Fiber is an important part of our daily nutrition and should be included as a part of a healthy, well balanced diet. There are two different types of fiber that can be included in your diet, soluble and non soluble fiber. Soluble fiber will help to control your blood sugar and may also have a healthy effect on lowering your cholesterol levels. Non soluble fiber will not lower your blood sugar or your cholesterol levels, but it can have a positive health benefit by reducing the risk of colon cancer. It also provides great benefits to your digestive system by maintaining the functioning of your bowels.
The medical community has determined that healthy adults need between twenty and thirty five grams of fiber in their diet to maintain good digestive health and receive all of the health benefits of a diet that is high in fiber. It can be very difficult to maintain such a high levels of fiber in the diet from food sources alone. Many people have turned to fiber supplements to help ensure that they are getting enough in their diet.
Doctors will often recommend fiber supplements to patients who are suffering from digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or constipation that is chronic. The benefits to the digestive system for these patients make fiber supplements a healthy and safe choice for everyday use. There is no evidence to suggest that using fiber supplements on a daily basis is harmful or can cause any adverse side effects.
There are, however, a few things that you should keep in mind when you are using fiber supplements in your diet every day. You should make sure that you are drinking enough water or you could make constipation problems much worse. Fiber supplements help to ease constipation by making the stool softer and easier to pass. When there is not enough water in the diet along with fiber supplements, the opposite could occur.
It is also important to increase your fiber intake slowly over time or you could cause gas and bloating problems. Those who are taking medications should consult with the doctor before adding fiber supplements to their diet. Fiber can decrease the absorption of these medications which will decrease their effectiveness. Medications such as carbamazepine, warfarin and aspirin can be affected by fiber supplements.
Diabetics should also monitor their blood sugar levels closely while taking fiber supplements. The fiber can decrease the levels of blood sugar which will require a change in insulin dosage for diabetic patients.
Some good sources of dietary soluble fiber include bananas, citrus, barley, strawberries, rice bran, carrots, sweet potatoes, beans, legumes, peas, oatmeal and oat bran. Remember, soluble fiber can reduce your blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Non soluble sources of dietary fiber include whole wheat bread, wheat bran, wheat cereal, cabbage, barley, brown rice, beets, turnips, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Non soluble fiber will not lower your blood sugar or cholesterol, but can have a very positive effect on the digestive system and the risk of cancer.
Using fiber supplements in your diet is a good way to make sure that you are getting the recommended daily amount of fiber each day. There are several different forms that you can use that will mix right in with the foods you eat or in a glass of water. Getting your fiber this way is easy and will make sure that your digestive system is as healthy as it can be. Add your fiber to your diet slowly to reach the recommended daily amount and you will avoid any problems with gas and bloating from your fiber supplements.
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