Fiber for Preventing or Treating Constipation

Fiber may just be the way to go when constipation is the problem. Although what constitutes constipation is not well established, diets that increase the number of bowel movements per day, improve the ease with which a stool is passed, or increase stool bulk are considered beneficial. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are necessary for regular bowel movements. Oftentimes, people use over-the-counter supplements to assist with regularity. Unfortunately, these supplements only provide soluble fiber. Studies support the benefits of the combination of soluble and insoluble fiber in alleviating constipation, but only with the consumption of an adequate fluid intake. High amounts of fiber, without fluids, can aggravate, rather than alleviate constipation. The way to go is to eat foods high in both soluble and insoluble fibers and drink lots of water to flush it down. The average American’s daily intake of fiber is about 5 to 14 grams per day. The current recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine are to achieve an adequate intake (AI) of fiber based on your gender and age. The AI is expected to meet or exceed the average amount needed to maintain a defined nutritional state or criterion of adequacy in essentially all members of a specific healthy population. AI Fiber Intake for Men Age Fiber grams/day 19 to 30 years 38 g/d 31 to 50 years 38 g/d 51 to 70 years 30 g/d 70+ years 30 g/d AI Fiber Intake for Women Age Fiber grams/day 19 to 30 years 25 g/d 31 to 50 years 25 g/d 51 to 70 years 21 g/d 70+ years 21 g/d
By |October 18th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Benefits of Whole Grain Fiber

Eating a diet rich in fiber – especially the kind of fiber found in whole grains – reduces the risk of dying at an early age from a range of causes, a new government study suggests. Fiber’s beneficial effects on heart health have been known for decades, so it wasn’t surprising that eating a lot of fiber was associated with a lower risk of death due to heart attack and heart disease. But fiber intake also appears to lower the risk of dying from respiratory diseases (such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis) and infectious diseases, the study found. The study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute, also found a link between fiber consumption and a reduced risk of death from cancer, but only in men. The source of the fiber appears to be critical. Consuming fiber from whole grains was most strongly linked to a lower risk of dying during the study, while fiber from vegetables and beans appeared to have a minimal impact on death risk. The fiber in fruit seemed to offer no protection at all. This unexpected finding suggests that the antioxidants and other nutrients in whole grains- not just the fiber- may be partly responsible for promoting health and long life.
By |September 16th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments