Constipation and High Fiber Foods

constipationDo you often suffer from constipation? Does your doctor tell you that your serum cholesterol level is too high? The fiber in certain foods can cause your body to discard the things that are causing you problems.

I’m talking about dietary fiber, not fiber optics (although I’m sure a good snaking with a fiber optic cable would probably work as well, it certainly wouldn’t feel too good).

Foods High in Fiber Can Prevent Constipation

I’m not going to produce a list for you. You can search elsewhere and get a list more comprehensive than I’m willing to repeat here. I will point out a couple or three sources, however, that almost anyone can benefit from.

Oatmeal was popular for a long time after fiber nutrition became a hot subject. Oatmeal isn’t the grain with the highest fiber content. That distinction belongs to wheat bran, what you normally find in bran cereals (like raisin bran or shredded wheat cereals). Cereals made from grain are filling and easy to eat. If you have problems with gluten, there are plenty of other sources that are gluten-free.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot! There’s a good reason for this. Most beans are high in fiber content. Kidney beans, pinto beans, red beans and other beans similar to them are all good sources of fiber. The rule of thumb is: If it makes you fart, it’s good for the heart. Think about that the next time you eat beans, or beans with chili. Even a single bean burrito can cause flatulence to commence.

Avoid Foods With Low Fiber

Animal products and byproducts have the lowest amount of fiber, even if the meat is tough to eat. We’re not talking about fibrous tissue. If you like to drink fruit juices, more power to you because most fruits contain fiber and fruit juice is easy to drink and digest. Just make sure you get the juices with the pulp still in them.

If you’re like me, and you prefer to drink coffee or just plain water, then consider replacing some of your daily doses of those drinks with fruit juice drinks. Of course, it has to be real fruit juice and not any of that flavored imitation crap (pardon the pun if you’re constipated).

Health Benefits

If you suffer from frequent constipation, having a cholesterol level that’s too high, the heartbreak of hemorrhoids or some forms of cancer, you need to make sure you exercise a high fiber diet. Speaking of hemorrhoids, while diarrhea can cause hemorrhoids, natural bowel movements due to a high fiber diet can prevent them. How’s that for two sides of the same coin?

If you can’t eat the foods that contain what you need, for whatever reason, then you should seek out alternative sources. There are drinks and fiber supplements available at most grocery stores, and they’re not expensive.

Trust me when I tell you, you do not want to see a doctor when you’re having bowel problems if all you need to do is to change your diet. It’s no fun having things shoved down your throat or up your rear end in attempts to find the source of the blockage. It’s much less painful to change your diet.

Image by Bill Ebbesen, Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons

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