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Dr. Erin Hendriks

Eighteen solid sources of fiber

In the right foods and in the right amounts, fiber is part of a healthy eating plan that can help bloating, constipation and diarrhea. 

Published:

November 11, 2022

Written by:

Medically Reviewed by:

Dr. Erin Hendriks

Board-Certified Physician

Published:

November 11, 2022

Nutrition
Nutrition

Mention fiber and the jokes about bran muffins and prunes sure start to fly, don’t they? For people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fiber isn’t always so humorous. 

In a nutshell though, fiber is usually a good thing, even for IBS. That’s especially true when it’s balanced between the two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. In the right foods and in the right amounts, fiber is part of a healthy eating plan that can help bloating, constipation and diarrhea. 

Things to keep in mind before you increase your fiber intake

For more success with getting enough fiber, try these tips:

  • Up your fiber intake slowly
  • Wash fiber down with lots of water 
  • Walk or work out regularly to support your digestive system

Eighteen solid IBS-friendly sources of fiber

It may take some experimentation, but you will eventually determine what high-fiber foods suit you best.

Eat more soluble fiber for both diarrhea and constipation 

Foods that hold soluble fiber can help your digestive tract “put on the brakes” and let your body soak up extra water that might be contributing to diarrhea. It can also ease constipation. Soluble fiber isn’t only good for you — it’s great for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, too.

To get more of it, eat: 

  • Avocados: In small amounts, they pack in protein, plus healthy fats and vitamins your body needs. And who can say no to guacamole
  • Bananas: Bananas boost your energy and give you potassium. A banana almond smoothie with chia seeds could be a great way to start the day. (Just use the bananas before they turn completely ripe)
  • Berries: Low FODMAP berries like blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries, and strawberries are great sources of fiber that are also rich in antioxidants. This microwave berry cobbler is a quick yet tasty treat
  • Carrots: These cheerful veggies are anti-inflammatory, so they can reduce pain. They also hold plenty of carotenoids and vitamin A to support your eyesight. Low FODMAP seasoned carrots is a simple side dish you can make anytime
  • Eggplant: Low-cal and mineral-packed, eggplant can be made many ways (as long as you don’t fry it!) Papoutsakia (baked eggplant) and baba ganoush are both delicious choices
  • Quinoa: It’s full of protein, can help you lose weight, and can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also easy to cook (as in this chicken quinoa summer salad)
  • Oatmeal: It’s a daily fiber source that also helps prevent heart disease and high cholesterol. Try to eat it in servings up to ½ cup (peanut butter overnight oats, perhaps?)

Try insoluble fiber for constipation

Insoluble fiber bulks up stool and helps make bowel movements more regular. Foods that hold insoluble fiber include:

Don’t forget about the foods packed with both kinds of fiber

Certain stand-out foods hold both soluble and insoluble fiber. Incorporate these whenever you can, as they can be some of your best sources for fiber. They include:

  • Kiwis: They’re fun, fuzzy, and full of fiber (not to mention vitamin C). Eat them sliced in all their natural goodness, or blend them into a ginger kiwi smoothie
  • Peanuts: In servings sizes of ⅛ cup, peanuts are great snacks, meal toppers, dessert mix-ins…they do it all, in other words. Enjoy Thai peanut noodles with turkey, or cross over to the sweet side with peanut butter rice krispy bars
  • Potatoes: These versatile tubers hold many health benefits. Have them stuffed, baked, in hash browns, or even in a sweet potato quiche
  • Soy fiber: Soy is another versatile source of fiber and protein. May we suggest a sweet chili tofu bowl with brown rice with a side of edamame?

A word about fiber supplements: they aren’t the worst thing you could try, but nutritionists and dietitians say to get fiber from natural foods as much as possible.

Get more support from Salvo Health

At Salvo Health, our digital healthcare platform and virtual clinic provides you with continuous text-based support and care for your chronic condition. Imagine being able to text a board-certified Physician or Behavioral Health Coach to avoid flare-ups or manage your pain. Alongside messaging-based communication, members receive a customized Care Plan that can take account of how their symptoms can be managed, no matter how much fiber you need. 

Get immediate access to a coordinated Salvo Health care team, including a certified gastro specialist and board-certified health coach when you join Salvo Health today. 

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