Dietary fiber needs an image overhaul! The nutrient is mostly associated with prunes and bowel health. And yes, fiber helps us poop regularly and efficiently. As anyone who's suffered from constipation can tell you, that's no small perk.
But it does so much more than just that! It also "lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer," Mascha Davis, RDN, founder of NomadistaNutrition.com and author of Eat Your Vitamins, tells Refinery29.
What's more, she adds, upping your intake doesn't necessarily mean stirring a gloopy supplement into your glass of water each morning. "Selecting delicious foods that provide fiber isn't difficult, especially today when there are plenty of fiber-rich products on the market," Davis says.
Here, Davis gives us some of her top high-fiber picks you'll want to add to your pantry ASAP.
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Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks
"Not only are these delish, but they are highly nutritious and have both protein and fiber," Davis says. These chickpea snacks also come in a ton of flavors, such as sea salt, honey roasted, habanero, ranch, and more to satisfy whatever taste you're craving.
Side note: You can DIY this snack by baking canned chickpeas in an oven. A cup has about 12 grams of fiber.
Biena Snacks Roasted Chickpea Snacks, $, available at Biena Snacks
Chia Pod Coconut Chia Pudding
While these can only be bought online in Australia, Davis says that they can be found in most yogurt sections of grocery stores. "Chia seeds are not only a great source of fiber, but also contain omega-3s and antioxidants," she explains.
This is another treat you can make at home, by mixing chia seeds (an ounce has about 10 grams of fiber) into the yogurt of your choice. But be aware: The longer you let it sit, the plumper and more viscous the seeds will get.
Chia Pod Coconut Chia Pudding, $, available at Chia Pod
Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn
On the lookout for something salty? Davis recommends this organic popcorn — and it might just earn a spot on your favorite snack list, thanks to the new summer flavors. Just one serving of this popcorn delivers 17% of your daily fiber intake.
Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn, $, available at Amazon
Bob's Red Mill Organic Fruit and Seed Oatmeal Cup
Davis is a big fan of oatmeal cups. "These are great sources of both protein and fiber, with fiber clocking in at 6 to 8 grams per cup," Davis says. "As a dietitian, I love them!"
The cups are great if you're in a rush, but you can make your own oatmeal too. A cup of cooked oatmeal on its own has about four grams of fiber; adding mix-ins like fruit, seeds, and nuts can increase the amount of fiber you're getting (and make the whole treat tastier).
Bob's Red Mill Organic Fruit and Seed Oatmeal Cup, $, available at Bob's Red Mill
Mary's Gone Crackers
Maybe it's just me, but when I hear a cracker is rich in fiber, I expect it to taste like cardboard. This option, recommended by Davis, proved me wrong. They come in a slew of different flavors, such as black pepper and jalapeño.
Davis recommends combining the crackers with hummus and fresh vegetables for a quick, healthy bite — and even more fiber per serving.
Mary's Gone Crackers Herb Crackers, $, available at Mary's Gone Crackers
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