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Fiber and Water: Key Components to a Healthy Diet


Fiber and water are very important components for preventing constipation and promoting healthy elimination. Humans have necessary life functions and survival needs which include digestion and excretion of the wastes (Marieb & Hoehn, 2018, p. 8). Unfortunately, over 4 million Americans experience frequent constipation and it is the most common digestive complaint that is reported by doctors.


Fiber is found mostly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fiber is a part of the food that your body cannot digest, so it moves through your stomach and intestines and out your colon as defecation (“Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet”, 2015). The digestive system is a necessary life function, and it involves taking in food, your body breaking down the nutrients, and then eliminating the unused matter as feces (Marieb & Hoehn, 2018, p.5). Dietary fiber aids in the digestive system process because it bulks up your stool and helps you pass softer feces. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, adults should consume 20 to 30 grams a fiber per day (“Fiber”, 2018). There are many foods that are high in fiber that can help you go to the bathroom everyday and can help ease constipation. Some examples of high fiber foods are raspberries, pears, apples, peas, broccoli, whole wheat pasta, bran flakes, quinoa, lentils, black beans, baked beans, and chia seeds (“Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet”, 2015).


Water is another vital part of the digestive process and is a human survival need. Water is obtained from foods we eat and drink through digestion and then it is used to help with the body’s excretions. When there are adequate amounts of water and fiber in your daily diet, it prevents constipation because the fiber in your stool absorbs water and makes your stool large, bulky, and soft, and this makes your stool pass easier (“Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet”, 2015). The amount of water you should drink everyday depends on many factors, like if you exercise, your current environment, your current health, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. A general rule of thumb is that you should multiply your weight by ⅔ and that is how many ounces you should drink, altering for the above factors. Some people find it difficult to drink plain water, so adding fresh fruit or veggie slices to the water can make it more palpable, such as oranges, strawberries, or cucumbers.


The digestive system relies on ample amounts of water as well as fiber to assist it in the process of defecating indigestible matter, and in turn maintaining a healthy digestive system. These two crucial elements in your diet are so important to keeping your body healthy by eliminating toxins and unused matter everyday.



References:


Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet. (2015, September 22). Retrieved September 16,

2018, from

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983


Fiber. (2018, June 06). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/


Marieb, E. & Hoehn, K. (2018). Human Anatomy & Physiology (11th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson


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