Posts Tagged ‘fiber’
- Choose whole fruits more often than fruit juice. Fresh, frozen, or canned, it doesn’t matter, they all count.
- Try to eat two vegetables with your evening meal.
- Keep a bowl of veggies washed and prepared in your refrigerator. Cucumbers, celery, or carrots are a good choice for a quick snack.
- Make a meal around dried beans or peas (also called legumes) instead of meat.
There is soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber has important health benefits. Eat a variety of foods to get enough of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel like texture in the intestines. Soluble fiber is not broken down until it reaches the large intestine where digestion causes gas (flatulence). It is found in such foods as oat bran, beans, peas, and most fruits.
When your digestive system is working well, the average transit time for food, from mouth to bowel movement, is anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.
Many people have a transit time that is too long, 48 to 96 hours, because they don’t eat enough high fiber food, drink enough water, or get enough exercise.
But how do you really know how long your transit time is? Here’s a way to find out:
- Swallow 1 gram of activated charcoal tablets (from your drugstore) or eat a couple of small beets, noting the exact time you do this.
- When you see darkened stool (charcoal will turn it black; beets will turn it deep red), figure out how many hours have passed. That is your transit time.
Safer Alternatives to Laxatives
If you are eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day and drinking six to eight glasses of water, you shouldn’t need laxatives!!!
Inevitably though, there will be times when nature needs a little help. But reaching for a laxative may not be a good idea, even ones that say they have natural ingredients like senna or cascara. Though these laxatives are natural, they are not gentle. And using them for more than a week or so can make you dependent on them for normal bowel function, just as pharmaceutical laxatives can.
The habits listed below can also help prevent colon cancer:
Is Fiber Important? YES!!!
Recommended Dietary Fiber Intake
Adults – 25 to 35 grams of total fiber (both soluble and insoluble) per day.
Children – 10 grams plus the child’s age. Example, an 8 year old child would need 10 grams + 8 years = 18 grams per day.
Remember… when increasing the fiber content of your diet, it’s best to take it slow. Add just a few grams at a time to allow the intestinal tract to adjust, otherwise, abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea or constipation may result. Drink at least 2 liters – 8 cups – of fluid daily.
Some high fiber foods include:
To help relieve symptoms and prevent recurrence of constipation:
- Eat more fiber foods and drink plenty of water and other liquids (six to eight glasses) such as fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups.
Eating a well balanced diet with enough fiber, 20 to 35 grams each day, recommended by the American Dietetic Association, helps form soft, bulky stool.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Americans eat an average of 5 to 14 grams of fiber daily. Both children and adults eat too many refined and processed foods from which the natural fiber has been removed.
Pronunciation – sil’e-um
Fiber is a substance found only in plants, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and psyllium. Psyllium is odorless and tasteless. Psyllium is rich in soluble fiber and eases constipation and digestive system upset. Psyllium is a grain that is found in some cereal products, in certain dietary supplements, and in certain bulk fiber laxatives.