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Fiber women: Easy Ways to Boost Fiber in Your Daily Diet


Easy Ways to Boost Fiber in Your Daily Diet

Fiber is an essential nutrient. However, many Americans fall short of the recommended daily amount in their diets. Women should aim for about 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target about 38 grams, or 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.

Dietary fiber contributes to health and wellness in a number of ways. First, it aids in providing fullness after meals, which helps promote a healthy weight. Second, adequate fiber intake can help to lower cholesterol. Third, it helps prevent constipation and diverticulosis. And fourth, adequate fiber from food helps keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

Natural Sources of Fiber

Fiber is found in plant foods. Eating the skin or peel of fruits and vegetables provides a greater dose of fiber, which is found naturally in these sources. Fiber also is found in beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Typically, the more refined or processed a food is, the lower its fiber content. For example, one medium apple with the peel contains 4.4 grams of fiber, while ½ cup of applesauce contains 1.4 grams, and 4 ounces of apple juice contains no fiber.

By including certain foods, you can increase your fiber intake in no time. For breakfast, choose steel cut oats with nuts and berries instead of a low-fiber, refined cereal. At lunch, have a sandwich or wrap on a whole-grain tortilla or whole-grain bread and add veggies, such as lettuce and tomato, or serve with veggie soup. For a snack, have fresh veggies or whole-grain crackers with hummus. With dinner, try brown rice or whole-grain noodles instead of white rice or pasta made with white flour.

Here are a few foods that are naturally high in fiber:

  • 1 large pear with skin (7 grams)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (8 grams)
  • ½ medium avocado (5 grams)
  • 1 ounce almonds (3.5 grams)
  • ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams)
  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn (3. 6 grams)
  • 1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)

When increasing fiber, be sure to do it gradually and with plenty of fluids. As dietary fiber travels through the digestive tract, is similar to a new sponge; it needs water to plump up and pass smoothly. If you consume more than your usual intake of fiber but not enough fluid, you may experience nausea or constipation.

Before you reach for the fiber supplements, consider this: fiber is found naturally in nutritious foods. Studies have found the same benefits, such as a feeling of fullness, may not result from fiber supplements or from fiber-enriched foods. If you’re missing out on your daily amount of fiber, you may be trailing in other essential nutrients as well. Your fiber intake is a good gauge for overall diet quality. Try to reach your fiber goal with unrefined foods so you get all the other benefits they provide as well.

Holly Larson, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and nutrition copywriter. She is the owner of Holly Larson and Co, a freelance writing agency based in Oxford, Ohio.

Improving Your Health with Fiber

This guide provides basic information to help you start increasing dietary fiber in your diet. These are general guidelines that may be tailored to meet your needs. Fiber is an important dietary substance to help support your health. Making changes in your current eating habits will help you eat more healthfully. Most fiber-containing foods are also good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which offer many health benefits. A registered dietitian can provide in-depth nutrition education to help you develop a personal action plan.

What is fiber?

Fiber is the structural part of plant foods–such as fruits, vegetables, and grains–that our bodies cannot digest or break down. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber: dissolves in water to form a gummy gel. It can slow down the passage of food from the stomach to the intestine. Examples include:

  • dried beans
  • oats
  • barley
  • banana
  • potatoes
  • soft parts of apples
  • pears

Insoluble fiber: often referred to as “roughage” because it does not dissolve in water. It holds onto water, which helps produce softer, bulkier stools to help regulate bowel movements. Examples include:

  • whole bran
  • whole grain products
  • nuts
  • corn
  • carrots
  • grapes
  • berries
  • peels of apples and pears

What other things does fiber do?

Research has shown that a diet rich in fiber is associated with many health benefits, including the following:

  1. Lowers cholesterol-Soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol by binding to bile (composed of cholesterol) and taking it out of the body. This may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  2. Better regulates blood sugar levels-A high-fiber meal slows down the digestion of food into the intestines, which may help to keep blood sugars from rising rapidly.
  3. Weight control-A high-fiber diet may help keep you fuller longer, which prevents overeating and hunger between meals.
  4. May prevent intestinal cancer-Insoluble fiber increases the bulk and speed of food moving through the intestinal tract, which reduces time for harmful substances to build up.
  5. Constipation-Constipation can often be relieved by increasing the fiber or roughage in your diet. Fiber works to help regulate bowel movements by pulling water into the colon to produce softer, bulkier stools. This action helps to promote better regularity.

How to read a food label

Food labels are standardized by the U.S. government’s National Labeling and Education Act (NLEA). Nutrition labels and an ingredient list are required on most foods, so that you can make the best selection for a healthy lifestyle. Review the food label below. Determine the total amount of fiber in this product or ask your dietitian or health care provider to show you how to read food labels and apply the information to your personal needs. In order for a product to be labeled “high fiber,” it must contain 5 grams or more of dietary fiber per serving.

How much fiber should I eat?

The recommendation is to consume about 20-35 grams of total fiber per day, with 10-15 grams from soluble fiber. This can be accomplished by choosing 6 ounces of grains (3 or more ounces from whole grains), 2½ cups of vegetables, and 2 cups of fruit per day (based on a 2,000 calorie/day pattern).

Note: Eating a high-fiber diet may interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of some medications. Speak to your doctor about which medications to take with caution and when to take them. Fiber also binds with certain nutrients and carries them out of the body. To avoid this, aim for the recommended 20-35 grams of fiber per day. Some studies indicate that up to 50 grams of dietary fiber may help control blood sugars for people with diabetes. When eating a high-fiber diet, be sure to drink at least eight glasses of fluid each day.

Tips for increasing dietary fiber in your diet:

  • Add fiber to your diet slowly. Too much fiber all at once may cause cramping, bloating, and constipation.
  • When adding fiber to your diet, be sure to increase fluids (at least 64 ounces per day) to prevent constipation.
  • Buy bread with 2-4 grams of dietary fiber per slice.
  • Buy cereals with at least 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Choose cereals with a whole grain such as whole wheat or whole grain rolled oats.
  • Choose raw fruits and vegetables in place of juice.
  • Choose products that have a whole grain listed as the first ingredient, not enriched flour. Whole wheat flour is a whole grain–wheat flour is not.
  • Try alternative fiber choices such as whole buckwheat, whole wheat couscous, quinoa, and bulgur.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain. Serve it low-fat without butter for a healthier snack choice.
  • Try whole wheat bread and whole wheat pastas.
  • Sprinkle bran in soups, cereals, baked products, spaghetti sauce, ground meat, and casseroles. Bran also mixes well with orange juice.
  • Use dried peas, beans, and legumes in main dishes, salads, or side dishes such as rice or pasta.
  • Eat the skins of raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Add dried fruit to yogurt, cereal, rice, and muffins.
  • Try brown rice and whole grain pastas.
  • Choose crackers with a whole grain listed as the first ingredient. Look for whole grain rye and wheat crackers.

Fiber supplements

Fiber supplements may be an option if you are not able to get enough fiber from your diet. Fiber supplements can be used to normalize both constipation and diarrhea. Check with your doctor before starting any kind of supplement. Read labels for fiber carefully.

  • Drink at least 8 ounces of liquids with your supplement. Taking some fiber supplements without adequate liquids may cause the fiber to swell and may cause choking.
  • Some fiber supplements to consider are Benefiber™ (hydrolyzed guar gum-soluble fiber), Metamucil™ (psyllium), Konsyl™ (psyllium), Citrucel™ (methylcellulose), Fibercon™ (calcium polycarbophil), and Fiberall™ (multiple sources of fiber). Psyllium husk and guar gum are soluble fibers.
  • Consider keeping a food journal and tracking how much fiber you eat in a typical day.
  • Use the fiber content chart in this handout as a guide to meeting your high fiber goal or check with www.NAL.usda.gov/fnic for additional information on the dietary fiber content of food.

Fiber Content of Common Foods

Food Category


Serving Size

Total Fiber (grams)

Soluble Fiber (grams)


Bagel-whole wheat

Light white/wheat

Pita-whole wheat


Whole wheat


3 1/2 inches

2 slices

7 inches

















Bran flakes



Fiber One

All Bran

Kashi Heart to Heart

3/4 cup

1 1/4 cup

1 cup cooked

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

3/4 cup















Brown rice

Pasta-whole wheat

1/2 cup cooked

1/2 cup

1/2 cup cooked







Legumes and starchy vegetables

Garbanzo beans

Kidney beans


Potato (with skin)

Potatoes, sweet

Squash (winter)

Green peas, cooked

Lima beans

Corn, cooked

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1 medium

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup



















Nuts and Seeds



Sunflower seeds


1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup

1/4 cup










Apple with skin





Pear with skin



1 medium

1 medium

1 cup

1/2 cup

1 medium

1 medium


1 cup

















Vegetables, non-starchy


Brussels sprouts




Green beans



Squash (zucchini)

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1 cup, fresh

1/2 cup, cooked

1/2 cup, cooked

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

1/2 cup



















Surprising Health Benefits of a Fiber-Rich Diet

Since March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and National Nutrition Month, it seems the ideal time to review some basic information about fiber and highlight some of the profound – and surprising – health benefits you’ll get by incorporating more fiber into your diet.

Facts on Fiber: Fiber is a natural (and healthy) carbohydrate. When you look at nutrition labels, you may see fiber labeled as soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber (found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, peas and some fruits and vegetables) absorbs water, which transforms it into a gel-like substance that slows digestion. In contrast, insoluble fiber speeds digestion by adding bulk to the stool; it is found in whole grains, wheat bran and some types of vegetables. Most plants (which is where fiber comes from) have both types, but usually more of one than the other.

Both types of fiber are healthy. A fiber-rich diet makes you feel full faster, so it helps you maintain a healthy weight. It has also been linked with easier weight loss and lower risk of diabetes. Note: If you don’t already eat a lot of fiber, add it to your diet gradually. Too much fiber too fast can cause a range of unpleasant digestive symptoms, including bloating, gas and cramps.

The Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 25 grams of daily fiber for women and 38 grams for men. The average adult only eats 15 grams of fiber per day. For reference, here are some foods and the fiber content:


  • 1 cup of chickpeas = 16 grams of fiber
  • 1 avocado = 6.75 grams of fiber
  • ½ cup of peanuts = 6.2 grams of fiber
  • 1 apple = 4.4 grams of fiber
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread = 1.9 grams of fiber


Surprising Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

Fiber helps reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. People who eat a lot of fiber had a 35% lower risk of colorectal cancer, according to the four-year U.S. Polyp Prevention Trial. Researchers believe that the reduced cancer risk is because fiber moves food more quickly through the digestive system, minimizing cellular exposure to potential carcinogens as it removes waste more efficiently.

Another cancer-fighting benefit linked to fiber consumption is production of a substance called butyrate, created when bacteria in the lower intestine break down fiber. Butyrate protects against growth of tumors of the colon and rectum and also helps tamp down inflammation in the gut, which is associated with a 500 times greater risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Fiber lowers breast cancer risk – particularly when young women eat a fiber-rich diet.  Scientists have long been aware that eating plenty of fiber helps lower a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, in part by binding to estrogen, which is associated with breast cancer developments. Now a new study from Harvard reports that for every additional 10g of dietary fiber eaten daily by women in adolescence and young adulthood, breast cancer risk is lowered 13%.

Fiber helps you breathe more easily – and it also helps lower your risk of developing lung cancer. Fiber promotes lung health in several important ways, including reduction of inflammation and the promotion of healthy levels of gut bacteria. It improves lung health overall and also promotes , respiratory function and reduces COPD risk as well.

Eating plenty of fiber during pregnancy helps protect your child from asthma. Inflammation and healthy gut bacteria help during pregnancy, too: A new study found lower rates of asthma (and respiratory illnesses in general) in the first years of life in the offspring of women who ate healthy amounts of dietary fiber. (Plus, many pregnant women complain about constipation and fiber helps with that, too!)

Fiber promotes heart health – and lowers the risk of a second cardiac event in patients who’ve already had one heart attack. The anti-inflammatory benefits of eating fiber are good for the heart too, both in keeping a strong heart healthy and in improving health after heart attack. A recent study found that eating fiber from cereal reduced risk of death in the nine years following a heart attack by 25%, with higher survival linked to higher rates of dietary fiber from cereal.

Fiber helps you sleep more deeply too! Though this is far from a complete list of the health benefits of eating fiber, we thought this might be a good one to end with – given that new research reports that 30% of Americans are sleep-deprived. A study just published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine compared the effects of different foods on slow-wave sleep (also called deep sleep). They found that when study participants ate the recommended diet, which included high-fiber foods low in saturated fat and sugar, they fell asleep faster and had longer periods of deeply restful sleep.

The Best Fiber Supplement For Women In Menopause

Every so often, we come across a product that truly works. We test it ourselves and are so impressed by the results, we want to share it with you. just better.® prebiotic fiber is one of those products.* Below you’ll find a link to receive a 10% discount on just better.® probiotic fiber. 

Weight gain and digestive issues: could menopause be any more entertaining?

It’s true – as we age, metabolism slows, and unfortunately, so does digestion, meaning food hangs around longer in your body, fermenting and causing menopause bloating and gas. The slowing can also mean estrogen constipation, which brings its own menu of delights.

However, just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re stuck with constipation, weight gain, and wind. Making sure you get enough fiber to keep your gut happy can go a long way towards dealing with tricky digestion. Fiber is what good gut bacteria thrive on, and a happy gut means better overall health.

Oddly, though fiber is in a lot of foods, many of us just don’t get enough of the good stuff. So we chatted with Kristin Hirano, Registered Dietitian, Certified Nutritionist and CEO and founder of Just Better Brands, about why fiber matters and how to get more of it.

Why do humans need fiber?

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and our bodies need both for optimal function.

Soluble fiber, as its name indicates, dissolves in water. It helps keep cholesterol in check, keep our hearts healthier, and manage blood sugar levels.

Insoluble fiber passes right through us, assisting us in eliminating solid waste from our bodies comfortably and appropriately.

According to Harvard Health, eating enough fiber from veggies, fruits, and whole grains can decrease your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. And the more fiber you consume, studies show, the more benefits you get.

And yet, says Kristin, despite the fact that it’s in a whole lot of foods, 97 percent of us fall far short of the USDA recommended daily intake. Women should get 25 grams a day; 38 for men (after 50, it’s 21 for women, 30 for men). Yet most of us top out at 10 to 15 grams a day.

Learn more about the benefits of fiber.

Why don’t we get enough?

People may not make the effort to eat high-fiber foods, not realizing how important fiber truly is. Additionally, Kristin says, preparing high-fiber foods is more work.

“It’s ideal to get all of our fiber from whole foods,” she says, “but this is a challenge for people with busy, fast-paced lifestyles or special diets. Many people just don’t have time to plan, shop, prep, chop, and cook whole foods on a daily basis.

“Busy people often choose highly processed convenience foods which are often low in fiber. And unfortunately, many weight-loss diets restrict grains as well as fruits and vegetables.”



What is just better.® and why is it the best fiber supplement for women?

If you don’t get enough fiber from your food, you may need to supplement to get the benefits. Kristin’s just better.® prebiotic fiber is one easy way to get the fiber you need.

Probiotics vs prebiotics

To understand how products like just better.® can benefit your body, you need to understand the process going on in your gut, says Kristin.

“Probiotics are the good bacteria in our gut. We need to replenish and feed them on a daily basis to stay healthy and keep bad bacteria from taking over and making us sick. Probiotic bacteria come from fermented gut health foods like yogurt, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and so on.

“Prebiotics are soluble fiber that probiotic bacteria feed on. Nourish them with the right prebiotics, and the probiotic bacteria will thrive and colonize your gut (in other words, take up real estate and make babies!).” Result? Happy gut = better health!


just better.® is a prebiotic fiber (so it feeds the good bacteria in your gut) made entirely from non-GMO soluble corn fiber. One ingredient: that’s it!

According to Kristin, clinical studies demonstrate that the ingredient in just better.® can:

  1. Promote weight loss by helping you feel full faster and stay full longer
  2. Balance blood sugars, which prevents spikes and crashes and curbs cravings
  3. Reduce cholesterol and triglycerides
  4. Fix digestive issues, and
  5. Nourish good, probiotic gut bacteria.

How does just better.® help women in perimenopause and menopause?

Digestive issues. The prebiotic fiber in just better.® improves stool frequency and volume, Kristin says, so it’s great for women with constipation issues. But because it helps regulate digestion by nourishing your gut, it can also help women suffering on the other side of the spectrum with diarrhea.  

For those diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) – which can worsen with hormonal change – just better.® is a low-FODMAP fiber. Foods with Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols (FODMAPs) can irritate the body and cause stomach pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Low-FODMAP foods such as just better.® can help.

Weight management. According to Kristin, “If you are trying to lose weight, adding extra fiber to your diet may be helpful to achieve your health goals. Fiber expands in the stomach, making us feel full faster. Fiber also coats the inside lining of the intestine, which slows the rapid absorption of sugars into the blood stream. This is what helps us feel full longer by preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. This also helps to curb sugar cravings.

If you need assistance staying on track, a menopause-certified health coach can be helpful. Book 30 minutes for your personal consultation with a health coach.

“Researchers have determined that prebiotic fiber also plays another roll in weight loss. When probiotic good bacteria eat the prebiotic fiber, they make chemicals called SCFAs (short chain fatty acids). When this happens, a signaling pathway is activated. A message is sent to the stomach and intestines that there is plenty of food (you can go ahead and stop eating… We have enough here).  

“Also when there is an abundance of SCFAs, this increases digestive motility, which makes food move though the digestive tract more quickly, allowing less time for calorie extraction. When SCFAs are scarce (a low-fiber diet), motility is decreased and the message sent to the stomach and intestines is that there is not enough food. This causes food to move though the digestive tract more slowly to provide for MORE caloric extraction.

“In other words, our gut bacteria determines whether we gain or lose weight!”

Diabetes and cholesterol. Women in menopause develop type 2 diabetes more often because of their increased risk. And because estrogen helps control cholesterol levels, many women see their “bad” cholesterol rise after menopause.

Says Kristin, “Fiber deficiency is at the core of many of our most common chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Increasing fiber intake decreases risk of diabetes by preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. Increasing fiber intake also works like a cholesterol sponge. Fiber binds to cholesterol and escorts it through the GI tract and into the sewer system and prevents it from getting absorbed into blood vessels and creating plaques that cause heart disease.”

Here’s what just better.® doesn’t do.

It doesn’t change the nature or flavor of the food or drink it’s added to. It dissolves quickly and completely in liquids (I’ve seen women put it in their WINE, no joke). It survives baking just fine and doesn’t add a gritty texture when baked in or sprinkled on foods.

It doesn’t send you sprinting for the bathroom. Because just better.® is a soluble fiber, it’s much more gentle to the system than “bulk” fibers. Most are able to add it with no reactions other than positive ones (better regularity, less hunger, fewer cravings). But Kristin recommends starting with 1 tbsp the first day, just to be sure all goes (ha ha) well.

It doesn’t create a dependency. Your body won’t become “dependent” on just better.®, Kristin says, but if you stop taking it, you’ll need to replace the fiber with food. Eat more plants! (Hint: even if you’re enjoying just better.® fiber, eating more plants is still a good idea!)

To learn more about just better.® fiber and read the rave reviews of people who use it, check out their website. Gennev community members can use this link to receive a 10% discount on just better.®!*

*Team Gennev have tried this product and liked it, or you wouldn’t see it on our website. genneve has an affiliate relationship with Just Better Brands and receives a commission for purchases made via this link.

Have you tried just better.® or another product for adding fiber to your diet? What did you think; did it help? Leave a comment below, on our Facebook page, or in midlife & menopause solutions, our closed Facebook page.


Facts about Fiber – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. Eating a fiber-rich diet may reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes, lower your cholesterol levels, and help you lose weight by increasing satiety. Aim to eat at least 20-35 grams of fiber each day. If you don’t eat a lot of fiber now, increase your intake by small amounts and drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation.

Fiber comes in two forms. Think of soluble fiber as the inside of an apple and insoluble as the skin of the apple.

  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel in the intestines. This gel feeds healthy bacteria in our gut. Sources include rolled or steel-cut oats, barley, kidney beans, fruits and vegetables. This fiber helps to reduce serum cholesterol.
  • Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive system, absorbing water and adding bulk to stool. Sources include wheat bran, whole grains like buckwheat and brown rice, and many vegetables and skins of fruit.

