Tasty Ideas to Boost Fiber for a Healthy Microbiome
Last updated: November 2023
Find your feel-good moments with more fiber! Diets high in fiber help improve digestion, cardiovascular health, and immune function while decreasing the risk of certain cancers.1-4
Along with proper hydration and daily fitness, fiber helps increase stool frequency! Fiber helps retain water increasing the hydration of stool. Even a 2 percent decrease in stool water can make stool hard and difficult to pass. Fiber also helps create more variation in the gut microbiome, helping to improve IBS symptoms. The gut microbiome is the trillions of microorganisms that live inside the digestive tract.6
But with most Americans not getting enough fiber, it’s time to make a lifestyle change. So, check out these IBS-friendly ways to slay your day in a fiber-filled way!7
Diversify your fiber
Fiber is found in plant-based foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Each unique plant color comes packed with its own set of phytonutrients (plant-based compounds that help combat oxidative stress and can help lower inflammation).
So, give your gut a helping hand by incorporating more colorful ingredients into your daily routine. Aim for low FODMAP options that radiate the rainbow, but don’t forget white, brown, and black foods too! Inclusivity always prevails, even when it comes to food. You may have to adjust the serving size or find a substitute with a similar taste profile that works for you.
Not sure where to start? Check out these microbiome-managing munchies that may help keep your IBS in check.
Do you feel you get enough fiber?
Cool, refreshing, or crunchy high fiber snacks
- Sweet and savory! Create this classic pairing by combining ½ cup of blueberries with 3 tbsp of cottage cheese or 5 small fresh mozzarella balls.
- Italian ice. This summer, stay cool as ice with this refreshing yet gut-friendly dessert. Simply combine 1 cup honeydew melon blended with ice and lime juice. Talk about easy-peasy melon-squeezy!
- Yogurt parfait. Help start your day with fiber by combining 1 cup of raspberries with ½ cup of low-fat, lactose-free yogurt. For an extra filling boost, top your creation with pumpkin seeds.
- Cucumber salad. Create a simple salad by combining 2 tbsp of crumbled feta and 1-2 cups of chopped cucumber with ½ tsp of olive, balsamic vinegar, and herbs to taste.
- Mediterranean-style vegetables. This dish exudes Italian nonna vibes. In a cast iron pan, cook two sliced zucchini with halved baby tomatoes and fresh basil.
- Sweet salsa. This fiber-filled snack will be a summer sensation! Create a strawberry salsa with berries, lime juice, and cilantro. Then, enjoy it on top of a baked corn tortilla.
- Gazpacho. Use canned Roma tomatoes – about ½ cup is well tolerated for low FODMAP. Mix in salt, pepper, cumin, and olive oil. Serve with chopped cucumbers.
- Lettuce wraps. Wrap up firm tofu with cucumber and carrots and serve with a gluten-free peanut sauce.
- Baby spinach and tofu. Wilt spinach over firm tofu in a pan with sesame oil, gluten-free soy sauce, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes (or any spice you like) to hold you over until mealtime.
Fiber-filled grainy snacks
Whole grains are a great way to improve mealtime satiety, gut health, and microbiome diversification. But, some high-fiber options are not always appropriate for a low FODMAP lifestyle. So, it’s time to kick gut-wrenching grains to the curb! Instead, trust your gut with one of the options provided below!
- Dynamic duo. It’s peanut butter jelly time! For a fiber-filled boost, create this childhood classic on millet bread and top it with raspberries instead of jelly. Choose an open sandwich to keep calories at snack amounts.
- Gluten-free oat balls. Mix oats and puffed millet with peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and roll into balls. Keep them small, and choose 2 to 3.
- Breakfast staple. Keep it simple with a bowl of oatmeal and IBS-friendly fruit such as strawberries or blueberries.
- That’s amore! Create endless pasta-bilities by swapping gluten-free pasta for a quinoa-based alternative. I enjoy a small portion of pasta as an afternoon snack with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, and nutritional yeast. This fiber-filled boost will improve your microbiome without triggering symptoms of IBS.
- Grain bowl goodness. Create a hearty and satisfying meal with high-fiber options such as bulgur, quinoa, or brown rice. Then, top this blank canvas with your favorite lean proteins and low-FODMAP vegetables.
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?