Eating More Foods High In Fiber? Drink More Water, Too!
When it comes to fiber and water, you can’t have one without the other. For individuals planning to make the move and add more fiber to their daily diet, it’s imperative they increase their water consumption to at least eight glasses a day, about 64 ounces.
While fiber is thought to be a protective agent for certain diseases including colon cancer, in some cases, diverticulosis (a condition in which the inner, lining layer of the large intestine bulges out through the outer, muscular layer), diabetes and heart disease, it is also renowned for its ability to prevent constipation.
But this is not the case if one is to simply increase their fiber consumption alone. Special consideration must be given to water.
Because it is not digested or absorbed by the body, dietary fiber is considered a non-nutrient which simply helps to move food through the body and aid digestion by attracting water to the small and large intestines.
But if sufficient water is not available, this fiber will not easily move through the system. Think of fiber as a dry sponge and imagine trying to push that dry sponge down a tube. It will be difficult because the sponge is hard and dry. But, add water to that sponge, and it you’ll see that it easily slips through. Like the sponge, as fiber absorbs water it softens and moves easily through the system. Together, fiber and water keep your food bulky and soft, so it can move easily through your system without putting too much pressure on your intestines.
Remember, without water, fiber often turns to cement. So drink up!
Water can be any liquid, whether it’s tea, coffee, milk, fruit juices, soft drinks, or other beverages that agree with you.
Like fiber, water helps the metabolism work more efficiently (think of it as energy in a bottle). It can also help reduce appetite, eliminate water retention and bloating, and improve elimination and digestion.
The combination of water and fiber will also make you feel more full, which helps your overall health, as it will likely control cravings for other things that are more likely to lead to problems associated with obesity, like heart disease and diabetes.
A according to US dietary guidelines, people should be consuming at least 25 grams of fiber daily. So, what are the fiber-rich foods you need to be eating to get it? Fiber is found in vegetables, whole grains, oats, beans, some cereals and fruits.
Apples, in particular, are a great source of both water and fiber. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, some experts recommend eating an apple before your next meal.