High-Fiber Foods

4 or more grams (g) of fiber per serving

  • All-Bran cereal (1/2 cup) – 9.7g
  • Prunes, stewed (1/2 cup) – 8g
  • Lentils (1/2 cup) – 7.8g
  • Flaxseed, ground (2 tbsp.) – 7g
  • Artichoke (1 med.) – 6.5g
  • Chick peas, cooked (1/2 cup) – 6.2g
  • Figs, dried (1/4 cup) – 6g
  • Kidney beans, cooked – 5.6g
  • Bran flakes (3/4 cup) – 4.6g
  • Green peas, cooked (1/2 cup) – 4.4g
  • Spinach, raw (1 cup) – 4.3g
  • Pear – 4g

2-4 grams (g) fiber per serving

  • Soy beans, cooked (1/2 cup) – 3.8g
  • Carrots, raw (1 cup) – 3.8g
  • Wheat germ (1/4 cup) – 3.8g
  • Apple – 3. 7g
  • Popcorn (3 cups) – 3.6g
  • Potatoes, baked with skin – 3.4g (without skin – 2.5g)
  • Almonds (1 oz.) – 3.3g
  • Strawberries (1 cup) – 3.3g
  • Prunes, dried (1/4 cup) – 3g
  • Orange – 3g
  • Corn, cooked (1/2 cup) – 3g
  • Broccoli, raw (1 cup) – 2.6g (cooked, 1/2 cup – 2.2g)

All high-fiber foods contain a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, soluble fiber can sometimes be hard to find. The following is a list of foods with significant amounts of soluble fiber.

  • rolled or steel-cut oats
  • carrots
  • kidney beans
  • chickpeas
  • oat bran
  • broccoli
  • corn
  • black-eyed peas prunes
  • apples
  • raspberries
  • artichokes
  • baked beans
  • great northern beans
  • yams
  • brussels sprouts

Tips for adding fiber to your diet

For breakfast:

  • Make 1-5 min rolled oats or cook steel-cut oats for the week.
  • Add nuts and fruit to your oatmeal – fresh (banana, peach), frozen (berries without syrup) or dried (raisins, apricots).
  • Try whole grain bread with crunchy peanut butter and a cup of berries or an apple.

For lunch:

  • Use 100% “whole wheat” bread with sandwiches. Make sure “whole wheat flour” is in the ingredients list.
  • Add kidney beans and chickpeas to your salad.
  • Have a vegetable – like, fresh spinach and tomatoes on your sandwich, or baby carrots to munch on.

For dinner:

  • Go meatless once a week and incorporate lentils, beans and edamame to your meal.
  • Add spinach, corn, lima beans or Brussel sprouts to your plate.
  • Eat the skin of your baked potato.
  • Use brown rice instead of white rice.

For snacks:

  • Try nuts (with the skin).
  • Choose raw whole fruits instead of fruit juice.
  • Eat a bowl of popcorn, air-popped or popped in canola oil.

Whole-Grain, Bran, and Cereal Fiber Intakes and Markers of Systemic Inflammation in Diabetic Women


OBJECTIVE—To evaluate the dietary predictors for the markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in patients with type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We examined whether intakes of whole grains and dietary fiber were associated with inflammatory indicators among 902 diabetic women in the Nurses’ Health Study.

RESULTS—After adjustment for age, BMI, lifestyle, and dietary covariates, intakes of whole grains and bran were both associated with significantly decreasing trends of C-reactive protein (CRP) (P for trend = 0.03 and 0.007, respectively) and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 (TNF-R2) (P for trend = 0.017 and 0.06). High intake of cereal fiber was also inversely associated with the lower levels of CRP (P for trend = 0.03) and TNF-R2 (P for trend = 0.01). The concentrations of CRP and TNF-R2 were 18 and 8% lower in the highest quintile of cereal fiber as compared with the lowest quintile. Dietary glycemic index was positively associated with CRP (P for trend = 0.04) and TNF-R2 (P for trend = 0.0008) levels. The concentrations of CRP and TNF-R2 were 32 and 11% higher, respectively, in the highest quintile of dietary glycemic index as compared with the lowest quintile.

CONCLUSIONS—Our data indicate that whole grains and a low-glycemic index diet may reduce systemic inflammation among women with type 2 diabetes.

Consumption of whole grains and dietary fiber have been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in epidemiological studies (1,2). The biologic mechanisms underlying the effect are not well understood. Previous studies have suggested that fiber may lower serum cholesterol, inhibit lipid peroxidation, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve homocysteine levels (3–6), but the results are not entirely consistent (7).

Type 2 diabetes is associated with low-grade systemic inflammation and accelerated rates of atherosclerosis (8). The inflammatory process plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and is believed to be responsible for the increased cardiovascular complications among diabetic patients (9,10). Dietary fiber intake was recently associated with serum inflammatory markers in the general population (11,12). However, little is known about the effect of whole grains and fiber on inflammatory markers among diabetic patients.

To address this issue, we examined the associations of long-term intake of whole grains, the grain subcomponents bran and germ, and dietary fibers with markers of inflammation and endothelial function in diabetic women from the Nurses’ Health Study. The relation of dietary glycemic index and glycemic load with the inflammatory markers was also examined.


The Nurses’ Health Study began in 1976 with the recruitment of 121,700 female registered nurses (>95% Caucasian) between the ages of 30 and 55 years. A total of 32,826 women provided blood between 1989 and 1990. Cases were defined as self-reported diabetes confirmed by supplementary questionnaire. We used National Diabetes Data Group criteria to define diabetes because our subjects were diagnosed before the release of the American Diabetes Association criteria in 1997 (13). The validity of this method has been confirmed (14). A case of diabetes was considered if at least one of the following was reported on the supplementary questionnaire: 1) classic symptoms plus elevated fasting plasma glucose ≥7.8 mmol/l, random plasma glucose ≥11.1 mmol/l, and/or plasma glucose ≥11.1 mmol/l after ≥2 h during an oral glucose tolerance test; 2) no symptoms but at least two elevated plasma glucose concentrations (by the above criteria) on different occasions; or 3) treatment with oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin. We excluded those who had myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or stroke at blood draw, and 902 diabetic women were included in this study.

Assessment of dietary intakes and covariates

Measurements of dietary intake were repeated in 1986 and 1990 by using semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaires. Participants were asked to report their average frequency of consumption of selected foods and beverages with a specified commonly used unit or portion size during the previous year. Type and brand of breakfast cereal were also assessed. The correlations coefficients between semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaires and multiple dietary records were 0.75 for cold breakfast cereal, 0.71 for white bread, and 0.77 for dark bread. The correlation for fiber was 0.56 (15,16). Whole grains were defined as previously described (17). Intakes of bran and germ (in grams per day) from both added-to foods and naturally occurring in whole grains were also calculated in a similar manner. Intakes of whole grains and fiber were energy adjusted using the residual method. We calculated glycemic load by multiplying the carbohydrate content of each food by its glycemic index then multiplied this value by the frequency of consumption and summed the values from all foods. The overall dietary glycemic index was calculated by dividing the average daily glycemic load by the average daily carbohydrate intake (18).

Anthropometric data and lifestyle factors were derived from the 1990 questionnaire. BMI was calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. Physical activity was expressed as MET-hours based on self-reported types and durations of activities over the previous year.

Assessment of markers of inflammation and endothelial function

Blood was collected between 1989 and 1990. Markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP] and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 [TNF-R2]) and endothelial function (soluble intracellular cell adhesion molecule [ICAM]-1 and E-selectin) were assessed. CRP was measured by using the U.S. CRP enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit (DSL, Webster, TX) with a coefficient of variation (CV) range of 2.8–5.1%. TNF-R2 was measured using the human soluble TNF-R2 ELISA kit (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN) with a CV range of 2.6–4.8%. ICAM-1 concentration was assayed using the Human soluble ICAM-1 ELISA kit (R&D Systems) with a CV range of 3.3–4.8%. E-selectin was measured using human sE-selectin ELISA kit (R&D Systems) with a CV range of 5. 7–8.8%. Plasma adiponectin concentrations were measured by competitive radioimunoassay (Linco Research, St. Charles, MO) with CV of 3.4%. Concentrations of HbA1c (A1C) were based on turbidimetric immunoinhibition with hemolyzed whole blood or packed red cells with a CV of <3.0%.

Statistical analyses

A linear regression model was used to evaluate associations between dietary variables and plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers. To reduce within-subject variation and more accurately represent long-term diet, we used the average intake of nutrients from questionnaires collected close to blood draw (1986 and 1990). Dietary variables were analyzed in quintiles. Inflammatory markers were logarithmically transformed to achieve a normal distribution. Tests for linear trend were calculated by assigning median value for each quintile of intake and modeling this as a continuous variable. We adjusted for age, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, aspirin use, A1C, history of hypertension, history of hypercholesterolemia, postmenopausal hormone use, duration of diabetes, and medication use (oral antidiabetes medications and insulin use). We used the SAS statistical package for all analyses (SAS, Version 8.2 for UNIX; SAS Institute, Cary, NC). All P values are two sided.


Table 1 shows the age-adjusted characteristics at blood collection according to the intakes of whole grains and total fiber. Among 902 diabetic women, those in the highest quintiles of whole grains and total fiber had lower BMI, consumed less alcohol, engaged in more physical activity, and were less likely to be smokers than women in the lowest quintiles.

In multivariate analysis, we found a significant trend toward decreasing levels of CRP with increasing quintiles of both whole-grain (P for trend = 0.03) and bran intakes (P for trend = 0.007) (Table 2). In addition, high intake of whole grain was associated with a significantly decreasing trend of TNF-R2 levels (P for trend = 0.017). Women with high bran intake also tended to have lower TNF-R2 (P for trend = 0.06). Further adjustment for the duration of diabetes and medication use (oral antidiabetic medications and insulin use) did not appreciably change the associations.

In accordance with the association between whole grains and the inflammatory markers, increasing cereal fiber intake was also significantly associated with decreased plasma CRP (P for trend = 0.03) and TNF-R2 (P for trend = 0.01) (Fig. 1). The concentrations of CRP and TNF-R2 were 18 and 8% lower, respectively, in the highest quintile of cereal fiber as compared with the lowest quintile. Intakes of total fiber and fiber from other foods including vegetable and fruit were not associated with CRP or TNF-R2 levels (data not shown). We did not find significant associations between whole grain, bran, and dietary fiber intakes with markers of endothelial dysfunction (ICAM-1 and E-selectin).

