Fiber is amongst the most important nutrients needed by the body on a daily basis to function normally. But since the main source of fibers is mostly vegetables, getting a sufficient amount is not that easy especially if you are not in the mood.
As a result, some people tend to either consume too much fiber or too less. Such extremes can be problematic. However, incorporating high-fiber foods offers several health benefits. Let’s dive in and discuss how you can balance your daily fiber intake along with the top foods that are packed with fibers.
What is the daily fiber intake to have per day?
When it comes to the daily fiber intake, there are several factors to consider including age and gender. Men as compared to women need more fibers, irrespective of age. However, men who are 50 years or younger should intake atleast 38 g of fibers while women should intake 25 g.
Additionally, men who are over the age of 50 should intake 30 g of fiber on a daily basis, whereas women should intake 21 g. Keep in mind that the daily fiber intake varies for children as well. For instance, children from 1 to 13 years of age should intake no more than 26 g and 31 g for females and males respectively.
However, those between 14 to 18 years of age should intake 26 g and 38 g for females and males respectively. At such age, parents should keep a strict eye on their diets and make measuring ingredients a regular routine.
What are the effects of too much fiber intake?
As mentioned, the daily recommended fiber intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. However, according to several studies, the majority does not ingest too much fiber. While not ingesting too much fiber is pretty common, excessive fiber intake is also a thing.
This happens when an individual increases the fiber intake very quickly. As a result, excessive fiber can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, loose stools or diarrhea, and temporary weight gain. If you observe that you are unable to pass stool or gas, consult a doctor immediately.
How can I relieve symptoms of too much fiber?
If you have recently shifted to a high-fiber diet and have ingested too much fiber, you might end up experiencing some symptoms that will need to be dealt with. You can help calm down the effects by drinking plenty of water, eating a bland diet, avoiding high-fiber foods, and keeping a check of your daily fiber intake.
To avoid excessive fiber ingestion, experts suggest a gradual increase in the consumption of high-fiber foods. If you are experiencing problems, you should lower your fiber intake and re-introduce once the body has settled. Plus, it is best to get your fiber intake from a variety of foods instead of relying on one food source. Aim for vegetables, beans, fruits, and nuts, etc.
How does fiber affect your digestion?
Fibers play a huge role in ensuring that your digestion system keeps running perfectly. There are two types of fiber. Insoluble and soluble fiber. The insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass quickly through the intestines and stomach. It also helps balance your intestine’s pH and may prevent colon cancer and intestine inflammation.
Soluble fiber attracts water and forms a gel-like substance with the food while it is digested. As a result, the digestion process is slowed down, which helps you feel fuller, ultimately reducing weight. Therefore, it might also help regulate your blood sugar, lower the risk of heart disease and reduce LDL cholesterol.
What are the benefits of fiber intake daily?
While having too much fiber can have negative effects, a proper amount of fiber is essential for your health. Fiber contributes a lot to cholesterol and blood sugar management helps regulate bowel movements and prevent chronic disease.
Studies have found that in populations who consume high-fiber diets with 50 grams of fiber per day, like rural South Africans, the chances of diseases like colon cancer is very low. This is a huge difference when compared to African-Americans who have a higher chance of colon cancer amongst them since they ingest only 15 grams of fiber per day.
Top High-Fiber Foods
Now that we have discussed the recommended daily fiber intake, it is time to shift our attention to some top high-fiber foods.
Beans and lentils are perhaps the easiest way to ingest some fiber by adding them to stews, salads, and soups. Some beans like edamame tend to be a great fiber-filled snack. A half-cup serving of shelled edamame consists of 9 grams of fiber. Beans offer other plant proteins as well that are beneficial to the overall health.
Broccoli can be pigeonholed as a fiber vegetable. It belongs to the family of cabbage and cauliflower, which means that it is packed with many nutrients. Studies have shown that five grams of broccoli fiber can help gut bacteria.
Dried fruits like dates, prunes, and figs are proven to help boost your intake dramatically. Additionally, they are also suggested for those who are struggling with constipation. These fruits consist of natural sugar called sorbitol, which helps the bowel and leads to more comfort.
However, if you were to consume an excessive amount, it might lead to diarrhea and cramping. Therefore, it is best to have a few and then give it a rest until you have can more.
Nuts along with almonds and sunflower seeds are a great source of fiber. They have more than 3 grams of fiber in each serving. This can easily help you reach the daily fiber intake requirement. Plus, raw or dry-roasted nuts are preferred over pre-packaged ones. These are readily available at almost every local supermarket.
Measuring your daily fiber intake can be a difficult task. You need to make sure that you balance the intake and not ingest excessive amounts. The above-mentioned high-fiber foods will help you keep a track of your intake, helping you maintain your overall health. And do not shift to high-fiber diets all of a sudden. Consult a doctor who will help you gradually increase your intake.