High Fiber Foods Chart for Constipation (Printable, Free Download)

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Searching for a solution to constipation? Look no further! Fiber is your go-to nutrient for not only easing constipation but also boosting your overall digestive health. Dive into the basics of fiber with insights from a dietitian, learn where to find it, and uncover easy ways to add more fiber to your diet without any fuss.

Plus, I’ve put together a must-have high-fiber foods chart for constipation as a FREE printable list.

It’s time to say good-bye to your constipation and hello to a healthier gut.

Read on to discover why fiber can be so important for your health-beyond just helping with constipation.

What is Fiber, Anyway?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t digest. It’s found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

While most carbohydrates break down into smaller sugars to fuel our bodies, fiber marches through our digestive tract, mostly untouched, because our bodies can’t break it down in the same way.

This means fiber doesn’t give us energy in the form of calories, but it does offer some pretty unique health benefits.

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

Fiber comes in two main types: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that slows down food digestion, helping with blood sugar management and cholesterol reduction. You’ll find it in psyllium, oats, and beans.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is the roughage that keeps things moving along in your digestive system, promoting gut health. It’s abundant in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

But don’t get bogged down by the types. The key is variety. Most foods contain a mix of both, so a diverse diet will naturally cover your fiber bases.

Fiber’s Fantastic Benefits

Eating enough fiber can ease constipation troubles but it also has lots of other health benefits. It is one of the key nutrients I get women to focus on in midlife. Here’s a look at the wide-ranging benefits of increasing your fiber intake:

Eases Constipation: Softens stool and promotes regularity for easier bowel movements.

Did you know that women going through menopause are more likely to experience constipation? See more: Menopause and Constipation: the Secrets to Unlocking Relief.

Supports IBS management: Encourages a balanced gut microbiome and aids in managing symptoms of IBS.

Reduces Risk of Hemorrhoids: A smoother digestive process, less straining, minimizes the risk.

Protects Against Cancer: Regular fiber intake is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

Boosts Heart Health: Fiber helps to reduce blood cholesterol and therefore lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lowers Diabetes Risk: Improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Improves Gut Bacteria Diversity: A diverse microbiome is crucial for overall health, and fiber helps foster this diversity.

Combats Inflammation: High-fiber diets are linked to lower levels of chronic inflammation.

How Much Fiber Do We Need?

The recommended daily intake of fiber can vary by country, but the goal across the board is to ensure we’re getting enough to support our health.

In the US, the guideline suggests consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. Meanwhile, in Canada, the recommendations are more specific: women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should target 38 grams per day.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t get anywhere close to these recommendations, often consuming less than half of the suggested amounts. The focus, however, shouldn’t necessarily be on hitting these precise numbers daily but on making a concerted effort to incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet.

Dietitian-Approved Tips for More Fiber

Not sure where to start? Try one of these suggestions to get you started:

  • Add berries to your breakfast cereal.
  • Swap white bread for whole wheat for sandwiches.
  • Snack on popcorn or nuts.
  • Mix beans with ground meats to up the fiber content of your meals.
  • Sprinkle chia seeds into oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, etc.
  • Mix in a bit of higher high fibre cereal with your favorite cereal.
  • Add extra beans to chilis, soups, and salads.
  • Spread refried beans in burritos.
  • Add avocado to sandwiches and wraps.
  • When baking, try whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
  • Use pureed vegetables instead of cream to thicken soups.
  • Add grated vegetables to meatloaf, casseroles, and sauce.

Easing Into a High-Fiber Diet

If you’re not used to consuming a lot of fiber, it’s important to increase your intake slowly. A sudden surge in fiber can lead to digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, and cramping, as your body needs time to adjust to the change.

Starting slow allows your digestive enzymes and gut microbiome to adapt without causing undue stress. You might want to start by adding an extra 5 grams of fiber per day for a week. If you have no tummy troubles add another 5 grams the next week until you are closer to the recommended amount.

Drinking plenty of water is also essential when upping your fiber intake, as fiber absorbs water to help soften stool and promote easier passage through the intestines.

By gradually incorporating more fiber-rich foods into your meals, you’ll minimize discomfort and make it easier for your body to reap the extensive benefits of a high-fiber diet.

High Fiber Food List

Here are the top high-fiber foods:

Grains:

Fiber One Bran Cereal, 2/3 cup -18 grams

Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal, 2/3 cup-12 grams

Oat Bran, 1 cup, cooked – 6 grams

Barley, 1 cup, cooked, pearled-6 grams

Oats, 1 cup, cooked- 5 grams

Peas and Beans:

Black Beans, 1 cup, cooked- 15 grams

Broad Beans (fava), 1 cup, cooked-9 grams

Lentils, 1 cup, cooked-16 grams

Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas), 1 cup, cooked-12 grams

Kidney Beans, 1 cup, cooked-19 grams

Fruits

Avocado, I medium- 9 grams

Blackberries, 1 cup- 8 grams

Raspberries, 1 cup-8 grams

Pear, 1 medium- 6 grams

Figs, dried, ¼ cup-4 grams

Vegetables

Acorn Squash, 1 cup, cooked-9 grams

Brussel Sprouts, 1 cup cooked-6 grams

Cauliflower, 1 cup cooked-5 grams

Sweet potato, 1 cup, cooked-4 grams

Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked-4 grams

Nuts and Seeds

Chia Seeds, 2 Tbsp- 10 grams

Almonds, ¼ cup-5 grams

Flax seeds, ground, 2 Tbsp-4 grams

Peanuts, ¼ cup-3 grams

Pistachios, ¼ cup-3 grams

Download the free High Fiber Foods List here.

Stepping up your fiber intake is a powerful move towards better health, not just for easing constipation. Start slow, stay consistent, and let the high-fiber foods chart be your guide to a happier, healthier gut. Cheers to your health journey, one fiber-rich meal at a time!

If you are a woman in midlife read more about the benefits of fiber for menopause in Is Fiber the Missing Ingredient in Your Menopause Health?

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Picture of Sandra Turnbull
Sandra Turnbull

Sandra has 30+ years experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Executive Coach, and is passionately committed to sharing evidence-based information while helping women thrive during the monumental transition that is menopause.

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Picture of Sandra Turnbull
Sandra Turnbull

Sandra brings over three decades of expertise both as a Registered Dietitian and a Be Body Positive facilitator. As a fellow midlife adventurer herself, she is committed to providing evidence-based guidance and compassionate support to women navigating the pivotal journey of menopause. For her it’s about nurturing bodies and minds with kindness and understanding, knowing its not just about what is on your plate; it’s also about how you feel in your skin.

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