We also examined the associations of dietary glycemic load and glycemic index with inflammatory markers. High dietary glycemic index was associated with significantly increasing trend of CRP and TNF-R2 levels (P for trend = 0.04 and 0.0008, respectively) (Table 3). The concentrations of CRP and TNF-R2 were 32 and 11%, respectively, higher in the highest quintile of dietary glycemic index as compared with the lowest quintile. Although women with high glycemic load also tended to have higher concentrations of CRP and TNF-R2, the tests for trend were not significant. Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load were not associated with the levels of ICAM-1 and E-selectin.


We found that among women with type 2 diabetes, intakes of whole grains, bran, and cereal fiber were associated with significantly lower levels of CRP and TNF-R2, after adjusting for age, BMI, lifestyle, and dietary covariates. In contrast, dietary glycemic index was associated with significantly higher CRP and TNF-R2 levels.

Little data are available about the effects of whole grain and dietary fiber on systemic inflammation among diabetic patients. Our finding that cereal fiber intake was associated with lower inflammatory markers is in line with recent observations among nondiabetic subjects, in whom dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with serum CRP concentration (11,12). The inverse association between dietary fiber and CRP was also observed among patients with multiple metabolic conditions (19). Our results indicate that cereal fiber may confer stronger effects than fibers from other food sources such as fruit and vegetable. Whole grain, especially bran, is the major source of cereal fiber. Therefore, the inverse association of whole grain and bran with the inflammatory markers is likely in part attributed to their fiber components.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with an accelerated rate of atherosclerosis and heightened systemic inflammation (8). The inflammatory process plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and is believed to be partly responsible for the increased cardiovascular diseases among diabetic patients (9,10). Elevated CRP concentrations independently predict cardiovascular disease in the general population (20) and among diabetic patients (21). TNF-R2, which reflects TNF system activation, is significantly elevated among patients with coronary heart disease (22) and type 2 diabetes (23). TNF-R2 has been significantly associated with coronary heart disease risk in this cohort of diabetic women (24).

It is possible that the inhibition of inflammation by whole grain and cereal fiber may be secondary to their effects on lowering glycemia. Such a postulation is partly supported by the observations that dietary glycemic index was positively related to the inflammatory markers. A similar effect of dietary glycemic index was also noted in a previous study among nondiabetic subjects (25). It has been suggested that hyperglycemia may modulate the release of proinflammatory cytokines (26,27). However, the observed effects of whole grain, bran, and cereal fiber were independent of dietary glycemic index, suggesting that additional mechanisms may be involved. We recently found that cereal fiber intake, dietary glycemic index, and glycemic load were associated with the levels of blood adiponectin in diabetic patients (28). It has been documented that adiponectin has profound anti-inflammatory effects (29). Nevertheless, further adjustment for adiponectin did not significantly change the association (data not shown).

In conclusion, we found that consumption of whole grains and cereal fiber was associated with lower inflammatory markers among diabetic patients. In contrast, high dietary glycemic index was associated with higher inflammatory markers. Our results support the recommendation that patients with type 2 diabetes should increase intake of whole grain products and maintain a diet low in glycemic index. Because of the observational nature of this study, we cannot claim causality. Further clinical trials are needed to test the potential benefits of these dietary factors among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Figure 1—

The association of cereal fiber intake (in quintiles) with plasma concentrations of CRP (A) and TNF-R2 (B) among women with type 2 diabetes. The geometric means and SEs are presented.

Table 1—

Age-standardized characteristics according to quintiles of total fiber and whole- grain intakes (in grams per day)*

Table 2—

Inflammatory markers according to the quintiles of whole-grain, germ, and bran intakes*

Table 3—

Inflammatory markers according to the quintiles of dietary glycemic load and glycemic index*


This study was supported by research grants (HL65582, HL34594, DK58845, and CA87969) from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hu is partially supported by an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.


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  2. Jensen MK, Koh-Banerjee P, Hu FB, Franz M, Sampson L, Gronbaek M, Rimm EB: Intakes of whole grains, bran, and germ and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr 80:1492–1499, 2004

  3. Pereira MA, Jacobs DR Jr, Pins JJ, Raatz SK, Gross MD, Slavin JL, Seaquist ER: Effect of whole grains on insulin sensitivity in overweight hyperinsulinemic adults. Am J Clin Nutr 75:848–855, 2002

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  12. King DE, Egan BM, Geesey ME: Relation of dietary fat and fiber to elevation of C-reactive protein. Am J Cardiol 92:1335–1339, 2003

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  14. Manson JE, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Krolewski AS, Rosner B, Arky RA, Speizer FE, Hennekens CH: A prospective study of maturity-onset diabetes mellitus and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women. Arch Intern Med 151:1141–1147, 1991

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  16. Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, Giovannucci E, Rimm E, Manson JE, Hennekens CH, Willett WC: Whole-grain consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: results from the Nurses’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 70:412–419, 1999

  17. Koh-Banerjee P, Franz M, Sampson L, Liu S, Jacobs DR Jr, Spiegelman D, Willett W, Rimm E: Changes in whole-grain, bran, and cereal fiber consumption in relation to 8-y weight gain among men. Am J Clin Nutr 80:1237–1245, 2004

  18. Liu S, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, Franz M, Sampson L, Hennekens CH, Manson JE: A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women. Am J Clin Nutr 71:1455–1461, 2000

  19. King DE, Mainous AG 3rd, Egan BM, Woolson RF, Geesey ME: Fiber and C-reactive protein in diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Diabetes Care 28:1487–1489, 2005

  20. Ridker PM, Buring JE, Cook NR, Rifai N: C-reactive protein, the metabolic syndrome, and risk of incident cardiovascular events: an 8-year follow-up of 14,719 initially healthy American women. Circulation 107:391–397, 2003

  21. Schulze MB, Rimm EB, Li T, Rifai N, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB: C-reactive protein and incident cardiovascular events among men with diabetes. Diabetes Care 27:889–894, 2004

  22. Pai JK, Pischon T, Ma J, Manson JE, Hankinson SE, Joshipura K, Curhan GC, Rifai N, Cannuscio CC, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB: Inflammatory markers and the risk of coronary heart disease in men and women. N Engl J Med 351:2599–2610, 2004

  23. Hu FB, Meigs JB, Li TY, Rifai N, Manson JE: Inflammatory markers and risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes 53:693–700, 2004

  24. Shai I, Schulze MB, Manson JE, Rexrode KM, Stampfer MJ, Mantzoros C, Hu FB: A prospective study of soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptor II (sTNF-RII) and risk of coronary heart disease among women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 28:1376–1382, 2005

  25. Liu S, Manson JE, Buring JE, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Ridker PM: Relation between a diet with a high glycemic load and plasma concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr 75:492–498, 2002

  26. Gonzalez F, Minium J, Rote NS, Kirwan JP: Hyperglycemia alters TNF{alpha} release from mononuclear cells in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 90:5336–5342, 2005

  27. Devaraj S, Venugopal SK, Singh U, Jialal I: Hyperglycemia induces monocytic release of interleukin-6 via induction of protein kinase c-α and -β. Diabetes 54:85–91, 2005

  28. Qi L, Rimm E, Liu S, Rifai N, Hu FB: Dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, cereal fiber, and plasma adiponectin concentration in diabetic men. Diabetes Care 28:1022–1028, 2005

  29. Berg AH, Scherer PE: Adipose tissue, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. Circ Res 96:939–949, 2005

Adolescent alcohol, nuts, and fiber: combined effects on benign breast disease risk in young women

A body of previously published evidence indicates that alcohol intake in adolescence increases the risk of BBD and breast cancer, while nuts/peanut butter and dietary fiber reduce those risks. To our knowledge, no other study has investigated whether adolescent consumption of nuts or total dietary fiber may attenuate the increased risk associated with alcohol. Our findings confirmed earlier studies showing that adolescent alcohol consumption was associated with an elevated risk for BBD in young adulthood and that adolescent consumption of nuts and total fiber were separately associated with lower risk. In a model with all three factors together, the associations of each with BBD were nearly as strong as from separate models, and none appeared substantially stronger than the others. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the increased BBD risk associated with alcohol consumption between ages 14 and 17 years was attenuated in females who also consumed any nuts or peanut butter (OR = 0.47, p = 0.02). However, for total dietary fiber the estimated risk attenuation (OR = 0.67; p = 0.25) was not significant, possibly reflecting difficulties in assessing total dietary fiber from 132 foods on the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) compared to counting bags of nuts and peanut butter sandwiches.

The age range of intake for our three dietary exposures, 14–17 years, may be a more effective time period for parental (and other adult) influence than older ages, and our findings emphasize the importance of disease prevention messages during high school. Because we found that all three dietary factors were independently strongly associated with BBD risk, and none was substantially stronger than the others, BBD prevention efforts should focus on all three. Given the demonstrated adverse effects of early alcohol consumption, we believe the public health message should emphasize avoiding alcohol in high school, increasing dietary fiber intake, and adding nuts and peanut butter to diet (unless allergies). The message should not be that students may drink if they also consume nuts or peanut butter. Because the lowest BBD risks were among girls who drank no alcohol but consumed nuts or higher levels of fiber, while the highest risks were among girls drinking alcohol but who never ate nuts or consumed the least fiber, avoiding alcohol altogether is still the best strategy for disease prevention.

Significant statistical interaction between the effects of two factors of interest (alcohol and diet) is not required for clinical relevance to BBD prevention. For both our analyses (alcohol and nuts, alcohol and fiber), the main effects were statistically significant, but their interaction was not. If two factors only have additive main effects on BBD risk, it is still relevant that one factor (alcohol) increases risk by a certain amount, while at the same time the other factor (nuts) independently reduces risk by another amount. The effects would off-set each other to some extent, the precise amount dependent upon the magnitudes of the two independent effects, so clinically it would still suggest that increasing consumption of nuts can mitigate the harmful effect of alcohol. In short, the lack of interaction does not rule out their independent main effects, which here are significant and important.

