High Fiber Diet for Constipation, Hemorrhoids and Fissures
What is Fiber?
Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream.
The Importance of Dietary Fiber
Fiber (also called roughage or bulk) promotes the wavelike contractions that keep food moving through the intestine. Also, high-fiber foods expand the inside walls of the colon. This eases the passage of waste. Fibrous substances pass through the intestine undigested. They also absorb many times their weight in water, resulting in softer, bulkier stools, that passes through the bowel easily and quickly. Because of this action, some digestive tract disorders may be avoided, halted, or even reversed simply by following a high-fiber diet. A softer, larger stool helps prevent constipation and straining. This can help avoid or relieve hemorrhoids and fissures. More bulk means less pressure in the colon, which is important in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis (defects in the weakened walls of the colon). In addition, fiber appears to be important in treating diabetes, elevated cholesterol, colon polyps, and cancer of the colon.
How much fiber should I eat?
Adults should eat 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day. You can meet this goal by eating a well-balanced diet containing a variety of foods such as two servings of fruits, three servings of vegetables, and three or more servings of whole-grain breads or cereals. You may also benefit from a fiber supplement, such as Metamucil or Benefiber. Remember to increase the dietary fiber in your diet gradually to avoid bloating and gassiness, and to drink plenty of fluid (8 cups per day) to avoid constipation.
High Fiber Foods
|Fruits & Vegetable||Serving Size||Fiber|
|Pears, with skin||1||5|
|Green peas, cooked||1/2 cup||4|
|Turnip greens, parsnips, zucchini, or carrots – cooked||1/2 cup||3|
|Potato, with skin||1 medium||3|
|Apple, with skin||1 medium||3|
|Orange or banana||1 medium||2|
|Spinach, broccoli, green beans||1/2 cup||2|
|Grains and Breads||Serving Size|| Fiber|
|Oat bran muffin||1||5|
|Graham crackers||3 squares||4|
|Barley, uncooked||2 T||3|
|Whole-wheat English muffin||1 whole||3|
|Brown rice, cooked||1/2 cup||2|
|Whole-wheat bread||1 slice||2|
|Cooked Legumes||Serving Size|| Fiber|
|Chickpeas (Garbanzo)||1/3 cup||10|
|Black-eyed peas||1/3 cup||8|
|Baked beans||1/3 cup||5|
|Pinto, kidney, black or lima beans||1/3 cup||4|
|Cereals (1 ounce serving = 1/2 – 3/4 cup)|| Fiber|
|General Mills Fiber One®||12|
|Ralston Bran Chex®||5|
|Post and Kellogg’s Bran Flakes®||4|
|Nabisco Shredded Wheat and Bran®||4|
|Quaker Instant Oatmeal®||3|
|General Mills Wheaties®||3|