CAT | Fiber Supplements
According to the National Institutes of Health, occasional constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the United States, affecting more than 40 million people annually and costing billions in total medical expenses—from doctor visits and treatments to the expense of lost work days.
The good news? Results of a new study published this month in the journal BMC Public Health show boosting your daily fiber intake can not only have a positive impact on your digestive health—but on your wallet.‡
Analyzing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers looked at factors such as daily fiber consumption and the prevalence of symptoms associated with occasional constipation, as well as medical costs before and after increased dietary fiber intake. Here’s what they found:
- A potential healthcare savings of $12.7 billion annually if U.S. adults increased their daily intake of dietary fiber to approximately 25 grams.
- And if just half of Americans boosted their daily fiber intake by just 3 grams, we could still see more than $2 billion in annual health care savings.
But despite fiber’s role in healthy digestion and elimination—as well as its link to healthy cardiovascular function, appetite control and more‡—the majority of Americans are getting enough fiber in their diets. Natural digestive care and nutrition expert Brenda Watson recommends at least 35 grams of fiber daily and offers two simple ways to increase your daily fiber intake:
- Increase your consumption of low-sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables; and
- Add a fiber supplement to be sure you reach the recommended daily amounts.
Your digestive system (and your whole body) will thank you!
Do you suffer from occasional constipation? What does it really mean to be constipated? And can occasional constipation impact your overall health? All of these are important questions to ask. Occasional constipation slows down food transit time and allows undigested food to remain in the colon longer. The putrefied material then releases harmful toxins, which can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.
So Just what is Occasional Constipation?
Occasional constipation is often defined as having infrequent bowel movements with stools that are typically hard, dry and difficult to eliminate. You may even experience some cramping and bloating. While many factors can lead to the development of constipation, the following are some of the most common:
- Diet: Because a diet that consists of too many refined sugars, starches and processed foods can lead to constipation, eating plenty of fiber-rich, non-starchy foods that are low in sugar is an important part of maintaining healthy bowel movements.
- Lack of exercise: Exercise triggers the lymphatic flow that helps stimulate peristalsis (the natural muscle contractions that move food through the intestines and help ease elimination).
- Changes in routine: Changes in normal daily activity can often throw off your internal schedule, which can affect your bowel movements and lead to occasional constipation.
- Lack of time: Although taking the time to eliminate regularly is an important part of good bowel health, many people simply don’t do it. Try setting aside time in your day to go to the bathroom, even it means setting the alarm a bit earlier.
3 Simple Steps for Natural Relief
Follow this easy 3-step approach to achieve at least one healthy bowel movement every day.‡
- HYDRATE the Colon
Properly hydrating the colon will promote regular peristalsis. Drink plenty of water and use hydrating minerals such as magnesium hydroxide and gentle (laxative) herbs such as cape aloe and rhubarb to assist with natural bowel movements.‡
- ADD BULK with Fiber
A healthy colon requires bulk in order to eliminate regularly, and fiber can help provide that bulk.‡ Many people do not consume enough fiber through diet alone. A flax-based fiber supplement is ideal for promoting at least one healthy daily bowel movement because it provides a better balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.‡ Avoid fibers that could be binding, such as psyllium, as they can leave the colon dehydrated and in turn reduce peristalsis.
- LUBRICATE with Oils
To achieve bowel regularity and a healthy elimination schedule, it is critical to keep the colon lubricated. Beneficial oils such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats from fish oil, flax oil and borage oil help in providing the necessary lubrication for smooth and gentle bowel elimination.‡