How Much Fiber Should We Be Consuming on a Daily Basis?
These days, we see the word “fiber” everywhere. Doctors tell us to eat more. Foods contain added fiber, state that they’re rich in it, or boast that their product is a good fiber source—but what is fiber, exactly? Why do our bodies need it and how much should we consume? We have the answers and reveal whether it’s a good idea to take a daily fiber supplement.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is a plant-based nutrient, and it is the parts of plants our bodies are unable to break down. The fiber we consume simply passes through the stomach and intestines and then the colon before being evacuated by the body.
There are two classifications of fiber; it is either soluble, which means it can be dissolved in water, or insoluble, which is not able to be dissolved.
How Does It Benefit Our Health?
Although it may seem as though fiber does little more than travel through our bodies, both types of fiber offer many health benefits.
Benefits of Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber lowers LDL or dangerous cholesterol. When it comes into contact with water, it turns into a thick gel that binds to bile, which is made of cholesterol, as it moves through the intestines. Soluble fiber also lowers cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from some of the foods we eat.
A soluble fiber supplement stabilizes blood sugar levels by slowing the digestion rate of nutrients, thereby reducing the frequency of spikes in blood sugar. It also feeds the good bacteria in the gut, allowing them to thrive and protect us against disease.
Benefits of Insoluble Fiber
Insoluble fiber, also known as roughage, absorbs fluids in the intestine. It increases both the rate of movement of waste in the intestines and the processing of that waste by sticking to materials that are ready to be formed into stool.
The ability of insoluble fiber to move waste efficiently through the intestines and adhere to waste products means it can prevent constipation and blockages, as well as increase the regularity of bowel movements that flush this waste from the body. It also ultimately reduces the risk of diverticular disease.
How Much Fiber Should We Eat and What Foods Contain Fiber?
The American Heart Association recommends consuming between 25 and 30 grams of dietary fiber per day.1 There are many fiber-containing foods that you can add to your diet. High-fiber foods include bran and shredded wheat cereals, cooked beans, and berries.
Supplementing with Fiber
When you aren’t getting enough fiber through your diet, it can help to incorporate a fiber supplement. Any kind of fiber intake should be accompanied by drinking at least eight ounces of water to provide enough lubrication for easy passage through the intestines.
High-quality fiber supplements from Forrest Health make it easy to get the fiber you need. All of our products combine powerful natural ingredients for the highest possible health benefit. Visit us online or call to learn more: 408-354-4262.