According to the nutritionists and health experts, men under the age of 50 years should be eating at least 38 grams of dietary fiber every day, and women under the age of 50 should be eating at least 25 grams of dietary fiber. Likewise, men above 50 years of age should be eating at least 30 grams of dietary fiber, and women above the age of 50 should be eating 21 grams of dietary fiber every day. However, most of us do not even eat half of that daily requirement of dietary fiber. The major portion of our food consists of processed food and junk food that have very little fiber content.
What is Dietary Fiber and Why You Need to Eat Dietary Fiber
Human species evolved as plant-eating animals (because in the initial days they lived in trees), later when they started living on the ground, they started eating animals. Thus, the human body is basically engineered for plant-based foods. Sadly, the modern human species is also a slave of taste. Instead of nutrition, they eat for taste, thus, they eat a lot of animal foods and processed foods. The modern human race is eating foods that do not have any dietary fibers. The major problem caused by this food habit is it takes a toll on the digestive system and the common issue is constipation. The absence of dietary fiber in the diet hampers the bowel movement.
Dietary fibers are insoluble food particles, mostly from plants. In other words, dietary fibers are plant-based food particles your body cannot process, i.e. cannot digest. Your body processes and break down carbohydrates, protein, and fats, however, not dietary fibers. Thus, dietary fibers come out as a waste product. Even though dietary fibers is unprocessed, we need dietary fiber in our food because dietary fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and helps to live longer. Last but not least, dietary fiber normalizes bowel movements by softening the stool. Therefore, dietary fibers are very essential for bowel health.
The absence of dietary fiber in the daily diet causes many problems, and one of them is constipation. When your food does not contain enough dietary fiber, the stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract because it is too hard and dry and cannot be released effectively from the rectum. Therefore, if you are under the risk of constipation or are battling with constipation, you should include more dietary fiber in your daily diet.
Foods to Eat When You Have Constipation
Even though constipation is not categorized as terminal illness or even serious condition, a lot of people suffer from constipation. The main culprit behind constipation is not eating enough dietary fiber. Here are some of the foods that are rich in fibers:
Wheat and barley grass: Plant wheat and barley in a tray. When the plants are at least 6 inches tall, cut the grass, rinse in water, and put in the blender. Add two spoon of mixture in a glass of water and drink every day. Wheat and barley grass help in bowel movement.
Vitamin C rich food: Vitamin C is very beneficial in improving bowel movement. Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is also abundantly found in cauliflower, broccoli, kale, bell pepper, mustard greens, strawberries, papaya, and Brussels sprouts.
Aloe Vera: You can also start drinking aloe vera juice or eat aloe vera gel freshly cut from your garden to solve your constipation problem.
Leafy green: Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage are also a good source of insoluble dietary fiber.
Whole grain: Barn, which is the major source of fiber in grains, is removed in processed grain. Therefore, you should be eating more whole grain instead of processed grain where the barn is removed.
Nuts: Nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, are rich in fiber content. One small handful of these nuts contains about 3.5 grams of fiber.
Water: The list of food that helps in constipation is not complete without mentioning water. Water is very beneficial in constipation. Drink at least two liters of water (about 8 glasses) every day.
Treating Constipation Naturally
Instead of going for over the counter medication, you need to eat a lot of plant-based foods. Plant-based foods are not only good for your stomach but also for the heart. You also need to include a lot of herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric for herbal healing. The most important point to consider if you want to cure your constipation naturally is to avoid eating junk and processed foods and switch to plant-based diet. You also need to eat protein in moderation because eating a lot of protein can make your constipation worse. Eat as many raw foods as you can as raw foods ease the conditions of constipation. Moderate exercise, even a 20 minutes jogging can be highly beneficial if you are battling constipation.