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Fiber is the part of plants that are not digested by the human body. The fiber helps promotes the wavelike motion that moves food through the intestines. When fiber reaches the colon it helps with two functions. The fibrous substances absorb excess water in the colon, and the bulky stool expands the colon walls. The regulation of water in the colon may help to correct constipation or diarrhea. Research is underway evaluating fibers usefulness in other health problems such as high cholesterol, diverticulosis, colon cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome.

The current recommendation is 25-35 grams of fiber per day (a combination of soluble and insoluble). To improve your diet drink plenty of liquids and consider adding foods that contain more dietary fiber as listed below:

  • Whole grain cereals, breads, pasta (insoluble)
  • Fresh fruit including skin and pulp (soluble and insoluble)
  • Dried fruits (soluble and insoluble)
  • Root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, potatoes (insoluble)
  • Raw and fresh vegetables (soluble and insoluble)
  • Legumes (soluble)
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