The food you eat affects your overall health and well-being. Including fiber-rich foods in your diet will help you deal with your health problems such as constipation effectively. In addition, dietary fiber protects heart health and helps lower cholesterol.
According to Donald Novey, a physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, eating fiber-rich foods is best for people suffering from constipation. The recommended daily fiber intake is between 25 grams and 30 grams. Also, moderate fiber vegetables have 2.1 to 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Types of Fiber
Fibers are of two types: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber prolongs the digestive process and keeps the stomach fuller longer, thus giving your body more time to absorb nutrients from food. Foods such as dried beans, barley, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, potatoes and oats are loaded with soluble fiber.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber increases the bulk and frequency of bowel movements. Foods such as whole grains, cereals, seeds, fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with insoluble fiber. Therefore, start eating these foods to treat constipation effectively.
Fiber is commonly found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, shrimps, lobster and crabs. Eating lots of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits etc. will help stimulate the growth of colonic flora, thereby adding bulk to the stool.
Also, the presence of beneficial bacteria in the colon is essential for long-term intestinal health. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, people should eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber content.
Plant-based fiber products are efficient enough to cure constipation. Plus, foods such as pasta, whole-grain breads and cereals help ease constipation. Cereal fibers have cell walls that retain water and resist digestion. Also, foods that contain natural products like methyl cellulose, bran and psyllium seed husk have a laxative effect.
Remember to drink lots of water while eating these foods as they can cause constipation. Add fiber to your diet slowly and steadily as your body needs sufficient time to adjust. Keep in mind that including dietary fiber in your daily diet will help you to have healthy bowel movements.
If you choose to take fiber supplements then you need to drink lots of water as it keeps your digestive system in good condition. People who are unable to get enough fiber through their diet should take fiber supplements. Taking fiber supplements will help your body get rid of toxins and waste materials.
Ways to Increase Fiber in your Diet
Here are some simple ways to increase fiber in your diet.Add one serving to your day by incorporating legumes into salads and soups. Enhance the flavor of your salad by adding nuts and dried fruit to it. Add fiber-rich beans to your vegetable soup to fulfill your daily fiber requirements.
Replace your unhealthy snacks with high-fiber snacks such as popcorn, dried fruit and nuts. Eat a high-fiber cereal along with yogurt to make your breakfast a healthy one. Top baked potatoes with broccoli or salsa to make your dish healthier. Replace white flour with whole-wheat flour to get more fiber in your diet.