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How Much Fibre Do You Really Need in a Day?

How Much Fibre Do You Really Need in a Day?
By Barbara Ross

TP 201911 nutrition 04Ever since we were children, we have been told constantly to eat our fibres, whether we like it or not. Reason? For optimum bowel movements.


As it turns out, there is a lot more to fibre consumption than just bowel movements. It also, of course, implies digestion and absorption of nutrients. Other than that, there are multiple bodily functions that fibre contributes to. For all these reasons, yes, it is indeed inevitable for us to consume fibre every day.


However, too much fibre is also not good for the body; it can cause digestive problems.


Other than the fact that we need to take fibrous foods on a daily basis, we don鈥檛 quite know how much we need to take or what kind of fibre to take.


So, here are some essentials you need to know about your daily fibre intake.



TP 201911 nutrition 03What exactly is fibre?


From a broad perspective, the term 鈥榝ibre鈥 is used to describe the carbohydrate component of plant based foods or other kinds of foods that the body cannot digest. It constitutes that part of your food that does not get absorbed into your body. Instead, it passes through your system and eases bowel movements, helping with symptoms like constipation.





TP 201911 nutrition 02Why do you need fibre?


The first and foremost role of fibre is in helping with digestion and bowel movements. By doing that, fibre helps maintain and improve overall digestive and bowel health. Hence, fibre is very essential to keep digestive ailments at bay.


Other than that, appropriate consumption of fibre also helps maintain healthy gut bacteria, thus again aiding the digestion process and proper absorption of nutrients.

It also helps reduce cholesterol and keep diabetes at bay. It helps immensely with weight loss, as well, and keeps blood sugar levels optimum.


Finally, it also helps prevent heart diseases and strokes.





TP 201911 nutrition 05How much fibre do you need in a day?


According to the American Heart Association the recommended daily value of fibre intake is around 25 grams per day on a 2000 calorie diet for adults.


This is just a generic calculation though. The actual fibre needed by a person depends on a number of factors, including age and sex.


Women under the age of 50 are required to take 21 to 25 grams per day, while men under 50 need 30 to 38 grams per day.


Children and younger men and women are prescribed more specific fibre intake requirements, as the energy levels may vary at different ages. In general, children are required to consume less fibre than adults.


For instance, teenagers between 14 and 18 years of age need 25 to 30 grams of fibre a day, while adolescents up to the age of 13 need 22 to 25 grams per day.


Children below the age of 8 years require anywhere between 14 and 19 grams of fibre.





TP 201911 nutrition 06How to ensure appropriate fibre intake?


Thankfully, most fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods do have fibre in them. Hence, all you have to do is ensure that you include a good amount of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.


However, you don鈥檛 want to be taking in too many calories along with fibre. One way to take care of that is to spread out your meals and consume small portions more frequently, instead of taking heavier meals.


There are 3 types of fibre that your body needs;

TP 201911 nutrition 07Soluble fibre; ones that dissolve in water and regulate the process of digestion

TP 201911 nutrition 08Insoluble fibre; ones that don鈥檛 dissolve in water. They add to the bulk of your stool and help prevent constipation

TP 201911 nutrition 09Fermentable fibre; increase healthy gut bacteria


Some common foods containing sufficient fibre are brown rice, bran flakes, chia seeds, almonds, lentils, green peas, Brussel sprouts, pears, raspberries, apples, bread and regular pasta.




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