sounds, you’re done)
- Remove from heat so they don’t burn
- Add lime juice to the pan and toss, coating seeds evenly
- Add to a bowl and toss in cayenne pepper and salt. If you want more heat or salt, add some gradually.
- Once they’re cool and store them in airtight container at room temperature.
- Enjoy within one week.