Our findings are consistent with the few published studies on adolescent diet and BBD; the highest quintile of adolescent (high school) fiber intake had 25% lower risk of proliferative BBD than the lowest intake quintile13. Adolescent females who consumed ≥2 servings/week of nuts had 36% lower risk of proliferative BBD than those who consumed <1 serving/month13. Here our estimated risk of drinking alcohol (OR = 1.13/(10 g/day)) in high school (14–17 years), though not significant, is near the estimated BBD risk of drinking between 18 and 22 years in the NHSII cohort (hazard ratio = 1.15/(10 g/day), CI: 1.03–1.28)14. In that cohort, the risk for proliferative BBD from drinking alcohol between menarche and first pregnancy was relative risk = 1.16/(10 g/day) (CI: 1.02–1.32)15. Our earlier published work (GUTS cohort) on BBD and drinking at older ages (through 23 years) found significantly increased BBD risk (OR = 1.50 per drink per day; CI: 1.19–1.90)17. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with studies of breast cancer, where risks were positively associated with adolescent alcohol15 and inversely associated with adolescent consumption of nuts18 and fiber18,19.

Possible mechanisms, with increased vulnerability between menarche and first pregnancy20, include alcohol increasing the levels of circulating estrogen (estradiol and estrone), estrogen receptor (mammary epithelial cells), and carcinogenic ethanol metabolites21. Kim et al.22 summarize other mechanisms by which alcohol may contribute to increased risk. Regarding possible mechanisms for dietary fiber, as summarized by Farvid et al.19, fiber may improve insulin sensitivity, decrease insulin-like growth factors, and decrease plasma levels of estrogen by inhibiting its reabsorption. Unfortunately, our food questionnaire did not ask about different types of nuts, but walnuts contain bioactive molecules affecting mammary epithelial cells and decreasing proliferation23. Peanuts and tree nuts provide a broad range of metabolic benefits, attributable to unsaturated fatty acids and other bioactive compounds24,25.

Unfortunately, we do not have data on mammographic density, another breast cancer risk factor10,26 that may be impacted by diet in high school and represent a different pathway to disease. In NHSII women, adolescent fiber intake was not associated with mammographic density, though there was a marginal (P for trend = 0.05) positive association between adolescent nut intake and absolute non-dense breast area; one serving/week of nuts was significantly associated with larger absolute non-dense breast area27, which is inversely associated with breast cancer risk. Adolescent alcohol intake was not associated with breast density28.

The major strength of our investigation is the longitudinal design, in which alcohol and dietary intakes were reported in real time, years before BBD was reported. Other strengths and weaknesses are similar to those described in previous investigations of this cohort16. A limitation is the small number, only 13% of our adolescent females, who consumed both alcohol and nuts, making it difficult to estimate the combined joint effects of specific quantities. A similar small percent consumed both alcohol and fiber above the bottom quartile. Admittedly our cohort is not representative, but this should not hinder the validity and generalizability of our within-cohort comparisons29. Because our cohort is 95% white/non-Hispanic, we cannot generalize our results to other races and ethnicities.

In conclusion, we investigated the relationship between biopsy-confirmed BBD in young women and alcohol consumption during adolescence, and the possible attenuation of the alcohol-associated risk by nuts/peanut butter or fiber, during a period critical for the development of breast cancer. Based on girls born in the 1980s and attending high school during 1996–2001, we found evidence that drinking in adolescence (ages 14–17 years) was associated with greater risk of biopsy-confirmed BBD, while same age intakes of nuts/peanut butter and fiber were each associated with lower risk. Among females who drank alcohol in high school, this work found significant risk attenuation by including consumption of nuts and/or peanut butter. For many reasons in addition to reducing risk for BBD, public health interventions should focus on all three factors, reducing alcohol use by adolescents and promoting a healthy diet, which includes consumption of fiber and if no allergies, nuts and peanut butter. Because these findings are based on modest numbers, future studies need to replicate our results in adolescent and/or adult females.

90,000 The benefits of dietary fiber for the human body, for which it is recommended to use fiber

March 30, 2020

There is a whole class of substances that were once perceived as unnecessary and even harmful, and today health organizations set daily norms for their consumption. It’s about dietary fiber. Why have doctors changed their opinion about them so much, how are these components useful and what are additives based on them for?

What is dietary fiber

Any plant foods contain two types of nutrients.Some are broken down in the gastrointestinal tract and provide the body with energy. Other components are non-recyclable. This means that we do not have the necessary enzymes for their digestion, and they practically do not participate in energy exchange.
But the human body knows how to benefit even from those food components that it cannot process. In nature, there is a huge variety of these substances, united by mechanisms of beneficial action. Their common name is dietary fiber, or fiber.

What are the types of dietary fiber

Scientists use several classifications of dietary fiber, among which the most common is their division into soluble and insoluble.

  • Soluble fibers include pectins, gums, starches. When interacting with a liquid, these substances form viscous gels.
  • Insoluble fibers – cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin. They do not interact with water, retain the original structure all the way through the digestive system.

Soluble and insoluble fibers play different roles for humans, complementing each other. It is important to get the full amount of fiber of each type.

Where the dietary fiber is

The table shows fiber-rich foods by type and mass fraction of fiber 1 .


9003 Carrot


Prevailing fiber type

Fiber content in percent by weight































Beans b



Why dietary fiber is good for the human body

benefits to the body.Often, foods were stripped of them to increase nutritional value.
In the 60s of the last century, this stereotype was dealt a serious blow. Irish doctor Denis Burkitt, while working in Uganda, noticed that local residents are practically unfamiliar with many common diseases among Europeans: coronary heart disease, diabetes, appendicitis, gallstones, constipation. The doctor suggested that Ugandans are less sick due to the presence of dietary fiber in their diet, while we are deficient in these important substances 2 .
Over time, scientists have found more and more evidence of the benefits of dietary fiber for humans. So, just in the last few years, the following results have been obtained:

  • Scientists from the University of Queens in Northern Ireland found that dietary fiber can reduce the risk of malignant colon tumors 3 ;
  • colleagues from universities in China found the same link between dietary fiber and ovarian cancer 4 ;
  • Spanish researchers from Complutense University concluded that fiber helps to normalize blood pressure 5 .

Other mechanisms of the beneficial effects of dietary fiber have long been studied and explained by science.

Soluble fiber

  • Absorb and remove harmful substances from the body , including cholesterol. In addition, they are also able to absorb water, which makes stools softer and reduces the risk of constipation.
  • Slow down the absorption of sugar . Glucose enters the bloodstream smoothly, without sharp jumps in level, even after eating sweets.This reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Prebiotic . Our body cannot break down fiber, but its soluble types process the beneficial bacteria living in the stomach and intestines. Such a nutrient medium promotes their active reproduction and the synthesis of compounds necessary for the smooth functioning of the digestive system. In particular, the dietary fiber inulin is an excellent medium for the gastrointestinal microflora, the lack of which, along with other types of fiber, can be easily replenished using the NUTRILITE ™ Mixture of dietary fiber with inulin.

Insoluble fibers

  • Strengthen peristalsis , stimulating the walls of the gastrointestinal tract when moving along it.

Both types of fiber

  • Create a feeling of fullness by filling the stomach. This makes it easier for people who want to lose weight to stick to their diet.

Who is recommended to take dietary fiber

Every person needs fiber, regardless of gender and age.According to the recommendations of Russian doctors, the daily intake of dietary fiber for an adult is 20 g. American experts advise to consume even more fiber: 38 g per day for men and 25 g for women 6 .
For this amount of dietary fiber to enter the body, it is necessary to eat at least 300-400 grams of fresh plant products daily. However, data from the World Health Organization suggest that most people’s diets do not meet these requirements.For this reason, it is very important to consume fiber-based dietary supplements. The daily dose of NUTRILITE ™ chewable tablets contains 5.1 g of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber from 13 sources, including oats, wheat, sugarcane, apples, lemons, carrots, prickly pear cactus.

How to take dietary fiber correctly

There are a number of rules to improve the efficiency of fiber intake:
1. Give preference to fresh foods: they have more dietary fiber than canned ones.
2. Eat whole grain breads and pasta instead of fine flour.
3. Drink juices with pulp, not clarified ones.
4. Eat breakfast with vegetables, fruits, cereals, so that fiber enters the body in the morning.
5. Include in the diet as many different plant foods as possible to get dietary fiber in all its variety.

And one more valuable piece of advice. Trying to drastically change your diet by increasing the proportion of plant-based foods high in fiber does more harm than good.Along with dietary fiber, you get too many carbohydrates and at the same time you lack protein and fat. This imbalance of nutrients causes significant harm to health. This is why you should not overuse some foods to the detriment of others, but create a balanced diet that suits your needs and take dietary supplements to eliminate the deficiency of dietary fiber. NUTRILITE ™ Dietary Supplement Chewable Tablets Diet Fiber Blend provides 25.5% of your daily fiber requirement without overhauling your diet.

Learn also:

* NUTRILITE ™ dietary supplements are not drugs. There are contraindications. Consult a specialist.

** Product availability subject to change. Product images shown may differ from actual products. Detailed information about the goods can be found by calling +7 (495) 981-40-00 (for Moscow and Moscow region), 8 (800) 100-90-00 (for other regions of Russia) or on the Amway website.ru.

1 According to nutritiondata.self.com

2 Coffin C.S., Shaffer E. A. The hot air and cold facts of dietary fiber // Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2006 Apr. No. 20 (4). S. 255–256.

3 Kunzmann A.T., Coleman H.G., Huang W.Y., Kitahara C.M., Cantwell M.M., Berndt S.I. Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial // The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2015 Oct. No. 102 (4). S. 881-890.

4 Zheng B., Shen H., Han H., Han T., Qin Y. Dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis // Nutrition Journal. 2018 Oct 30. No. 17 (1).

5 Aleixandre A., Miguel M. Dietary fiber and blood pressure control // Journal of Functional Foods. 2016 Apr. No. 7 (4). S. 1864-1871.

6 Institute of Medicine, Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids.Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005, p. 339.

Blood when urinating in women: bleeding, blood clots

Blood during urination in women is a symptom that appears with injuries of the organs of the excretory system, various pathologies. It’s called hematuria. It should be borne in mind that every change in the color of urine requires a doctor’s consultation. Therefore, even if spotting appears only sporadically, do not neglect qualified medical help.This symptom may indicate various diseases occurring in a latent form.

