Fiber - The Unsung Hero

A macronutrient that often goes unnoticed 

Fix Your Fiber Problem

Did you know that over 60 million Americans suffer from constipation at any given time. Below are some of the most common causes of constipation.

  1. Low fiber diet.

  2. Inadequate fluid intake

  3. Lack of exercise  

  4. Colon inertia or decreased motility from a variety of causes such as irritable bowle syndrome, food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis, stressful situations etc.

  5. Electrolyte imbalance such as low magnesium, low potassium etc.

  6. Hormone imbalance such as hypothyroidism 

  7. Bowel obstruction

Below is some information on the most common cause, i.e; low fiber intake and how to take care of this. 

How much fiber do we need every day? 25-35 grams

How much fiber are we getting every day? 15 grams

A step-wise approach to resolve constipation:

Step 1:

Ensure that there is at least 30-40 grams of fiber in your diet. This can be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and makes jelly like substance in the colon (think when water is mixed with oatmeal). Sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve (think when spinach is mixed with water). Sources include peels of fruit, whole wheat bread and brown rice.

AND consume at least 8 glasses of fluids AND do 30 minutes of exercise daily. 

Step 2:

Add a natural colon stimulant such as magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, buffered vitamin C etc. These minerals and Vitamin C can be obtained from natural food sources as well such as nuts, fruits.

etc. However, for effective stimulation, you may need a supplemental form of these products.

AND consume at least 8 glasses of fluids AND do 30 minutes of exercise daily. 

Step 3:

Add an over the counter laxative such as miralax, metamucil etc. Avoid taking senna, or docusate sodium unless necessary. Senna and docustae sodium cause electrolyte imbalance and can result in rebound constipation. 

AND consume at least 8 glasses of fluids AND do 30 minutes of exercise daily. 

Step 4:

Consider an enema for resistant constipation. 

AND consume at least 8 glasses of fluids AND do 30 minutes of exercise daily. 

Step 5: 

If none of the above steps help resolve constipation, consider prescription medications such as colace, lactulose, golytely etc. 

AND consume at least 8 glasses of fluids AND do 30 minutes of exercise daily.

 

For resistant constipation, nausea, vomiting or pain out of proportion to constipation, seek immediate medical advice. 

Fiber Impacts

Fiber Sources

click on the image to find fiber content 

Granola

Granola

6 - grams in 1 cup

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

4 grams in 1 cup

Nuts

Nuts

9 grams in 1 cup - Beware of calories

Berries

Berries

4 - 8 grams in 1 cup Watch sugar

Beans

Beans

15 grams in half cup

Green Peas

Green Peas

7 grams in 1 cup

Greens

Greens

4 - 10 grams in 1 cup

Colored Vegetables

Colored Vegetables

4 - 10 grams in 1 cup

Lentils

Lentils

15 grams in 1 cup

Greens

Greens

4 grams in 1 cup leafy vegetables

Mixed fruit and vegetables

Mixed fruit and vegetables

4-8 grams in 1 cup

Popcorn

Popcorn

3 grams in 1 cup

Chick peas

Chick peas

15 grams in 1 cup

Root Vegetables

Root Vegetables

4 - 6 grams in medium size

Bread and grains

Bread and grains

2 grams in 1 regular slice - watch if gluten sensitive

Important Notice:

This website and its contents are for the purposes of general information and education only and are not to be used for diagnosis or treatment without the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Email info@nutrigenmedicine.com for general information

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