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Nuts such as almonds are high in fiber.
Research has shown that fiber helps regulate your bowels when you take the recommended amount; however, consuming too much can lead to more frequent bowel movements than normal or constipation. Dietary fiber is found in foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Learning how to incorporate fiber into your diet can help you re-regulate your bowel movements.1.
Cut back on fiber and reintroduce it to your diet slowly. Consuming too much fiber can lead to overactive bowel movements, along with gas, bloating and stomach discomfort. MayoClinic.com recommends you use a dietary enzyme supplement to reduce bloating. Avoid fibrous food for three to five days and gradually add small amounts of fiber to your meals over time. The University of Michigan Bowel Control Program recommends you to add five grams of fiber back into your diet in two-week intervals.2.
Drink plenty of fluids. Water helps your body digest fiber effectively by helping it pass through your stomach and intestines. The Cleveland Clinic recommends you to drink about eight cups of water per day, which is equivalent to about two liters of water daily. Other fluids such as juices and flavored tea count towards your recommended intake.3.
Get fiber from food sources rather than supplements. Taking supplements increases the likelihood of consuming too much fiber, particularly when you are unknowingly getting additional fiber from food sources. Have vegetables such as artichokes, green peas and spinach in addition to fibrous fruits such as pears, berries, prunes, apples and oranges. Eat two cups of fruits and 2ВЅ cups of vegetables daily. Choose whole foods such as brown rice, bran, oats and air-popped popcorn over refined foods such as white bread and white rice.4.
Aim for the recommended amount of dietary fiber. Men 50 years of age and younger should consume 38 grams of fiber a day while women should have 25 grams of fiber daily. Men and women 51 years of age or older should respectively have 30 and 21 grams of fiber daily.
- The normal frequency of bowel movements varies. According to the MayoClinic.com, healthy individuals can have bowel movements three times a week, while others may have three a day.
- Watery stool, bloody stool and stomach discomfort are signs of bowel ailments. Consult your doctor if you develop such symptoms or you still feel your bowels are irregular.