If you are healthy, active and energetic, but live with chronic constipation, you may not need to look any further than your local grocery for a realistic solution. Food – plant foods in particular – can be a safe and effective solution for constipation.
Fiber is medicine
What is it about plant foods that make them such an effective antidote? Fiber! If fiber were medicine, it would be a common prescription for constipation. Luckily, it’s even more accessible than a prescription. If only we could get at least 25 – 30 grams of it each day, the amount required to realize this relieving benefit. The best medicine is foods that contain at least five grams of fiber per serving.
Soluble and insoluble Fiber
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through the digestive system. There are two broad types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber slows digestion and makes you feel full by absorbing water. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, promotes regularity, and helps stool pass more quickly through the intestines. To stay healthy, our bodies need both soluble and insoluble fiber.
NuGo Fiber d’Lish bars are the only fiber bars to include both insoluble and soluble fiber making it a better solution for relief from constipation.
Fiber, on the go
Our fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles can be a barrier to getting the fiber we need from whole grains, fresh produce, beans, nuts and other foods. At 12 grams of fiber per serving, and low in sugar, fat and sodium, NuGo’s Fiber d’Lish bars can be another great contributor to the all-natural cleansing ability of fiber that is available in so many plant-based foods. This is the amount of fiber found in one cup of prunes!
When fiber doesn’t help with constipation
Without adequate water, a boost in fiber intake can actually lead to constipation. Rule of thumb: When you eat more fiber, drink more water too! Fiber must have water to move stool through the intestines. By consuming insoluble fiber, you will get the desired relief from constipation.
Why is consuming insoluble fiber a must for constipation relief?
Insoluble fiber does not absorb water. It scrubs the digestive tract, bulking up stool that triggers the muscles in the digestive tract to contract, giving you the relief from constipation. If you get stomach cramps, make this change more gradual. Remember, fiber must have water to move stool through the intestines. If you develop sudden constipation or changes in bowel habits, talk with your physician.
Bottom line: More fiber (both soluble and insoluble) equals greater regularity, relief from constipation, and overall better health – available without a prescription.
Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC is a registered dietitian, and both a licensed nutritionist and licensed professional counselor. She manages community-based obesity prevention and preventive health and wellness initiatives through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.