Your gut needs help to remove the waste in your digestive system. Increasing your fiber intake can help you out here. Dietary fiber, also known as roughage, includes those parts of plants that you cannot digest. Fats and carbohydrates break down in the body, but the fiber remains intact through the stomach, colon, and small intestine of your body. It helps in relieving constipation and is mainly found in fruits and vegetables. Research says that you should intake at least 28grams of fiber daily with variations on gender and age. If you are taking less fiber, then this can lead to issues like heart disease or diabetes.
Guidelines for men and women
As fiber plays a role in weight management, lack of it causes high rates of obesity and overweight. If you are taking too much fiber in your diet, you may face problems like gas, bloating, and constipation. These can occur if a person consumes more than 70g of fibers per day. It is most likely to happen with those that follow a whole food, vegan or raw diet. Fiber makes bowel movements bulkier and promotes fermentation. To avoid the side effects, there are guidelines on the intake of fiber for men and women.
For men- Their requirement is more than women. The adequate levels of intake depend on the age of a man. As the calorie requirement decreases with age, older adults need less fiber. Men with ages between 19-50, require 38g per day and 30g is for age 50 and above.
For women- The intake for women is slightly less than for men. 25g of fiber is enough for women between the age of 19 to 50 and 21g for 50 and above. Women that are above 49 require less fiber as they have to maintain their weight.
Here are some tips for adding fiber to your diet-
Jump-start the day
When you go for breakfast in the morning, choose a high-fiber cereal. You can have quaker oats, Kellogg’s Cracklin oat bran, bran flakes, wheat cereal biscuits, shredded wheat pillows, and many more. These are cereals with whole grain and you can choose different flavors. 5 or more grams per serving is what you need.
Go for whole grains
Consume half of all grains as whole grains. Whole wheat is an incredibly versatile grain. It is a nutritious alternative to your regular wheat and a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Barley, brown rice, popcorn, bulgur are all whole grains. Millets have been a part of human cuisine for hundreds of years now and are also gluten-free. Eat bread that lists whole wheat flour and at least 2 grams per serving.
Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber
Eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber and consume at least five or more servings daily. Vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, green peas, carrots, cauliflowers, artichokes, etc are all you can eat in your lunch. Fruits are always a juicy treat when you are looking for some snacks. Avocados, strawberries, apples, bananas, and raspberries in the right quantity can help you maintain your daily fiber intake.
Have some Legumes
Lean on some different types of legumes. Split peas, beans, and kidney beans are all you can intake as they are some great sources of fiber.
- Consuming 1.5 cups of cooked split peas will help you gain 28g of fiber. They make an excellent base for a curry dish.
- You can use navy beans in soups and intake about 1.5 cups every day.
- Use kidney beans in chili recipes because they hold their shape for a long time. A single cup contains 13.1 grams of fiber, so have 2 cups daily.
Why is high-fiber food necessary?
Whole foods are much better than fiber supplements like Metamucil, Citrucel, etc. They do not provide a variety of vitamins, fibers, and other beneficial nutrients. A high-fiber diet usually helps maintain bowel health and movements. It lowers your risk of developing hemorrhoids and any diverticular disease. If you have watery stools, fiber helps you- solidify them as it absorbs water. Soluble fiber may help you in decreasing blood cholesterol levels. It reduces low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. People who have diabetes should intake fiber in a good amount. It will slow down the absorption of sugar and improve sugar levels. Also, drink lots of water per day. When fiber absorbs water, it works best. Reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by increasing fiber in your diet and live longer.