Fiber is essential to our health, it aids in digestion, helps you maintain a healthy weight and also helps protect us from diabetes and heart disease.
The average women needs at lest 25g per day
The average man needs 38g per day
It’s also so easy to get a hold of, you can find it in fruit, vegetables grains and nuts.
Fiber is known as bulk or roughage because you body can’t digest it, so by the time it gets to your colon it’s pretty much in the same state as when it started. This is why it can help aid in digestion.
Now, you have to remember fiber is not an easy business, there are 2 kinds soluble and insoluble fiber.
Lets start with soluble first. Your large intestine is where water is extracted from your bowel and if you suffer with constipation your stool can sit in your large intestine for longer than normal and this results in a hard, large and painful bowel movement, not pleasant. Soluble fiber helps draw and keep water in your large intestine making your stool softer and easier to pass. However you may be thinking, “Cool! So all I need to do it eat insoluble fiber and i’m sorted!”…well, no, let me explain insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool. Now, some people when think when the doctor tells them to eat more roughage, they go ahead and eat tons of nuts, whole wheat bread and ‘Kellogs All Bran cereal’, and this is where constipation worsens! Too much insoluble fiber makes large and hard to pass stools, but the truth is we need insoluble fiber to move the stool through the colon in a timely manner especially if you suffer with colonic inertia…punctuality is important like we say in Britain!
Think of your bowel like a cement mixer, everything goes around and gets mixed together; insoluble fiber is the cement mix and soluble fiber is the water, too much cement mix makes dense, heavy cement and too much water makes a watery cement mix, neither are ideal. The key is finding the balance. Below is a downloadable list of soluble and insoluble foods. Also check out fiberguardian.com where you can see the quantity of soluble and insoluble fiber content of food.