Eating a high-fiber diet is linked to dozens of positive health outcomes, including better digestion, a healthier microbiome, lower cholesterol, and stronger immunity. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and pulses, and according to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC a registered dietitian and member of the Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board, "Around 95% of Americans are not consuming enough fiber every day."
How much fiber do you need? The FDA recommends 28 grams of fiber per day as general guidance, but Manaker suggests "Adult women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, and men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day.". She recommends spacing out your fiber intake throughout the day.
"Aim to eat around 6 grams of fiber at each meal and include some fiber-containing snacks in between." It's also a good idea to drink plenty of water with your fiber-rich foods, which helps with digestion.
So what exactly qualifies as a high-fiber food? "There's no official definition for a 'high fiber' food," says Manaker, "but a food that's a good source of fiber will have 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber per serving. An excellent source has 5 grams or more per serving."
It's worth noting that your individual fiber needs depend on a few factors, such as your medical history. For example, Manaker notes that "certain gastrointestinal conditions may require a person to eat less fiber." If you're unsure how much fiber you can handle, it's best to speak with your doctor first.
But if you're in the majority of the population that can digest fiber and isn't getting enough in their diet, the good news is that there are hundreds of products at your neighborhood grocery store full of this essential nutrient. When you know what to look for, you can easily stock your shopping cart with fiber-rich foods.
These are some of the best high-fiber foods at Trader Joe's that will help get you closer to your daily goal.
Almond Butter Chia Overnight Oats
This ready-to-eat overnight oats cup is a great way to start your day with a whopping 8 grams of fiber. The oats are also super creamy and full of healthy fats and plant-based protein, so you'll be satisfied all morning.
Legumes like lentils, peas, and chickpeas are all excellent sources of dietary fiber. And this pre-cooked pouch from TJ's makes it easier than ever to add lentils to your meals. You can add these lightly seasoned legumes to a salad or wrap and enjoy them cold, or heat them with your favorite sauces and seasonings to make pasta sauce, taco filling, or soup.
Giant Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
This is not your average can of beans. These giant white beans have a creamy, dense texture that's ultra-satisfying, and the rich tomato sauce they're cooked in adds a ton of sweet-savory flavor. You can eat these beans straight from the can, or spread them on toast for a high-fiber breakfast or snack.
Garlic and Onion Pistachios
These flavored pistachios are a favorite of Manaker's, who notes that they're "not only packed with fiber, but they're also a source of complete plant-based protein, good fats, and antioxidants, all packaged in a delicious snack."
Tomato Feta Soup
This soup is bright and umami-rich, thanks to the long-cooked tomatoes, but it's also creamy and full of body, thanks to tangy feta and a touch of cream. You can enjoy the soup cold like gazpacho or warm it up and top it with crispy chickpeas or croutons for crunch.
Roasted Cauliflower and Orzo
This is a satisfying comfort food meal that's hot and ready to enjoy after just a few minutes in the microwave. Roasted cauliflower brings plenty of fiber to the plate, plus it's the perfect canvas (along with orzo pasta) for the nutrient-rich sauce made with carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil (plus a delicious blend of four melty cheeses).
Greek Chickpeas with Cumin and Parsley
Manaker loves that these tinned chickpeas are "an easy source of fiber that's already packed with flavor, thanks to the herb and spice additions." She adds that "this pantry staple is an easy addition to salads, grain bowls, and so much more."
White Bean Chicken Chili
This chili is a surefire way to warm up on a winter night. It's thick and decadent, but also full of 6 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein to keep you full. It also has a gentle kick of heat from poblano peppers.
Roasted Turkey and Sweet Potato Burrito
This grab-and-go wrap makes a healthy choice for lunch, as it offers the 6 grams of fiber that Manaker recommends per meal, plus 18 grams of protein from lean roasted turkey. Cranberry salsa adds a touch of sweetness that makes this burrito reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner.
You might not expect crisp freeze-dried strawberries to be such a fiber powerhouse, but one serving from this pouch yields a quarter of your recommended daily fiber intake. These berries are great for sweetening oatmeal (another high-fiber food) or garnishing baked treats.
Frooze Balls Peanut Butter & Jelly
These plant-based energy balls are made with peanuts, coconut, and cashews and sweetened naturally with dates. They're a great on-the-go snack that satisfies a sweet craving with 7 grams of fiber and protein.
Vegan Enchilada Casserole
Even meat eaters love this cheesy, veggie-packed enchilada casserole. It's made with pinto beans, mixed roasted veggies (including sweet potatoes and bell peppers), plus corn tortilla and dairy-free mozzarella and cheddar. You can warm the entire thing in the microwave or oven for a lightening-fast high-fiber meal.
Whole Grain Waffles
Good news: your favorite frozen breakfast is a great source of dietary fiber. These whole grain waffles have a short ingredient list and 6 grams of fiber to start your day with. Add fresh berries for extra credit!
Mango Blueberry Chia Bowl
Chia seeds are one of the best sources of dietary fiber, so it's no surprise that this fruit-packed breakfast bowl offers 9 grams of the nutrient. Keep a box of these chia bowls in the freezer, and you can enjoy all the benefits of a freshly blended fruit smoothie without the effort (or blender).
Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
Made with quinoa, black beans, and corn, these veggie burgers are fiber-packed and nutrient-rich. In addition to 4 grams of fiber, you'll also get 6% of your daily recommended value of both iron and potassium, with zero added sugar. Serve these burgers between toasted buns or on top of a salad.
- Source: Quagliani D, Felt-Gunderson P. Closing America's Fiber Intake Gap: Communication Strategies From a Food and Fiber Summit. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016 Jul 7;11(1):80-85. doi: 10.1177/1559827615588079. PMID: 30202317; PMCID: PMC6124841.
- Source: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2023, September 27). How to understand and use the nutrition facts label. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-facts-label/how-understand-and-use-nutrition-facts-label