Seeds High In Fiber – Which Seeds Are Best for Digestion?


Most people do not get enough fiber, and adding some seeds to their meals can help improve that.

As you’re about to see, the amount of fiber varies widely based on the specific seed, so you’ll want to prioritize certain ones like chia and flax.

Before we get to the data, let’s quickly go over how much fiber you should be aiming for.

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

The recommended fiber intake varies significantly based on age and gender.

For adults, women are recommended to get at least 25 grams of fiber per day, and men are recommended to get 38 grams.

Even though that’s not a high amount, most people do not get enough fiber in their diet, especially if they don’t eat many whole foods.

Seeds High in Fiber

The data in the table below is per 100 grams of each seed.

I included the amount of total carbohydrates just in case you’re on a diet like keto and care about net carbohydrates as well.

  Carbohydrate (g) Fiber (g)
Chia seeds 42.1 34.3
Flaxseed 28.9 27.2
Sesame Seeds 23.4 11.8
Sunflower Seeds 20.0 8.6
Pumpkin Seeds 10.7 6.0
Hemp seeds 8.7 4.0

There’s a huge difference between chia seeds at the top and hemp seeds at the bottom, with almost 9 times as much fiber in chia.

Which Seeds Are Highest in Fiber?

Chia seeds and flaxseed are the seeds highest in fiber by far. They have 34 and 27 grams of fiber respectively in a 100 gram serving.

While that’s a large serving, it’s close to the RDA for most adults without even considering any other foods in your diet.

One notable difference is that chia seeds have about 9 grams of net carbohydrates (carbohydrates minus fiber), while flaxseed has just about 2 grams.

Which Seeds Are Lowest in Fiber?

Both pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds are relatively low in fiber with 6 and 4 grams of fiber respectively per 100 gram serving.

While those amounts pale in comparison to the amount in chia and flax seeds, it’s still a significant portion of the RDA, and can help certain people get more fiber. It’s a lot easier to snack on pumpkin seeds than chia or flax.

Are Seeds a Good Fiber Source Compared to Alternatives?

Seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of fiber.

Other top fiber sources include:

  • Legumes (beans, lentils)
  • Grains (oats, rye)
  • Fruits (berries, apples)
  • Vegetables (rapini, spinach, etc.)

In short, there are tons of great fiber sources and in theory it should be easy to far exceed the RDA as long as you’re eating a good amount of whole foods.

Can Seeds Cause Constipation

In general, fiber and fat are good for promoting healthy bowel movements.

However, some people find that seeds give them constipation, and the reason is usually that they don’t drink enough water.

Seeds contain about 50% soluble fiber, which needs to absorb water in order to bulk up and move smoothly through your digestive system. Without enough water, it has the opposite effect, clogging up your system.

When you eat foods like seeds that are high in soluble fiber, drinking a sufficient amount of water is important.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.