To receive quality care, to establish the causes of the ailment and undergo treatment, contact the medical center “Promedika” in Belgorod. By following the recommendations of our doctors, you can improve your well-being and the quality of your own life.

Why does blood appear when urinating in women?

Most often, a symptom indicates the presence of fungal, viral and parasitic pathogens.Against the background of inflammation of the organs of the genitourinary system, blood clots occur during urination in women, as well as hematuria.

The shade of urine may change due to menstrual flow. In addition, in the presence of solid deposits in the kidneys, hematuria often appears. When the stone passes through the organs of the excretory tract, they become traumatized, which is why hematuria is observed.

With severe physical exertion, spotting can be observed. In this case, discomfort does not arise, the phenomenon is of a short-term nature.Urine staining with a reddish tint can occur with the use of certain dried fruits, beets, blackberries, and also drugs.

On the background of some gynecological diseases, hematuria may occur. It is also provoked by injuries, as well as recent cystoscopy. When diagnosing, a specialist may accidentally injure the mucous membrane of the urinary tract.

In some cases, pathologies are not accompanied by specific symptoms. For example, pyelonephritis can proceed without burning, fever and a decrease in the general tone of the body.And it is blood during urination that will be that alarming “bell”, when it appears, you need to consult a competent doctor as soon as possible.

Pathologies manifested by blood during urination in women

  • Cystitis. Often, inflammation of the bladder provokes blood at the end of urination. This is accompanied by weakness, fever and painful sensations localized in the lower abdomen. Cystitis is the most common cause of hematuria in men.At the same time, the number of urges also becomes greater, and urine is excreted in small portions.

  • Urethritis. In rare cases, in women, hematuria appears when a pathological process occurs in the urethra. It can manifest itself due to sexually transmitted diseases and an increase in the concentration of salts in urine. When they crystallize, sand is formed, which irritates and injures the mucous membrane. This causes the appearance of bloody discharge during urination.

  • Urolithiasis. With this disease, blood is released during urination in women. When solid formations pass through the urinary tract, they become traumatized. Against this background, hematuria occurs. It usually occurs after an attack of intestinal colic accompanied by severe pain.

  • Tumors of a benign nature. When polyps are traumatized, blood in the urine of a woman may occur when urinating.

  • Glomerulonephritis. Pathology that occurs against the background of damage to the structures of the kidneys. At the same time, the color of urine is pink-red, while there is no pain when going to the toilet. Glomerulonephritis occurs against the background of high blood pressure, edema.

  • Oncology. Malignant formations of the bladder, kidneys and other organs of the system provoke hematuria. At the same time, discomfort when going to the restroom occurs quite rarely.

  • Gynecological diseases. For example, hematuria can accompany endometriosis, vaginitis, vulvitis, cervical erosion, etc.

Features of the appearance of blood during urination in women

If a symptom occurs, it is advisable to immediately contact the Promedica center. Remember all the circumstances in which you first recorded it, whether blood appeared during urination in women with pain or without discomfort.To establish a reliable clinical picture, you may need:

  • reception of an oncologist;

  • reception of a gynecologist;

  • reception of a venereologist.

Diagnosis of pathologies manifested by blood during urination

The range of diagnostic procedures prescribed by the doctor of the center “Promedica” depends on the specific clinical case. Therefore, initially he collects a detailed anamnesis, clarifies your complaints.After that, you may be assigned:

  • general urinalysis;

  • urine analysis according to Nechiporenko and Zimnitsky;

  • ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs and kidneys;

  • X-ray examination of the urinary tract;

  • computed tomography;

  • cystoscopy;

  • magnetic resonance imaging;

  • general and biochemical blood tests;

  • tests for sexually transmitted infections.

Treatment of diseases manifested by blood during urination

The tactics of therapy depends on the disease, which is manifested by this symptomatology. It may include surgery, antibiotic therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other medications. Physiotherapy may also be recommended. According to patients’ reviews, doctors often use combined methods to achieve a lasting therapeutic effect.

Where to go if there is blood in the urine?

If you have any concerns, we are waiting for you at the Promedika Medical Center. We will clarify the reason for frequent urination with blood in women and prescribe the correct treatment.

Do you have any questions? To clarify the price of diagnostics or make an appointment with a urologist, contact us in any convenient way.

90,000 Soluble corn fibers can have a certain effect in the treatment of osteoporosis in women

Soluble corn fibers can have a certain effect in the treatment of osteoporosis in women

Evidence from a study at the University of Purdue suggests that daily low-fiber intake of corn is significantly associated with bone health in adolescent and post-menopausal women.

Soluble corn fiber (RVF) are complex carbohydrates that are not completely broken down in the human body and are often used in various products such as dairy products, cereals, candy, drinks, etc.

These fibers help to create foods with reduced sugar content and at the same time supply the body with dietary fiber.

Corn fiber has the same benefits for the body as the fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and cereals.MERs stimulate the intestines and have the function of prebiotics. What’s more, MERs stabilize blood glucose levels and maintain bone density by improving intestinal calcium absorption.

Doctors recommend daily use of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But most people eat no more than half of the recommended dose. Foods fortified with dietary fiber allow you to eliminate fiber deficiency without increasing the calorie content of your food.

The aim of this study was to find out how MERs affect calcium absorption, bone tissue and gut microbiome in adolescent and menopausal women.

“Our scientists have begun to focus more on gut processes to help understand how healthy bone is formed in girls, and to maintain bone density in older women when the risk of bone fractures increases.” These are the words of Professor Connie Weaver nutritionist.

“MER, together with prebiotics, allow the body to better absorb calcium at crucial periods in a woman’s life. And the intestinal microbiome is actually a new important link in human health.”she adds.

The findings of the study were published in two American journals Nutrition and Journal of Clinical Nutrition .

Dr. Weaver and his colleagues found that after prebiotic fibers enter the large intestine, microbes break them down into short fatty acids, and this plays a role in providing the bone tissue with the necessary ingredients.

An increase in dietary fiber helps in the formation and maintenance of bone strength

The study involved 14 healthy women who consumed 0 to 20 grams of corn fiber daily for 50 days. Women who ate 10 to 20 grams of fiber per day had 4.8% and 7% better calcium absorption.

“Prognostically, taking fiber throughout the year will help balance bone loss in postmenopausal women,” says nutritionist Dr. Weaver.

The study also included a group of girls aged 11-14 years. They consumed daily for 4 weeks, without changing their usual diet, from 0 to 20 grams. In those girls who took 10 to 20 grams, there was an increase in calcium absorption by 12%, which would allow an increase in bone tissue by 2% per year.

Gastrointestinal symptoms were insignificant and almost the same as in the control group.

“Prior to our study, dietary fiber from corn was investigated for use in treating gut problems, and for the first time we were able to show that fiber can alter the gut microbiome and this affects human health,” Weaver said.”We were able to make sure that this prebiotic allows for better absorption of the mineral compounds that humans need.”

Unfortunately, very few people get the required amount of calcium in the amount of 1200 mg daily.

The results obtained in the study do not mean at all that you should not give up a balanced diet or not eat dairy products. However, taking fiber can supplement dietary recommended dairy products.

“Taking calcium alone stops bone loss, but has no effect on new bone formation.Fiber stimulates new bone formation, not only improves calcium absorption. “Connie Weaver

Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of action of fiber on calcium absorption and utilization. Evidence from a study at Purdue University suggests that daily intake of small amounts of corn fiber significantly improves bone strength in women, such as in adolescence and during menopause.

Soluble corn fiber (RVF) are complex carbohydrates that are not completely broken down in the human body and are often used in various products such as dairy products, cereals, candy, drinks, etc.

These fibers help to create foods with reduced sugar content and at the same time supply the body with dietary fiber.

Corn fiber has the same benefits for the body as the fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and cereals.MERs stimulate the intestines and have the function of prebiotics. What’s more, MERs stabilize blood glucose levels and maintain bone density by improving intestinal calcium absorption.

Doctors recommend daily use of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But most people eat no more than half of the recommended dose. Foods fortified with dietary fiber allow you to eliminate fiber deficiency without increasing the calorie content of your food.

The aim of this study was to find out how MERs affect calcium absorption, bone tissue and gut microbiome in adolescent and menopausal women.

“Our scientists have begun to focus more on gut processes to help understand how healthy bone is formed in girls, and to maintain bone density in older women when the risk of bone fractures increases.” These are the words of Professor Connie Weaver nutritionist.

“MER, together with prebiotics, allow the body to better absorb calcium at crucial periods in a woman’s life. And the intestinal microbiome is actually a new important link in human health.”she adds.

The findings of the study were published in two American journals Nutrition and Journal of Clinical Nutrition .

Dr. Weaver and his colleagues found that after prebiotic fibers enter the large intestine, microbes break them down into short fatty acids, and this plays a role in providing the bone tissue with the necessary ingredients.

An increase in dietary fiber helps in the formation and maintenance of bone strength

The study involved 14 healthy women who consumed 0 to 20 grams of corn fiber daily for 50 days. Women who ate 10 to 20 grams of fiber per day had 4.8% and 7% better calcium absorption.

“Prognostically, taking fiber throughout the year will help balance bone loss in postmenopausal women,” says nutritionist Dr. Weaver.

The study also included a group of girls aged 11-14 years. They consumed daily for 4 weeks, without changing their usual diet, from 0 to 20 grams. In those girls who took 10 to 20 grams, there was an increase in calcium absorption by 12%, which would allow an increase in bone tissue by 2% per year.

Gastrointestinal symptoms were insignificant and almost the same as in the control group.

“Prior to our study, dietary fiber from corn was investigated for use in treating gut problems, and for the first time we were able to show that fiber can alter the gut microbiome and this affects human health,” Weaver said.”We were able to make sure that this prebiotic allows for better absorption of the mineral compounds that humans need.”

Unfortunately, very few people get the required amount of calcium in the amount of 1200 mg daily.

The results obtained in the study do not mean at all that you should not give up a balanced diet or not eat dairy products. However, taking fiber can supplement dietary recommended dairy products.

“Taking calcium alone stops bone loss, but has no effect on new bone formation.Fiber stimulates new bone formation, not only improves calcium absorption. “Connie Weaver

Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of action of fibers on calcium absorption and utilization.

