Julia Guerra

Author: Expert reviewer:

January 31, 2023

Julia Guerra

By Julia Guerra

mbg Contributor

Julia Guerra is a health and wellness writer reporting for mindbodygreen, Elite Daily, and INSIDER.

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN

Expert review by

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN

mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.

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January 31, 2023

The rumors are true: Everybody poops. However, not all digestive tracts operate at the same speed. Some people go to the bathroom easier than others, and if you struggle to get on a regular schedule, your dietary habits could be the culprit. 

There are many benefits to eating a balanced diet, but when it comes to getting things moving, dietary fiber will help you maintain normal, healthy poops.


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Does fiber make you poop?

Fiber is one of the four main macronutrients (i.e., the types of nutrients our bodies need in large quantities to function). It’s a complex carbohydrate made exclusively of plant roughage that cannot be digested or absorbed in the human body. This is why fiber makes you poop—rather than get broken down and absorbed, it moves through your digestive system, binding water and wastes together along the way, so your body can expel what shouldn’t be there. (And that’s just one of the many benefits of fiber).

But while fiber helps you poop easier, determining how much fiber will make you poop varies from person to person and may require some trial and error. According to the National Academies, women should consume at least 25 to 28 grams1 of fiber daily, while men should consume at least 38 grams. 

That said, this is just an estimate and everybody is different; some digestive tracts require more fiber than others, and a “normal” bowel movement for your body might look slightly different than someone else’s “normal” stool. To determine how much fiber is sufficient to help you poop better, speak with a gastroenterologist for a personal assessment.

Types of fiber.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in nuts and seeds; fruits like apples, bananas, and berries; and in legumes and certain grains, like oat bran and barley. Insoluble fiber is in vegetables, wheat, and other whole grains. Both aid in healthy digestion but play different roles in the process. 

Registered dietitian Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., CDN previously told mindbodygreen that soluble fiber “dissolves into a gel-like substance” in water and helps to collect and remove toxins and cholesterol from the body. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve—it stays intact as it moves through the digestive system. While, like soluble fiber, it ushers out toxins and bad cholesterol, registered dietitian Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, CHC tells mindbodygreen that it also speeds up digestion.

“Both types of fiber are essential for gut health, but the difference [between soluble and insoluble fiber] is that the insoluble fiber speeds the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool,” Davar explains. The more water in the stool, the easier it passes. 


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Benefits of fiber.

Beyond helping you poop easier, there are a handful of health benefits to eating fiber-rich foods, one of them being that fiber (specifically fermented soluble fiber, also known as prebiotic fiber) helps clean out your colon See, bacteria in the colon feed off of fermented soluble fibers—like beans and legumes—and create short-chain fatty (SCFAs)2, per the Journal of Lipid Research. These SCFAs then aid in sustaining energy levels, promoting a healthy inflammatory response3, and regulating blood sugar levels.* 

Fiber also helps you feel fuller for longer. A 2018 systematic review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition explored how dietary fat and fiber impact satiety. It found that because fiber slows down the absorption of certain nutrients (specifically fats), it prolongs feelings of satiety4.* By slowing down the digestion of nutrients like carbohydrates, fiber also impacts how these nutrients are absorbed, resulting in steady blood sugar and insulin levels5, according to a 2018 review from The Journal of Nutrition.*

Research also suggests those who eat a fiber-rich diet are also less likely to have long-term heart health issues. In a 2019 Lancet meta-analysis that reviewed over 240 studies and clinical trials on the subject, scientists found that eating a high-fiber diet (i.e., a daily intake of 25 to 29 grams) showed a 15% to 30% decrease6 in cardiovascular and cardiometabolic health concerns, as well as healthier body composition, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol levels than individuals following a low-fiber diet.


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Recommended fiber dosage.

The National Academies recommends that women and men consume at least 25-28 grams1 and 38 grams of daily dietary fiber, respectively. But again, this number ultimately depends on your unique dietary needs. Some people need more, and some people need less. One thing is for sure: Fiber is a necessary part of a well-rounded, everyday diet, so you want to meet your goals to stay regular.

But let’s say you can’t meet your goals through diet alone. Taking a premium fiber supplement (like mindboydgreen’s organic fiber potency+) can help fill in the gap. According to Davar, the best time to take fiber supplements is in the morning, after breakfast, to avoid stomach upset and help fire up your digestion early in the day.*

Foods with fiber.

A host of high-fiber foods can help cleanse the gut and empty the colon; you just have to find ones you enjoy eating and can regularly incorporate into your diet. As a golden rule, Davar encourages clients to choose organic, non-GMO, quality fiber-rich food sources as often as possible. 

She stresses that the same rule applies to high-quality fiber supplements. This makes organic fiber potency+ a great option—it’s a USDA-certified organic vegan blend of soluble, insoluble, and prebiotic plant fibers sourced from ingredients like guar beans, mushrooms, and kiwifruit. Just one scoop yields a solid six grams of clean, functional fiber (not too shabby!).


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Seeds high in fiber

  • Chia seeds: 4.9 grams7 per one-tablespoon serving
  • Sunflower seeds: 3 grams8 per ¼-cup serving
  • Flax seeds: 2.9 grams9 per one-tablespoon serving 
  • Pumpkin seeds: 2 grams10 per two-tablespoon serving

Nuts high in fiber


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Grains high in fiber

Beans high in fiber

Fruit high in fiber

Vegetables high in fiber

Safety and side effects.

According to Davar, when consumed in a natural form (i.e. via fruits, vegetables, and other whole-food sources), “there is no such thing as too much fiber.” There is, however, such a thing as too much fiber via supplementation. 

“Fiber supplements are on the rise, and there is a possibility of nutrient absorption issues and digestive side effects, like bloating,” explains Davar. To avoid these unwanted side effects, Davar stresses that moderation is key and advises mindbodygreen readers to consume ”no more than 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day.” This is especially important for someone with digestive health concerns, as Davar notes a high-fiber diet may create a softer stool and/or bloating. 


Does fiber help you poop easier?

In a word, yes. Davar notes that high-fiber vegetables, especially, serve as bulk to keep things moving along.

Does fiber make your poop hard or soft?

“That depends on one’s gut microbiome and hydration levels,” Davar explains. “For healthy individuals, a high-fiber diet helps to bulk up the stool, and given proper levels of hydration (this is very important, especially when supplementing!), makes the passing very easy.”*

How long does fiber take to make you poop?

According to food science and nutrition professor at the University of Minnesota Joanne Slavin, Ph.D., RDN, food takes about 48 hours to move through your body. “Since fiber works by binding water, it will take at least a day for fiber to work,” she explains.

The takeaway.

There are many benefits to incorporating more fiber into your diet, but the fact that fiber promotes regularity and helps you poop easier might just top them all.* Eating fiber-rich foods like veggies, fruits, grains, and legumes can help you get on a regular bathroom schedule, but if you’re still struggling to meet the recommended daily intake, fiber supplements like mbg’s organic fiber potency+ can help you bridge your fiber gap.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.