How A High-fiber Diet Helps With Digestion...

by Stevan McGrath
(Washington DC, U.S.A)

Many people do not realize what an important role fiber plays in their diet. Fiber helps with digestion and helps people that are suffering from a number of stomach issues. Fiber can help people that are suffering from diarrhea, constipation, and will help a person stay regular. Fiber will also help regulate the way in which food moves through the digestive system.

Different Forms of Fiber

Fiber is what is known as indigestible parts of carbohydrates, which are common in plants. There are different forms of fiber, each with different health benefits. The two most common types of fiber are soluble and insoluble fibers.

Soluble Fiber

This type of fiber is dissolved in water and makes it form substances that are similar to a gel. This type of fiber will also help lower cholesterol. It can be found in foods including oats, rye, dried beans, and fruits including oranges and apples.

Insoluble Fiber

This type of fiber is the form that passes through a person’s digestive system. This fiber will prevent constipation and has also been said to help a person lose weight. A person may be filled up more by the food they are eating, allowing them to eat less. Foods that have insoluble fiber include brown rice, wheat, carrots, nuts, and seeds. There are also foods that can contain both types of fibers.

Fiber and Healthy Digestion

Fiber will allow a person to have bowel movements on a regular basis. This helps prevent constipation. If food is not able to move through the digestive track then it will build up. The stool can become dry and hard causing painful bowel movements. Fiber prevents this from happening.

Fiber will help regulate bacteria levels in the intestines. Certain fibers are considered to be prebiotic, which allow the healthy bacteria to increase in number. This will help boost digestive health and help to keep a person regular. Some studies have even suggested that fiber can help prevent food allergy development.

Eating a high fiber diet can also prevent diverticulitis. This condition can be painful and happens when areas of the intestines rupture and fill with infection. A diet with a lot of fiber can reduce the risk a person has for developing this condition by as much as 40%. It can also help ease the symptoms for a person that already has this condition.

Fiber can also help lower the risk of developing gastrointestinal reflux disorder and ulcers. Fiber has been shown to lower the gastric acid levels in the intestines and prevent ulcers from forming.

Fiber can also help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This condition can be very painful, and fiber can help a sufferer to stay regular.

How Much Fiber Does a Person Need?

There are some recommended amounts of fiber a person should have in order to stay healthy. Each day a person needs to get some fiber in their diet. Most women need 25 grams of fiber to stay healthy. Women that are above the age of 50 should aim for 21 grams a day. The average man needs around 38 grams of fiber every day. Men over the age of 50 should try to eat 30 grams of fiber a day. It is recommended for young children to have around 25 grams of fiber a day. Toddlers and those just starting to walk need 19 grams of fiber.

How to Get More Fiber

There are many different ways to get more fiber on a daily basis. A person should eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day in order to get the recommended amount of fiber. A person can also get fiber from whole grains. Oatmeal and brown rice are some foods that are very high in fiber. Either one of these can also be added to foods such as meatloaf to increase fiber intake. When selecting cereals and other foods be sure to read the nutritional label. Try to find items that have at least five grams of fiber in every serving to make sure you are getting enough. Also be sure to have plenty of drinking water. Water will allow fiber to flow through the body and will also help prevent constipation. If a person is still not getting enough fiber from their foods, there are many supplements that can be purchased with fiber in them. There are also fiber mixes that can be added to water, so that way a person can get all the fiber they need.

In order to keep the digestive track healthy a person needs to make sure they are getting plenty of fiber in their diet. The digestive system needs to stay balanced so a person can feel good and live an active life. This will allow them to have regular bowel movements, and in turn, feel good about their health.


1) American Association of Cereal Chemists. The definition of dietary fiber: report of the Dietary Fiber Definition Committee to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Cereal Chemists. Cereal Foods World. 2001.

2) Codex Alimentarius Commission; Food and Agriculture Organization; World Health Organization. Report of the 30th session of the Codex Committee on nutrition and foods for special dietary uses. ALINORM 9/32/26.


Author Bio:

Stevan McGrath loves to explore the world through traveling and thrilling getaways that adventure lovers may dream of exploring. His writing domain revolves around topics like health and fitness, latest technologies and product reviews. He has been a contributing writer to various other websites since 2011. His articles are well-researched and published on several websites. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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May 06, 2015
Fiber Up!
by: Troy

Terrific article Stevan. Most people think that fiber is only needed to help keep you regular, but this article explains why it's needed for much more. Nicely done!

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