Fiber is a nutrient that most of us are usually lacking. This is an important essential to our daily health in more ways than we think. There are many ways to get your daily intake of fiber up with supplements and natural food products. To learn more about fiber, keep reading for the recommended daily fiber intake.
What is Fiber?
Fiber, which is also known as dietary roughage, comes from plant cells that cannot be broken down by enzymes in the digestive system. There are two different types of fiber including soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber means that it can absorb water and turn into a gel when digestion is occurring. This type of fiber can increase stool samples, reduce the risk blood cholesterol levels, and lower glucose. Insoluble fibers do not change during digestion and promote intestinal movement. They help food and other contents move through the stomach and intestines quicker. Since fiber passes through the body undigested, it regulates the sugars in the body and keeps hunger low.
Recommended Daily Fiber Intake
The recommended daily fiber intake differs from men to women and even children. There are also variations to every rule. Men need approximately 30 - 38 grams of fiber per day. Women on the other hand only need about 25 grams of fiber daily, between the ages of 18-50. Once they are over 50, women then only need about 21 grams. Another guideline that you can follow is that you should take in 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume each day. For children, the recommended daily fiber intake varies between each age group. Until they are about 3 years old, their daily recommended fiber should be about 19 grams per day. Between the ages of 4 and 8, they should be consuming 25 grams per day. After 8 years old, it depends on the gender for how much fiber they need. Boys 9 -13 should be consuming 31 grams and girls should be consuming 26 grams. From 14-19, boys should now consume 38 grams, whereas girls should still be consuming 26 grams.
Should I Take A Fiber Supplement?
If you want to use a fiber supplement, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor first. Just be cautious that fiber supplements can be derived from natural fiber or made in a lab. Supplements can also be known as a functional fiber. It can come in powders, pills, and chewable tablets. The natural fiber that may be extracted includes lignin, which is a compound that can be found in plants and cellulose, which is sugar from a plant. When using supplements, you should be mindful of the size. Too much fiber can cause side effects such as cramping, bloating, and gas. Whenever you are taking any kind of supplement, not only fiber, you should take it with a large glass of water to help stay hydrated.
You can also increase your fiber intake with the foods you eat. Grains and cereal contain high amounts of fiber. You should have at least one serving of whole grain per day. Whenever you want to eat a piece of bread, it should be whole wheat. Some brands contain higher amounts per slice compared to others. You should also be choosing cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Legumes and beans also hold about 7-8 grams of fiber within each serving. This can be added to any meal for an extra dose of fiber. You should also be eating fruits instead of drinking juices. Juice does not contain enough fiber.