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Role of Fiber in Promoting Healthy Bowel Movement

Role of Fiber in Promoting Healthy Bowel Movement

Fast pace of life, irregular mealtime and heavy workload, these are all characteristics of a stressful lifestyle, which results in high prevalence of constipation among dwellers. A 2010 survey done by the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that approximately 25% of Hong Kong people suffer from constipation, with 16% of them not being able to find a solution. Moreover, the majority of the respondents believe that constipation is either normal or not a big issue. Therefore, it shows that people tend to underestimate the impact of constipation.


In fact, when toxic substances accumulate in the body and can’t be excreted, it slows down metabolism, and results in bad skin quality. If the issue exacerbates and gets chronic, constipation can even lead to colon cancer. Therefore, it is unwise to ignore constipation problem. To maintain healthy bowel movement, adequate intake of dietary fiber is essential.

Dietary fiber can be classified into “soluble” and “insoluble”.  Foods that are rich in insoluble fiber include whole wheat products, brans, seeds and nuts. It can add bulk to the stool, promote regular bowel movement and promote intestinal health, thus removing toxic substances, relieving the problem of bad breath and improving skin complexion.


On the other hand, soluble fiber is those fiber found in oats, legumes, fruits and vegetables. In addition to the health impacts of insoluble fiber, soluble fiber may assist in stabilizing cholesterol and blood sugar, thereby promoting cardiovascular health., Soluble fiber can also aid in balancing gut flora and controlling weight. The recommended daily intake of dietary fiber is 20-25g.


However, the average intake among the general public is about 17g. In order to reach the recommended intake, one needs to consume 4 more cabbages or 10 more tomatoes. For some people, this may not be an easy task. There are some dietary fiber supplements available in the market and generally, they are convenient enough and can be either consumed directly or mixed with any drink and food.

Therefore, if dietary intakes are inadequate, a daily fiber supplement is one of the alternatives to maintain healthy bowel movements. Some Daily Tips for Preventing Constipation:
1) Increase intake of dietary fiber 
2) Drink plenty of water. 
3) Regular exercises can promote regular bowel movement. 
4) Develop a regular daily schedule for defecating. 
5) Avoid stress.

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