Everyone knows that it’s important to have enough fiber in your diet, but not as many people understand why and how it can benefit your health; fortunately, there are many foods that you can incorporate into your diet if you aren’t getting enough fiber on a daily basis (and don’t worry; a lot of these foods are also pretty delicious, too!).
If you want to increase your fiber intake all you have to do is add more legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables to your diet. Simple right? We think so, too! Fiber offers so many wonderful benefits from helping you maintain a healthy weight to reducing your risk of developing potentially serious and chronic health problems such as heart disease or diabetes. It’s even believed that consuming enough fiber could potentially reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Regardless of whether you are at risk for high cholesterol or not, making sure you get enough soluble fiber in your diet is a great way to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in a safe and healthy range. Soluble fibers include beans, citrus, barley, oats and peas.
Insoluble fibers, as you might already know, are great for your digestive tract and help improve the function of your bowels. If you are having issues with constipation then adding more insoluble fibers to your diet may help make it easier to go. Common insoluble fibers include whole-wheat flour, beans, vegetables and potatoes.
So, how much fiber should you be consuming on a daily basis? If you are a man who is 50 years or younger than you should consume about 38 grams of fiber a day, while men over 51 years old only need to consume 30 grams of fiber per day. Women under 50 years old should make sure they are getting about 25 grams of fiber every day, while women over 51 years old should consume about 21 grams.
Making sure you get enough dietary fiber in your diet is just one great way to maintain a healthy GI tract. Of course, if you have questions about your diet and how it is impacting your gastrointestinal health then it’s time you turned to a gastroenterologist who can answer all of your questions or address any symptoms or concerns you might have.