There are many benefits of eating fibrous foods, especially for people above 50. With age comes several problems, such as inflammation, bowel irritation, heart problems, kidney issues, diabetes, blood pressure, weak immunity, and so forth. Numerous studies have proven that fiber-rich food is perfect for over 50’s because besides making it easier to digest, fibrous foods regulate your main body functions properly.
Despite having homemade food and maintaining a proper weight and diet, many people don’t consume enough fiber on a day to day basis, and therefore, in this article, we will throw a light on why fiber is essential after the age 50.
Fact: American adults are eating only 15 grams of fiber per day on an average, while according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics an average person over 50 needs 21 grams (women) and 30 grams (men) of fiber per day. For younger adults, the amount changes to 25 grams and 38 grams, respectively.
What We Know about Fiber?
Fiber-rich foods are low in calories and carbs and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals required for our body to function correctly.
Many studies have shown an association between fiber and fending off critical diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, IBS, and food allergies. Fiber additionally contributes to weight loss and increased metabolism. Another study also found the importance of fiber for our gut microbes.
There are two types of fibers, insoluble and soluble.
What is Insoluble Fiber?
Insoluble fibers do not change their form or dissolve in water. It is known to carry several functions in your body, such as regulate the pH level in intestine and promote regular bowel movements. The balanced acid content in the gut is essential to eliminate toxic waste and remove bulk through the digestive tract. Therefore, if you are looking for natural remedies for constipation relief you should eat more food containing insoluble fibers.
Root vegetables, leafy greens, root vegetable skins, fruit skins, nuts, seeds, whole grain products, wheat, and corn brans are few foods that are rich in insoluble fibers.
What is Soluble Fiber?
As the name suggests, soluble fibers can easily dissolve in water and thus change its form when it moves through your digestive tract. The soluble fiber is broken down and fermented by your gut bacteria. During this process, soluble fibers dissolve with body fluids and turn gelatinous, which helps in binding fatty acids, reducing the rate of absorption of sugar, and slowing down the time to clear the stomach.
These three functions are crucial for people suffering from metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Cholesterol is the biggest problem in older people. Soluble fibers are also known to lower cholesterol levels efficiently.
Kidney beans, apples, sprouts, broccoli, oatmeal, spinach, wheat bread, grapefruit, zucchini, and oranges are a rich source of soluble fibers.
How Fiber Keeps You Healthy after 50
According to a 10-year study made on 1609 individuals around the age of 50 with no diseases or cancer, fiber has a strong correlation with aging. In the decade long experiment, participants were regularly tested and surveyed on their food habits, diet plans, and sugar intake. All measurements lead to one answer: fiber was by far the essential component for successful aging or aging without any diseases.
Regulates your Bowel Movements
Irritable bowel movement is characterized by excessive diarrhea or severe constipation. Dietary fiber bulks up your stool and softens it considerably. A bulky and soft stool is easier to pass. An apparent bowel movement decreases the chances of constipation and related problems. On the other hand, if you are facing watery, loose stools, fibers in your food can help solidify it by absorbing water and producing bulk. Therefore, fibrous foods are one of the best natural constipation relief remedies.
Monitors Cholesterol Level
As we learned, soluble fibers, such as flaxseeds, oats, beans, and brands significantly lower low-density lipoprotein, which are unhealthy cholesterols found in our body. Fibers also help regulate blood pressure and internal inflammation.
Improves Colon Health
One of the severe side effects of constipation is hemorrhoids and colon cancer. The fiber in our body can lower the risk of developing diverticular diseases and hemorrhoids. A high fiber diet also reduces the risk of colon cancer, improves gut health, and prevents other diseases by flushing out buildup bacteria and other toxic products from the colon.
Control Blood Sugar Level
Diabetic patients are often recommended to have foods rich in fiber. This is because soluble fibers slower the absorption of sugar and improve sugar levels in the blood. If you are pre-diabetic, you can prevent the risk of developing diabetes by including fiber in your diet.
Aids in Weight Reduction
If you wish to reduce weight, add more fiber food in your meal because high-fiber foods keep you full longer and curb down hunger. They have fewer calories and henceforth, are energy-dense.
Therefore, try to add whole-grain foods, fruits, vegetables, such as ladies’ finger, legumes, and peas, and nuts and seeds in your meals to eat more fiber every day.