90,000 Cellulite is a problem of modern women

Causes of cellulite

We’ve all heard a lot about cellulite and its symptoms. This topic is not new, as more than 90,032 80% of women 90,033 have been suffering from cellulite for over 150 years.Until recently, no one knew why cellulite appears, and that it turns out that everyone has it.

In 1998, a group of scientists announced the results of research on the possible causes of cellulite. It turned out that the reason is not only in the excessive use of alcohol, smoking and toxins that gradually enter the body from the environment or food. The main cause of cellulite is Incorrect distribution of fat under the skin .

Our bodies are protected by subcutaneous fats, which help us to maintain the right body temperature, as well as to stabilize the pressure when we sit at the table and to protect our bones.The fat layer contains collagen fibers that attach to the inner side of the skin and the outer layers of muscles.

Collagen fibers in the male and female body

Recent studies have shown that collagen fibers differ between men and women. In men, the fibers run diagonally to the skin, pushing fat downward and keeping the skin soft. These studies allowed scientists to answer the question of why men do not have cellulite.

In women, unlike men, collagen fibers are located perpendicular to the skin and are formed into narrow cylinders.If fat cells accumulate in these cylinders, they cause the appearance of cellulite, which is mainly due to overweight women. Why do thin women also have cellulite problems? Excess fat, which is pushed out of the cylinder, is not the cause of cellulite here. So why do skinny ones have cellulite?

Researchers have shown that there are two types of cellulite. The first is when the structure of the fat septa differs from normal.In cellulite, collagen fibers are not thin, but rather extremely thickened. When you press on the fat fold, the fat is pushed upward and creates bumps on the skin. Scientists have also found that cellulite contains more proteoglycans, which absorb more water than usual. Thus, water enters the cellulite areas of and settles there, which leads to the appearance of an “orange peel”.

Penetration of free radicals and circulation slows down

So, what is the real reason for the appearance of cellulite? Nobody knows for sure, but scientific studies show that there are two factors: free radical penetration and impaired blood circulation in women.Both of these factors can be present at the same time, or only one.

• Free radicals

Free radicals are groups of atoms that appear when the body is exposed to toxins from tobacco, alcohol, or pesticides. They also appear when we consume too many unhealthy foods such as sugar and unhealthy fats. Free radicals lack electrons. To accumulate them, they steal missing electrons from other cells in the body, thus damaging them.Most often, they “attack” the collagen and elastin cells that make up the top layer of the skin. This leads to the appearance of cellulite. The skin becomes thinner and cellulite is more visible.

• Weakening of the lymphatic system and impairment of blood circulation

The task of blood circulation is to supply oxygen and nutrients to all cells of the body. The lymphatic system removes harmful and toxic waste from the body. The places where cellulite appears most often are thighs and buttocks.Since most modern women sit in the office and are not very mobile during the day, the problematic parts of the body are pinched, which reduces blood circulation and the functioning of the lymphatic system.

Cells in the skin, the so-called fibroblasts, begin to lack oxygen if we sit for too long. They gather in small irregularities and create thick and resilient fibers. This makes the appearance of cellulite even more pronounced.

Since the lymphatic system and blood circulation are weakened, water in problem areas of the body also stays longer than usual, fills the intercellular space and makes cellulite more visible.

The main reasons for the appearance of cellulite

• Genes

Cellulite can be inherited. Genes play a role in skin aging, which is highly dependent on the elasticity of collagen and elastin. If collagen and elastin are not elastic on the face, they are also not elastic on other parts of the body. So the future appearance of young women can be predicted by looking at their mothers.


Cellulite usually appears after 30 years.But recently, it has begun to appear during puberty, as teenagers do not move much, and spend most of their time at school and at the computer. After the age of 30, a woman becomes more likely to be overweight. The more fat, the more pronounced the cellulite. As we age, the top layer of the skin, which covers the subcutaneous fat layer, becomes thinner, which makes cellulite even more visible.

• Sedentary lifestyle

As already mentioned, modern people spend too much time at work.Modern technology allows us to do our work thanks to the Internet and the computer, which is why we move much less than our parents. Today we walk 13 km less per day than our grandparents did. This lack of exercise further increases the likelihood of cellulite on problem areas of the body.

The less we move , the fewer calories we burn , the more kilograms we gain, that is, we gain excess weight.Laziness and lack of physical activity reduce blood circulation and relax the lymphatic system, which does not effectively promote lymph in the body, and therefore does not fulfill its main function of cleansing the body. The lymphatic system accelerates the accumulation of toxins and thus increases the likelihood of cellulite.

• Overweight

People need to spend more time exercising regularly and maintaining normal physical body function.As the number of overweight people grows, cellulite is becoming a common problem as, as mentioned, overweight people are more susceptible to it.

• Smoking

Smoking also contributes significantly to the development of cellulite. Every time you inhale cigarette smoke, collagen fibers are destroyed, which leads to aging of the skin and increases the likelihood of cellulite. Since smokers usually lack vitamin C , the body is not able to regenerate the skin, because this vitamin is essential in the regeneration of collagen.

• Toxins

Some of your bad habits contribute to the formation of cellulite. These habits include alcohol, coffee, unhealthy fats and sugar. All of these ingredients create free radicals and weaken the lymphatic system.

They also 90,032 destroy other 90,033 nutrients that the body needs to burn fat. For example, each cup of coffee destroys 6 mg of calcium, which itself is good at burning fat.

• Prolonged exposure to the sun

The sun’s rays significantly weaken and damage the collagen and elastin in the skin.Prolonged exposure to sunlight leads to the fact that the skin becomes thinner and cellulite becomes more visible. When you tan, your skin becomes highly dehydrated, which accelerates aging. And aging of the skin contributes to the appearance of cellulite.

Change your lifestyle and you will get rid of cellulite! Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine and don’t neglect your body. Use these tips to stop the appearance of cellulite and therefore get healthier!

Constipation during pregnancy | Official website Johnson & Johnson

Discomfort associated with stool retention is reported by two-thirds of women during pregnancy and one in three after childbirth. 1 At the same time, many prefer to endure unpleasant symptoms, considering them natural for a given period. However, this approach can be dangerous for both mom and baby. It is important to diagnose stool disorders in time and start treatment. Let’s find out what causes constipation during pregnancy, what consequences it can have and how to solve this problem.

How to recognize constipation

Constipation is a dysfunction of the intestines, which is manifested by an increase in the intervals between acts of defecation compared to the individual physiological norm, difficulty in defecating (even while maintaining the normal frequency of stool) or systematic sensations of insufficient bowel emptying. 2 With constipation, the mass of feces decreases, and its consistency changes (it becomes hard, segmented). Often, constipation during pregnancy is also manifested by the need for long straining and pain during bowel movements, flatulence and pain in the intestines.

Causes of constipation in the early stages

Changes in hormonal levels. This is one of the common causes of constipation in pregnant women. In the first months after conception, an active hormonal change takes place in a woman’s body to prepare for bearing a child, in particular, the production of progesterone significantly increases.It reduces the muscle tone of the pelvic organs in order for the fertilized egg to safely anchor in the uterus. Unfortunately, this also has a kind of side effect – the work of the digestive tract slows down, intestinal motility worsens, and constipation may occur in the early stages. In addition, women often sharply reduce their physical activity, which can also provoke a violation. Considering all this, it is not surprising that the expectant mother several times a week may ask the question: “What should a pregnant woman do with constipation?”Effective laxatives during early pregnancy are often one of the most popular drugs among expectant mothers.

Violation of the diet. Swelling is another common problem, which is why many women limit their intake of fluids and foods that contain large amounts of water (vegetables, fruits). Gastroenterologists do not recommend doing this, as fluid and fiber (dietary fiber) are extremely important for the normal functioning of the rectum.

Reception of iron and calcium-containing preparations. Doctors sometimes prescribe special medications for pregnant women that contribute to the normal nutrition of the fetus – medications and dietary supplements containing calcium and iron. These substances have a fixing effect and can cause constipation in the early stages. That is why a laxative for pregnant women is found in the first-aid kits of so many women.

Causes of constipation in late stages

All the factors described above also affect the functioning of the intestines of pregnant women in the late stages (from 16 weeks before delivery).However, they add a few more points that make it necessary for many women to take a laxative during pregnancy.

Decreased physical activity. Physical activity is even more limited as we approach childbirth. This is due to the increase in the woman’s body weight and the load on the spine due to the growing fetus.

Change in fetal position. In the last weeks, the baby’s head descends and strongly squeezes the intestines through the wall of the uterus.

Change in the emotional background. Finally, many expectant mothers become very anxious before childbirth, their appetite decreases, which can also lead to stool retention. Therefore, a laxative for a pregnant woman may be the first solution to the problem.

Potential consequences of constipation during pregnancy

We mentioned above that women should deal with constipation during pregnancy. And that’s why. With a systematic stool retention, digested food debris accumulates in the rectum, which is a favorable environment for the reproduction of microbes.Constipation during pregnancy can lead to unpleasant consequences, namely:

  • constipation in pregnant women can cause a violation of the intestinal microflora;
  • Chronic constipation during pregnancy can provoke inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs;
  • with constipation in the intestines, putrefactive processes can develop, the released toxins enter the bloodstream and affect the woman’s well-being and the condition of the fetus;
  • straining for constipation in the late stages can give an impetus to a premature onset of labor;

An overcrowded colon with constipation in pregnant women often affects the tone of the uterus, which increases the risk of miscarriage.

Prevention of constipation during pregnancy

To prevent stool disorders during pregnancy, women can follow a few simple rules. First, try to eat more foods that contain fiber (vegetables, fruits, bran, etc.). Dietary fiber is the simplest remedy for constipation during pregnancy. You should not get carried away with strong tea or coffee, chocolate and flour products. Secondly, drink more liquid (up to 1.5-2 liters in the absence of contraindications).Third, move more. It is about acceptable physical activity, such as regular walks in the fresh air or special yoga for pregnant women.

Treatment of constipation during pregnancy

The treatment of constipation in pregnant women should be handled by a qualified physician. The problem is that many well-known drugs are simply not allowed to be taken in this position. Physiotherapy treatments are also contraindicated in women in position because of the danger of stimulating uterine contractions and adverse effects on the fetus.When complaining of constipation, pregnant women are not advised to use laxatives that cause spasms. These include preparations containing magnesium sulfate, Karlovy Vary salt, castor oil, as well as buckthorn bark, rhubarb and senna leaves. Before using such remedies for constipation during pregnancy, a woman should seek the advice of a specialist.

