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There are lots of talks going about the importance of a high intake of dietary fiber in your diet. People wanted to know how dietary fiber helps your digestive system? What illness of gut can be prevented or cured by consuming dietary fiber? Why is dietary fiber is important for digestive health? Here in this article, we are detailing out how dietary fiber helps digestive health.
Here is the expert view on the American population and also on most of the rest of the world. Experts say that they are not getting enough dietary food in their daily diet. This is not good and not a good lifestyle you want to have.
Firstly, understand that dietary fiber should be one of the key foods of your daily diet. Dietary fiber has to be part of everyone’s diet with no exception. Because It makes your digestive system healthy and helps running smoothly.
William Chey, MD, a professor of gastroenterology and nutrition at the University of Michigan says:-
Dietary fiber has many different good health effects on our gastrointestinal tract. A formation like a gel-like psyllium from fibers holds on to water. It can soften your hard stools.
Dietary fiber also has many other great health benefits, not just digestive health.
Dietary fiber bulk up stools and prevents constipation
The Joan Salge Blake, the Clinical Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Programs in Nutrition at Boston University says do not waste your money on laxatives.
People use laxatives to help poop by stimulating bowel movements. Salge Blake says to increase the dietary fiber in your diet to have the same effect. Dietary fiber absorbs water and bulk up the stool. This makes stools to pass through your intestines easily without causing constipation.
Drink lots of water. Because more water is needed for dietary fiber to bulk up the stool. The more the stool is bulkier, the stools become softer. Then it is easier to pass through intestines, rectum and then through the anus.
Dietary Fiber and Hemorrhoids
Eating high dietary food also prevents the development of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are caused by strained bowel movements and constipation. A high intake of dietary fiber negates both the effects.
Dr. Kenneth Brown, MD says, he starts treating hemorrhoids patients just by increasing the daily dietary fiber intake. Dietary fiber results in less constipation and makes your stools easier to evacuate.
Dietary fiber boosts good bacteria in the digestive tract
Probiotics and prebiotics health benefits are altogether a separate subject. Hence we are not discussing in detail in this article.
In a nutshell, probiotics are live bacteria important to maintain good gut health. Probiotics produce substances to acidify the colon. The acidifying colon is really a good thing for the gut.
Prebiotics are a kind of fiber found in fiber-rich foods. It does not get digested by the human body. But get served as food for the good bacteria in your gut. Some of the best fiber sources are whole wheat, banana, and corn.
Colon cleanses home remedies are covered in a separate article.
Hunger Management with Fiber-Rich Food
Naturally, fiber-rich food makes you feel full very fast. It also keeps you feeling full longer period. Because of this nature of dietary fiber food, you do not get hungry soon.
Between your daily three meals, you will not have an appetite to eat something. As a result, there is also a good chance to avoid eating junk food.
What does it mean? You will eat less and fewer calories intake. This result is weight loss. You can call it natural laxatives for weight loss. It also supports bowel movements. Good for all women who are looking to lose weight. You can eat enough and at the same time lose weight.
Dietary fiber-rich food for gut-related problems
Diverticulitis is a gut problem where waste getting trapped in the pouches of the colon. This causes inflammation, infection, and pain. A high intake of dietary fiber helps to clear the pouches while bulking up the stools.
Diverticulitis disease is a common gut problem among people who are 45 years and above. There is a good study published on the Oxford University Press. The findings suggest that insoluble fiber can immensely, reduce the risk of developing diverticulitis disease(1).
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also a common chronic gastrointestinal disorder. The affected people are about 20% of the adult population worldwide. IBS is believed to be caused by insufficient dietary fiber in our diet.
Physicians advise IBS patients to eat more dietary rich food. The best advice in overcoming this chronic syndrome. (2)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) does get better with dietary fiber. The heartburn feeling is much controlled with fiber.
Refer to the article here on use Acid Reflux (GERD) Wedge Pillow to ease heartburn.
Always be sure to gradually to increase the dietary fiber in your diet. Be aware, that a sudden increase in the intake of dietary fiber may cause bloating and cramping your gut.
Dietary Fiber Health Benefits
Just for you to know the other benefits from dietary fiber. Other health benefits are in the way of reducing the risks of developing:-
Coronary heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
Serum cholesterol levels
Sources of Dietary Fiber Rich Food
Grains - Wheat bran, barley, whole wheat, spaghetti, brown rice, Durum Wheat Semolina, and bulger
Cereals - Fiber One, All-Bran, Bran Flakes, Shredded Wheat, and Cooked Oatmeal
Vegetables - Cooked Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Green Beans and Brussels
Legumes - Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Green Peas and Canned Baked Beans
Fruits - Apple with Skin, Pear with Skin, Banana, and Orange
Dried Fruits - Apricots, Raisins, Plums, Dates, and Prunes
Baked Foods - Rye Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, Rice Cakes and Bran Muffin
Nuts and Seeds - Walnuts, Dry Roasted Peanuts, Popcorn, and Raw Filberts
Always choose low salted and low sugar versions of the above food if added.
How much dietary fiber do you need every day?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine publication recommends (3):-
Male: 9 to 50 years of age to consume 38 grams a day. 51 and above years of age to consume 30 grams a day.
Female: 9 to 50 years of age to consume 25 grams a day. 51 and above years of age to consume 21 grams a day.
Dietary fiber provides an overall protection to digestive system. it also maintains a good digestive health. Over and above the good digestive health, It has several other health benefits to the human body. Therefore regular intake of dietary fiber in the daily diet is a must for everyone.
It is a great challenge finding dietary fiber in any of the fast food. So avoid fast food as much as possible.
The great dietary fiber health benefits are not just for adults. They also have similar good health effects in children. So, give your children more dietary food without fear. They will grow well with good digestive health.
How does fiber clean your intestines?
Yes, it does clean your intestines like a brush. Insoluble dietary fiber does not get broken by the digestive system. As it passes through the intestines it cleans up waste stuck in the pouches. You can even call it a scrub brush of intestines. So effective in cleaning your colon. The end result is no constipation and gut-related problems. It also reduces risks in developing colon cancer.
How can I bulk up my bowel movements?
Intake of dietary fiber-rich food is the only best solution to bulk up the stool. Increase eating high fiber food. Drink lots of water also for dietary fiber to work well. Insoluble dietary fiber passes through your intestines fast. It keeps bulking up the poop and at the same time softens your poop. It helps to keep your digestive system in good health.
What happens when you eat too much fiber?
Always for anything and everything too much not too good for human beings. Dietary fibers too is not an exception. Always increase your fiber intake gradually. This way you can help yourself from the harmful effects of eating too much of the dietary fiber.
Eating too much dietary fiber causes gas and bloating. If you experience such discomforts then do the following:-
Drink lots of water or fluids
Do exercise or walk around after the meal
Reduce the intake of dietary fiber food
People do suffer these discomforts when dietary fiber intake has gone more than 70 grams in a day.
What happens if you don't eat enough fiber?
Eating less dietary fiber food slows down your digestive system. Water is not retained in your stool and it can get dry. It causes constipation. All wastes are not properly evacuated from the intestines. It causes waste getting deposited in the pouches in the colon. This is no good.
It can increase the risks of developing colon cancer.