Back to blog

Why (and How) To Increase Fiber with Age

At any given stage in our lives, we need certain nutrients that help us maintain a healthy lifestyle. The amount and value of these nutrients may change with age. For example, babies are usually given food items that would help in physical and mental development. It's all based on what would keep the person healthy and strong. Research has shown that with age, fiber consumption must be increased. Let's take a look at why it is necessary to increase fiber intake with age.

Benefits of Increasing Fiber Intake with Aging

As we grow, our bodies go through a lot of changes. As a result, our entire digestive systems start to slow down. As a result, it's important to have a well-balanced diet, including the proper consumption of fiber. Consuming more fiber will not only help you with digestive problems, but it can be great for your overall health as well.

It should be noted that as you grow older, your body might need more fiber. However, it is crucial to increase and maintain your fiber intake without overconsuming. Too much fiber intake can also create problems for you. So as you age, gradually increase your fiber intake, but be careful not to increase it too much. If you're not sure how much fiber should be in your diet, speak to a doctor or nutritionist.

Some of the benefits of increasing fiber intake with age include:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels in your body
  • Improving digestion
  • Helping you lose weight
  • Helping with constipation
  • Eliminating toxins from your body
  • Reducing the risk of heart diseases
  • Helping maintain the glucose level in your body
  • Reducing the risk of diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of conditions related to the intestines
  • Reducing the risk of colon cancer and other forms of cancer

Of course, a balanced diet with fiber is not an absolute cure for any of the medical conditions mentioned above. However, increasing fiber intake can mitigate the risk of these medical conditions and help you live a healthy and happy life for years to come.

How You Can Increase Fiber Intake

Pink awareness ribbon against female senior patient visiting a doctor

Increasing your fiber intake is all about choosing the right things to eat. It all depends on your diet plan. The recommended fiber intake for women over 50 years of age is 21 grams per day, while that for men over 50 years of age is 30 grams per day. As mentioned earlier, the most common source of fiber is the food you eat, so you have to keep a keen eye on what you are eating. Try to maintain a healthy fiber intake, along with other nutrients.

Tips to Increase Your Fiber Intake

  1. Make fiber part of your daily routine. Keep a note of things you consume throughout the day and then calculate the amount of fiber each day. Do not boost your fiber intake in one go. The process should be gradual. Otherwise, it can have adverse effects on your body. Try to add fiber to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are working or away from home, don't forget to pack a fiber-rich lunch for yourself. Once you make fiber-rich foods part of your daily routine, you will see the changes happen over time. You will start loving fiber-rich food, and you will start feeling more healthy and active.
  2. Set a goal and stick to it. If you set a goal to consume 20 grams of fiber daily, try to divide it between all your meals throughout the day.
  3. Don't forget! Water is your friend. When you are increasing your fiber intake, you should increase your water consumption as well. The water will help to move the fiber through the digestive tract. Click here to learn more about how to stay hydrated
  4. Gradually increase your fiber intake. Otherwise, it can cause stomach cramps or constipation.
  5. Don't guess. Always calculate the amount of fiber you consume in every meal.

Where to Find Fiber

Fiber is found in a variety of food items, i.e., vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, beans. In addition, some processed foods may also contain fiber. However, usually, these foods have a much lower percentage of fiber in them. The following food items can help you increase your fiber intake. Consider replacing your current low fiber food with these fiber-rich foods:

  • high fiber breakfast bowl with oatmeal and fruitUse wheat bran in your food
  • Eat Brown rice instead of white rice
  • Almonds
  • Sweet potato
  • Green peas
  • Pear
  • Dates
  • Berries
  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Grain cereals
  • Unbuttered Popcorn
  • Spinach

Excess of anything is bad. Consuming fiber is essential, but too much fiber can damage your body and upset your entire digestive system. So it is best to consult your doctor or dietician when you are trying to increase your fiber intake. Your doctor can advise you about the amount of fiber you should consume at your age and how you can consume it. Your dietitian can help you set a goal for your fiber consumption, and they can also offer you a chart that can help you observe your progress while your reach your goal.

Let us know in the comments below - What is your favorite fiber-rich food? 

Looking for more? Subscribe to our blog to get the latest news on senior living