If you are having trouble with constipation, then you need to be monitoring your daily fiber intake. While fiber can’t cure the main cause of constipation, it can help relieve you of some of the symptoms. Including fiber rich foods in your diet will help keep your digestive system regular.
Your daily fiber intake has a direct effect on the way your small intestine and colon works. Your small intestine is responsible for gathering nutrients and vitamins from your digested food once it has passed through your esophagus and stomach. After your food has been processed there, it moves onto your large intestine and colon. The colon’s job is to lubricate stool and help it’s passage through the rectum.
Fiber gets involved in two different ways. Your daily fiber intake should include soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel and prevents your intestines from absorbing too much fat. Insoluble fiber keeps your food moving through your digestive system and adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass.
Your dietary fiber intake is determined by your age and gender. For women ages 19 through 50, the recommended daily fiber intake is 25 grams. Men of the same age should be consuming at least 30 grams a day. After 50, both men and women should consume around 50 grams of fiber. Children need between 5 and 15 grams of fiber depending on their age. However, the average Americans only eats 12 grams or less per day.
Make sure your daily fiber intake includes both types of fiber by eating a variety of fresh foods. All foods that are natural contain fiber, some more than others. For insoluble fiber, eat wheat bran, whole grain cereals and vegetables. Soluble fibers can be found in citrus fruit, legumes, oats and barley. These foods contain the most concentration of each type of fiber.
As long as you concentrate your diet on fresh foods, and not packaged foods, your daily fiber intake should be right on target. In fact, the reason a lot of people have problems with constipation is because they eat too many processed foods. Processed foods are lacking in fiber and other important nutrients that play a role in your digestive health.
Making sure your daily fiber intake is on par is just one of the important steps you can take in relieving yourself of the symptoms of constipation. Eating fiber each day can help keep you regular, but if you keep having problems with constipation you need to find a cure for the source of your digestive problems.