Having a high fiber diet does mean an increased visit to the toilet. But jokes apart, fiber is highly essential in your diet to keep your digestive system in its right place and help reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension and even many heart diseases. Unfortunately among younger generation these days, fiber intake is at an all time low. Studies have shown that there are less than three percent of Americans who meet the recommended intake.
Why do you need Fiber?
Fiber is something everybody needs but your body never really digests fiber. In fact, it remains almost the same from your plate to the toilet bowl. Fiber comes in two different varieties, soluble and insoluble fibers. Most plant based foods contain both soluble and insoluble forms of fiber. Soluble fiber becomes sort of like a gel once it is inside your stomach and it slows the digestion process. The main advantage of this is reduced cholesterol! Insoluble fiber on the other hand, remains unchanged throughout the digestion process and moves through your digestive tract making the waste volume heavier and softer so that it can move through your intestines more easily. Even though there are differences to the forms of fiber, neither of them is absorbed by our body.
Skipping fiber in your diet may lead to constipation, which means becoming really uncomfortable when going to the toilet. It can be very painful too. Eating very less fiber can make it very tough to control your blood sugar and will not be controlling your cholesterol levels. Overdoing fiber intake can make your food move through your intestines too quickly leaving absolutely no minerals or good stuff being absorbed by your body. It can end up leading to uncomfortable gastric reactions, bloated tummy and cramping especially if fiber intake is increased overnight.
So what exactly is the appropriate amount? Many leading research institutes recommend that men under 50 eat around 38 grams of fiber per day and women eat around 25 grams. Seniors above the age of 50 only need less than 30 grams of fiber (men) and 20 (Women) as they consume less food than other younger people. To put it in more perspective, a young adult is expected to eat fiber equivalent to 15 slices of whole – wheat bread every day.
Don’t worry; fiber from whole wheat bread is not the only source of good fiber around. Here are some easy to source good form of fiber – rich foods you can add to your daily diet making your life much simpler and easier.
Peas, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Beans, Lima Beans, Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Raspberries, Blackberries, Avocados, Pears, Bran Flakes, Whole Wheat Pasta, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal etc adds the perfect mix of fiber to your diet.
Adding flaxseed meal to oats, smoothies, yoghurt or any meal you are having makes up for your fiber intake ensuring your diet plan is on the right track and also makes your toilet life easier!
Talk to our nutrition experts at Fitness19 today and get more ideas on your perfect diet and workout plans.