Fiber is an important part of a healthy balanced diet. Dietary fiber may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and certain types of cancer. It greatly affects the health of the digestive system.
However, many people do not eat enough fiber. On average, we eat about 19 g of fiber per day, while the minimum is 30 g per day.
How much fibre does my child need to eat each day?
Recommended daily dosage of fiber for children:
- 2-5 years old, about 15g
- 5-11 years old, about 20g
- 11-16 years old, about 25g
- 16-18 years old, about 30g
Dietary fiber can be located only in foods of plant origin. Meat products, fish and dairy products do not contain fiber.
There are two types of dietary fiber, soluble in water and insoluble. Each of them works on the body in a different way and both types should be incorporated into a healthy diet. To ensure adequate amounts of fiber, both children and adults should eat whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
However, if you suffer from digestive disorders or irritable bowel syndrome, the amount of fiber in your diet needs to be adjusted to your individual needs. Consult your doctor or dietitian for advice.
Water soluble dietary fibre
Soluble fiber disintegrates in the intestines to greasy paste. It helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. If you have constipation, consuming products containing soluble fiber (vegetables, fruits, oats, flax seeds) will facilitate bowel movements.
Foods containing soluble fiber include: cereals (oats, barley, rye), fruits (bananas, apples), root vegetables (carrots and potatoes), golden flax seeds.
Insoluble dietary fiber
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It passes undigested by the digestive tract and facilitates other foods to move through the intestines. Insoluble fiber maintains bowel in health and prevent digestive problems. If you suffer from diarrhea, limit the amount of insoluble dietary fiber in your diet.
Foods containing insoluble fiber include: wholemeal bread, bran, cereal flakes, nuts, seeds (excluding linseed).
Eating foods rich in fibre helps keep the feeling of satiety. This property helps you if you want to lose weight.
If you decide to increase your fiber intake, be sure to do it gradually. The rapid increase of fiber in the diet can cause bloating, wind and stomach cramps.
It is also important to drink plenty of fluids. You should drink 1-1.5 liters of fluids a day, and even more during exercise or when it is hot day.