Fiber is great for a lot of reasons, but one of its most best-known benefits is helping to improve digestion by promoting regularity while preventing and relieving gastrointestinal trouble. Here are some of the ways that the fiber in Fiber d’Lish works for you:
It may not be the most glamorous thing to talk about, but constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States. When less than 10% of Americans eat the daily recommended value of fiber, it’s bound to happen. Since the digestive tract is sensitive to dietary fiber, eating enough fiber can help you avoid constipation by keeping food moving through (and right on out) of your body regularly. No strain, all gain.
While some people are more prone than others to be constipated, a sudden change in diet or daily routine, insufficient exercise, pregnancy, medications, or travel can increase the likelihood of constipation. The overuse of laxatives can also affect the normal workings of the bowel and cause constipation. If your constipation lasts more than three weeks, consult your doctor to determine whether your constipation is a symptom of something more serious.
Along with eating enough fiber, it’s important to drink enough fluids and get regular exercise to improve digestion.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 50% of the population over 50 will experience hemorrhoids at some point. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around the anus or the lower rectum become swollen and inflamed due to excessive pressure in the abdomen. If you suffer from hemorrhoids, it can be an indication that you should make changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as exercising more and eating more fiber-rich foods.
While pregnancy, aging and other factors can contribute to hemorrhoids, the main cause is excessive straining during bowel movements due to frequent constipation. To prevent and relieve hemorrhoids, the Harvard School of Medicine recommends increasing the fiber you eat, getting 20-30 minutes a day of moderate exercise and drinking adequate fluids.
Dietary fiber prevents and eases hemorrhoids by softening the stool and making it easier to pass. For people who suffer from hemorrhoids, a softer stool causes less irritation to the inflamed tissues. For everyone, less time spent sitting on the toilet means less pressure and less straining. (And more time to pursue more enjoyable activities.)
If you notice blood on your toilet paper or in your stool, these can be symptoms of hemorrhoids or a more serious condition, and you should consult your doctor.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome typically include cramps, bloating, gas, and constipation or diarrhea (or sometimes both). If you have these symptoms, you should consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Although research has not uncovered any organic cause for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, two likely culprits are emotional stress and diet.
Many IBS sufferers have reported that eating fiber soothes their symptoms. Dietary fiber helps improve digestion, regulate bowel movements and create softer stools, resulting in less strain and discomfort on the sensitive colons of IBS sufferers. Increasing dietary fiber gradually can help avoid excessive gas or bloating. If you have IBS, consult your doctor about the best way for you to add high fiber foods to your diet.
Diverticulosis occurs when pouches develop in the walls of the colon. When these pouches get infected, this is called diverticulitis. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 50% of Americans over the age 60 have diverticulosis.
The cause of both of these conditions is believed to be strain put on the colon by constipation. Hard stools strain the muscles of the colon, causing the pouches to form. Infection occurs when stools or bacteria get trapped in the pouches.
High-fiber foods can help prevent the constipation that causes diverticulosis and diverticulitis. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that dietary fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, was associated with about a 40 percent lower risk of diverticular disease. A high-fiber diet creates softer stools so food moves through the bowels more easily. Along with diet, doctors advise drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise and establishing regular bowel habits.