Need a little help getting your digestion, um, going? Fiber is your best friend. Unlike most carbs, fiber's not a source of calories and it doesn't get digested — it's there to add bulk to your food (including as your meal digests) to help keep things regular.
9 High Fiber Foods to Keep You Healthy
Eating fiber has other benefits, too. Fiber bulks up your meal, making it more filling. Certain types of fiber also help remove cholesterol from your system, improving your blood cholesterol to promote heart health. And some types of fiber "feed" the helpful microbes in your gut for digestive health. Getting your daily fiber doesn't mean eating rabbit food all day. Try one of these eight fiber-packed foods to get things moving!
All beans, lentils and peas supply fiber, but black beans are one of the best sources — each cup as a whopping 15 grams of fiber, which is about 60 percent of what you need in a day. You'll also get plant-based protein and vitamins like folate, that promote healthy circulation.
When it comes to fiber content, raspberries are berry, berry good. (Sorry, we had to!) Each cup supplies about 8 grams of the good stuff, or 32 percent of your daily fiber needs. They're also a fantastic source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that's great for soft, smooth skin.
It's tough to beat almonds for a high-fiber snack you can eat on the go. Each ounce of almonds has about 4 grams of fiber, or 14% of the fiber you need each day, along with protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
Good news: cozying up with a comforting bowl of whole-wheat pasta is seriously good for your digestion. A cup of whole-grain spaghetti, for example, has 6 grams of fiber, supplying one-quarter of the fiber you need for the day. It's also loaded with B-complex vitamins for metabolism and energy.
It's no secret that beets help keep you regular, and part of that is because of their fiber content. Each cup of sliced beets ups your fiber intake by 4 grams, and provides 14 percent of your fiber needs for the day. Beets also pack in tons of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage.
While they're usually thought of as a source of omega-3s, flax seeds are also among the best sources of fiber, packing in 3 grams per tablespoon. The coating that covers each seed is so full of fiber you actually can't digest it, which means that whole flax seeds pass through you without being digested (which means they also aren't broken down into calories!).
Comfort food that's also great for digestion? Yup, sweet potatoes pretty much have it all! Each sweet potato supplies 4 grams of fiber (that's about 16 percent of what you need for the day), plus enough vitamin A to meet your entire daily intake recommendation.
Bran cereal, homemade bran muffins, bran pancakes — bran is a must-have in your pantry if you're trying to eat more fiber. Just two tablespoons of bran contains about 12 grams of fiber, meeting half of your fiber needs for the day.
Add fiber to your diet slowly, including one to two servings of fiber-rich foods to your diet and increasing it gradually. Upping your fiber intake too much, too fast can cause digestive upset and constipation (not nice!)