Dietary Fiber and Constipation


It is normal to have one to two soft,formed easily to expel bowel movements a day,without the effort of straining too hard. It is not normal to miss moving one’s bowl a day.
An individual is constipated if the stool is dry and hard,experiences difficulty and straining on passing out stool and had irregular bowel movements.

One of the factors affecting bowel movements is dietary fiber intake.
If there is adequate fiber in the diet,the fiber mixes and adds bulk to the stool.
Each tiny particle of the fiber soaks up available liquid and enlarges into a minute gel bead.
These tiny particles provide the stool size,shape and moisture,which make it easy for the colon to move along and expel the fecal matter.
To achieve healthy bowel movement,sufficient water should also be observed.  There should be adequate water for absorption and adequate lubrication along the lining of the colon.

With low fiber included in the diet,constipation is most likely to happen.
Fiber may be soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance that slows down digestion.
It helps delay the emptying of the stomach and makes on feel full that eventually controls increase in weight.
Insoluble fiber,on the other hand,is considered gut-healthy fiber due to its laxative effect.
It adds bulk to the diet thereby preventing constipation.
This fiber does not dissolve in water,but it tends to pass through the gastrointestinal tract to speed up the passage of food and waste through the intestine.
Insufficient fiber in the diet definitely causes constipation.

Low fiber diet also plays a major role in constipation,especially among the elderly.  Older adults most often lack interest in eating and tend to choose fast foods that are low in fiber.
Some factors,such as loss of teeth may also force the elderly to eat softer foods that are processed and low in fiber.

A dietary regimen should contain enough fiber,amounting to 20 to 35 grams per day.
This amount can help from soft,bulky stool.
A doctor or dietitian can do great help in planning an appropriate high-fiber diet.
It is best to consult them for well-balanced meals.

Foods that are high in fiber include whole grains,bran cereals,beans,fresh fruits and vegetables,such as broccoli,asparagus,apple,Brussels sprouts,cabbage,carrots,grapes and prune.

If an individual is already suffering from constipation,he should limit on the intake of processed foods and dairy products such as milk,cheese and ice cream.
These foods contain high fat but very low fiber.

These are the top twenty foods that are known in high-fiber  content.

Bran cereals,Dried beans,legumes and peas,Fresh and frozen green peas,Dried figs,apricot and dates,Raspberries,blackberries and strawberries,Fresh of frozen lima beans,Sweet corn,Whole wheat and whole-grain cereal products,Broccoli,Bananas,Coconut,Brussels sprouts,Cherries,Baked potato with skin,Green snap beans,pole beans and broad beans,Plums,pears and apples,Prunes and raisins,Spinach,kale,and turnip greens,Nuts,such as peanuts and walnuts,Carrots

These foods can be combined in a meal plan to ensure sufficient intake of fiber.  Sufficient fiber in the dietary regimen lessens the possibility of having constipation.

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