Laxative agent MICROLAX

® during pregnancy

In order to get rid of constipation during pregnancy, we recommend using a modern drug, for example MICROLAX ® , in micro enema format.It is permissible to use it even as a laxative during pregnancy, as well as give it to children. The remedy begins to act within 5-20 minutes 3 , since it does not pass through the digestive tract and acts locally – directly on the feces. The mechanism of its work is based on the process of peptization: facilitation of bowel emptying is achieved by softening dense feces. This is one of the most physiological methods to promote bowel movement. A convenient form of release of the drug (micro enema) increases the comfort of using a laxative during pregnancy.

1 Catherine S Bradley, Colleen M Kennedy, Anne M Turcea, Satish S C Rao, Ingrid E Nygaard ‘Constipation in pregnancy: prevalence, symptoms, and risk factors’, Obstetrics and gynecology. 01/01/2008; 110 (6): 1351-7.

(Catherine S. Bradley, Colleen M. Kennedy, Anne M. Turchea, Satish SK Rao, Ingrid E. Nigaard, Constipation in Pregnancy: Prevalence, Symptoms and Risk Factors, Obstetrics and Gynecology. 01.01 .2008; 110 (6): 1351-7 “)

2 A.I. Khavkin. Chronic constipation in children: principles of therapy, Children’s Doctor, 2000, No. 5.

3 Instructions for the use of the medical drug MICROLAX ® (MICROLAX ® )

Advertising of the drug. Before use, you must read the instructions and consult a doctor. RU No. UA / 15636/01/01 dated 01.12.2016, order of the Ministry of Healthcare No. 1299

Muscles of the human body | NORTHWAY Vilnius

The human body is made up of various muscle groups.We should be grateful to our muscles for the ability to breathe, move, chew, see, talk, laugh, cry, and many other things. Let’s talk in more detail on this topic with the family doctor, MD Asta Mastavichyute from the Northway Medical Center.

What is muscle?
Movement is the main property of living organisms, and the muscles of the body play the most important role. Movement, regardless of its amplitude, is a characteristic function of the body, which is carried out by contraction and relaxation of muscles.Muscles make up about 40% of the body weight of men and about 23% of the body weight of women. If the muscles are evaluated from the point of view of a single whole, then they are the largest formation of all the internal organs of the human body. Without muscles, it would be difficult to do anything. Absolutely everything that we are aware of with the mind is expressed in the movement of muscles. Any movement occurs due to the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscle fiber. Together with the nervous system, muscles consume the most energy in the body, as they perform mechanical work.Muscle mass consists of 70-80% water, 17-21% of proteins and 3-4% of other substances.

The largest muscle is the broad muscle of the back, the strongest is the chewing or jaw muscle, and the most active muscle is the eye muscle.

What types of muscles are there?

There are about 850 muscles in the body of every healthy person, but most people, when talking about muscles, think only of those that can be seen. For example, many of us know we have biceps in our hands.

Muscles are divided into three types: striated muscle, smooth muscle and cardiac striated muscle. Muscles of different types perform different functions: striated muscles are associated with the active movement of a person and depend on the will of a person. These are the muscles that we see and feel. These are the muscles that bodybuilders aiming to build muscle mass do. All muscles in the body work in pairs. Muscles that, when contracted, move in one direction are called synergists, and those that move in the opposite direction are called antagonists.Muscle work depends on the coordinated work of synergistic and antagonistic muscles, which is regulated by the nervous system. The striated muscles move at the will of the person, sending a conscious signal to the brain. These signals are transmitted along the somatic nerves. The striated muscles are anchored by joints and ligaments so that the person can move. Through contractions, smooth muscles help to carry out such “internal” functions of a person as digestion, breathing, elimination, etc. Smooth muscles perform various movements of internal organs, and are located, as a rule, in the walls of such organs, including the walls of blood vessels.Smooth muscles move involuntarily, obeying automatic impulses emanating from the central nervous system and sent through the autonomic nervous system, without consciously thinking about it. Smooth muscles are present in the walls of internal organs: blood vessels, intestines, bronchi, skin, eyes, etc. The function of the heart muscle practically does not depend on the will of a person. Heart muscle is found only in the heart, and its main properties are endurance and consistency. It is one of the strongest muscles in humans, tirelessly pumping blood and providing the entire body with vital oxygen and nutrients.

What functions do muscles perform? Muscles, like cars, are made up of many small components – parts that work together and depend on each other and do not provide any benefit in isolation. The main structural unit of muscles is a muscle cell, or in other words, a muscle fiber. Muscle fibers form muscle tissue to form an entire muscle, and their number depends on the size of the muscle and the function performed. Muscles perform the following functions: they support the body and internal organs, enable the body to move, its individual parts and organs, and protect the internal organs.Muscles tense around the damaged (overloaded) area of ​​the body, thus protecting it from even greater stress. About 70% of body pain comes from muscles and ligaments. Muscles take part in blood flow. By contracting, the muscles push the blood up through the veins, towards the heart. Working muscles generate heat, which helps maintain body temperature.

What causes muscle cramps?

As a rule, muscle spasms are caused by overuse, stretching, bruising or tearing of muscles resulting from various injuries.The pain covers specific muscles in one area. It begins during exercise or immediately after it. It is usually clear which activity is causing muscle pain. Muscle pain is also a sign of a disease of the whole body, for example, with various viral diseases (including the flu), malnutrition that affects the connective tissues of the whole body. The most common causes of muscle pain include:

  • stress or stress;
  • Excessive exertion: too intense, frequent or inappropriate use of the muscles;
  • contusion or injury;
  • Incorrect posture;
  • drug use;
  • infection or inflammation;
  • Autoimmune or rheumatoid diseases.

What kind of muscle pain should you worry about and see a doctor?

The degree of muscle pain can vary from mild to unbearable, even regardless of the disease. If muscle pain is not associated with another disease and lasts more than 2-3 days, then you should see a doctor. This is also very important if there is swelling, redness around the muscle, it causes pain when touched, you feel warmth or even heat in it. The general rule is that if your muscles hurt and the temperature lasts for more than two to three days, you should consult your doctor.

What is the prevention of muscle pain?

To prevent the occurrence of muscle pain or injury, it is necessary to exercise more often, to warm up before training, and after training to allow the muscles to cool down. Stretching exercises are recommended before and after your workout. After warm-up, physical activity should be increased gradually, step by step. When doing physical work or exercising, you should not make sudden and quick movements. For those who spend most of the day in one position (for example, sitting at the computer), it is recommended to take breaks and stretching exercises.In addition, sudden changes in temperature and drafts must be avoided.

Fiber – dietary fiber for health

03 February 2020

● Bonduelle

● Helpful hints

Do you keep track of how much fiber you consume per day? As a rule, most of us limit ourselves to counting calories and the ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates. However, nutrition can only be said to be balanced if it contains a sufficient amount of fiber.
Fiber is insoluble plant dietary fiber, the main component of plant-based foods. It is not absorbed by the body and at the same time performs many useful functions.

How to easily and visually understand what fiber is

Imagine that you are making juice from vegetables or fruits. We put them in a juicer, zip – and the drink is ready. Then you empty the cake from the container of the gadget. All that you threw away is fiber.

What kind of fiber is there?

Fiber comes in two flavors, soluble and insoluble, and both are needed and do not replace one another. The good news is that they are practically inseparable and at the same time present in foods containing fiber.
Most of all soluble fiber (pectin, hemicellulose, resin, alginase, gum) is found in apples, broccoli, citrus fruits, wholemeal flour, berries, buckwheat, oatmeal, nuts, and legumes. Insoluble (cellulose, lignin) – in the skins of vegetables and fruits, legumes, brown rice, bran.

What does fiber do?

– Normalizes the intestinal microflora, which is the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases. Fiber acts as a prebiotic, it increases the number of beneficial microorganisms: lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. The intestinal microflora affects the correct functioning of absolutely all other organs, increases immunity and reduces stress levels.
– Acts as an absorbent and detoxifies: Fiber-rich foods top the antioxidant list
– Quickly saturates and at the same time reduces the feeling of hunger, therefore contributes to the preservation of slimness
– It inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates, especially fast ones, that is, it acts as an insulin assistant, regulating the rise in blood glucose levels
– Removes cholesterol and protects the cardiovascular system, fights against atherosclerosis
– Reduces the risk of developing cancer

What is the norm?

Studies have shown that our diet lacks fiber, which leads to an increase in cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
Our ancestors ate a lot of vegetables: they were cheaper and more affordable than meat, they baked bread from whole grain flour. The rapid growth in production has made adjustments to nutrition. Cereals began to be cleaned from the shell, and premium flour appeared. Then the chemists made their contribution in the form of flavor enhancers that “add” us to fast food. Against their background, the natural taste of cauliflower or spinach does not look too expressive.

Nutritionists recommend 34 grams of fiber for men and 28 grams for women as a daily allowance for an adult (from 18 years old).

We urge you to reconsider your views on food, if now it is far from ideal. Try to avoid eating artificially tasty foods, or at least reduce the amount in favor of healthy foods. After a short time, you will feel changes on a physical and psychological level. The same cauliflower or spinach cooked with bright spices will open up a completely new side to you.

4 Tips for Easy and Comfortable Introducing Fiber to Your Diet

If your diet is deficient in fiber and you decide to remedy the situation, do it gradually.Sharp increases can lead to flatulence, so add 1 to 2 grams daily.

– Eat vegetables and fruits with peels, they contain the most dietary fiber. But avoid juices: there is no fiber left in them. So, in 100 grams of orange fiber is 2.5 grams, in 100 ml of orange juice – 0.2 grams. Do you feel the difference? Try drinking smoothies, they are the easiest way to “get” the required daily amount of not only fiber, but also vegetables (400 grams) and fruits (500 grams).

– Replace the usual side dishes with vegetable ones, diversify the menu with salads. If possible, add vegetables and fruits to every meal and substitute them for snacks and cookies in your snacks.
– List legumes as a must-have daily. Expand your culinary palette. For example, lentils. It can be used to make pancakes for breakfast, soup for lunch, and curry for dinner.
– Do not forget about nuts: they will provide fiber and decorate the taste of the dish.Pistachios, peanuts, and almonds contain the most fiber.