Fiber is among the many nutrients that are lacking in the standard American diet. Fiber keeps your colon healthy by promoting bowel movements. Fiber also binds to bad LDL cholesterol and carries it out of the body. Even with all the health benefits of fiber, the average American adult eats only 15 grams of fiber per day. For women, it is recommended to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day. For men, it is recommended to eat at least 38 grams of fiber per day. These may seem like a large numbers, but a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will get you enough fiber to reach your recommended goal.

The amount of fiber that you need varies from person to person. For one women, 25 grams may be plenty to keep the colon healthy. For another women, 25 grams may not be enough. Make sure to pay attention to your body, making sure your colon is emptied regularly, without pain. Some foods that will boost your fiber intake are apples, strawberries, raspberries, carrots, beets, broccoli, collards, chard, spinach, artichokes, and beans. Eating 3-4 of these foods daily will boost your fiber consumption and keep you regular.

On the other hand, you also want to watch your consumption of foods that will make you constipated. Try not to overdo it with dairy products such as cows milk and cheese, meat, white and enriched wheat products, and refined sugar. However, cows milk, cheese, and meat are good sources of protein for the body. Keeping the portion size to an 8 oz glass of milk, 2 oz portion of cheese, and 4 oz portion of meat will give you a protein boost without the constipation.

Use WebMD’s Fiber-O-Meter to calculate how much fiber you are getting!

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