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A part of plants that cannot be digested is known as fiber. It stays in the intestine and colon, adds the bulk to the stool and gets passed out in the stool.

Without proper amount of fiber in our diet, people may experience constipation. With at least 18g (grams) of fiber every day and plenty of fluids, most people do not have to worry about constipation or any bowel problems.

Plenty of fiber is, therefore, good for both, prevention and treatment of constipation. Fiber can also prevent some other bowel problems like hemorrhoids, anal fissure or diverticula. Apart from these positive effects, eating lots of fiber may decrease the level of cholesterol in blood and risk of bowel cancer in some people. Eating more fiber is also going to make you feel full, but will not provide extra calories. For that reason, many people who are eating plenty of fiber easily lose weight without any particular diet.

Fiber Supplements

Sometimes you may hear people calling fiber supplements Bulk-forming laxatives. This happens because of their way of action. Namely, they can ease passing out the stool if you have constipation. Fiber supplements are also recommended for people with bowel problems, especially those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

One of the cheap fiber supplements is unprocessed bran. It may not be suitable for people suffering from IBS, because their symptoms may get even worse with increased consummation of unprocessed bran or some other insoluble fiber (fiber that does not dissolve in water). Such patients may opt for soluble fiber instead and it should work just fine. Unprocessed bran could be used with some breakfast cereals or together with milk, juices, soups, stews, scones, pastries or crumbles. Other fiber supplements are whole linen seeds soaked in water, wheat dextrin, inulin fiber, psyllium (ispaghula husk) or methylcellulose.

Whatever fiber supplement you choose, keep in mind that you should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. Bloating and gases are rare and temporary problems, but they may appear in people using fiber supplements. In most cases they pass on their own, without any treatment and within several weeks. Bloating and some mild pains may last longer and become persistent difficulties.

Food Rich in Fiber

Insoluble fiber can be found in corn or wheat bran and also in some fruits and vegetables. Food rich in soluble fiber includes oats, different fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Doctors recommend eating at least five portions of fruits every day, to ensure proper amount of dietary fiber in your diet.

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