Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Signs Your Body Needs More Fiber

Signs Your Body Needs More Fiber

Getting bound up is one of the most common indications that you need more fiber in your diet. However, before you have to deal with the uncomfortable signs of constipation, there are several other signals that you’re body is begging for more fibrous roughage. So hold your gag reflex (sorry, some of them are not-so-nice) and prepare for the classic signs of fiber deficiency…

1. Why is Dietary Fiber Essential in Our Diets?

Fiber in your diet can help (or hinder if you’re lacking) several necessary bodily functions. For instance, eating fibrous foods (or roughage) via fiber-rich fruits and veggies, nuts, beans and legumes, leafy greens, whole grains, etc., aids digestion through aiding the elimination process.

According to research from the American Journal of Epidemiology, indicates that boosting your fiber intake by a mere 10-grams per day (that’s the equivalent of a single artichoke) will lower your risk of dying from a variety of chronic diseases (i.e., diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other types of metabolic-related illness) by 10-percent.

2. You’re Always Bloated

While you might expect that upping your fiber intake too quickly can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating, the same can also occur. Not eating enough fiber can also leave you chronically bloated, according to research from WebMD.com due to food and digestive byproducts just sitting in your digestive tract.

Get things moving by boosting your fiber intake gradually. Remember to take it slow and easy by adding no more than a few grams of roughage at a time or else you’ll risk gas, bloating, and stomach upset.

3. Eating Makes You Sleepy

I’m not referring to a huge turkey dinner here, folks. If you’re meals are consistently followed by bouts of yawning and the need for a nap before you can get up and go…your diet is very possibly lacking in fiber.

According to a 2016 study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, fiber in the diet is essential for blood sugar stability. That means if your meals are deficient,  you’re likely experiencing a blood sugar spike after eating—soon followed by the inevitable blood sugar crash, and zzzzzz, hello sleepy-time station!

4. Inadequate Bowel Movements

Often times lack of fiber in one’s diet will rear (opps, bad pun) it’s ugly head in the form of minuscule bowel movements that are pebbly, hard, and sometimes even painful to pass.

According to Dr. Robynne Chutkan, of The Digestive Center for Women, in Washington, D.C., insufficient fiber in the diet can change the smell, color, and shape of your stool.

5. You’re Instantly Hungry After Eating

There’s a good reason why the writer’s on ActiveBeat consistently recommend adequate fiber in your diet if you’re trying to maintain or shed a few pounds—fiber keeps you full so you’re not reaching for snacks or second helpings in the hours after eating a meal.

If you do find yourself still hungry after just eating (within 2 hours), it’s an indication that you need more fiber, according to registered dietician and author of the best-selling book, Eating in ColorFrances Largeman-Roth. Fiber expands in your digestive tract, which is why fiber-filled foods like beans and leafy greens keeps you satiated for much longer.

6. So How Much Fiber is Enough?

If you’re experiencing any of these low fiber signs and don’t think you’re getting enough roughage in your diet, talk to your doctor. After all, different bodies have different dietary needs and your doctor knows your health history the best.

According to the Institute of Medicine, healthy adult males (under age 50) require about 38-grams of dietary fiber per day while healthy adult women need about 35-grams daily. You can reach for your share of dietary fiber in an assortment of whole grains, beans and legumes, and fruits and vegetables to help maintain your weight, digestive health, cholesterol, healthy bowel movements, and blood sugar levels.



More on ActiveBeat
  • Warning Signs of Zinc Deficiency
    Of all the essential minerals, we're perhaps the least familiar with zinc, which is strange because it's super important!
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Fatty Foods With Mega Health Benefits
    Our instinct is to run and hide from any kind of food that contains or causes 'f-word,' also known as fat. But what we don't realize is that not all fatty foods are bad for us.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Jackfruit
    Not only is jackfruit able to boast about being the world's largest tree fruit, it's also got some of the best health benefits!
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Quinoa
    Quinoa is a grain crop that is known for its edible seeds. While it's become quite trendy as of lately, quinoa has actually been around for a long, long time.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day
    Eating healthy is an important part of life. Many of us strive to eat as healthy as possible every day, but are you really consuming the best nutrients for your body?
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Walnuts
    Nuts are one of those foods that we're not sure what to do with because while we know most of them are healthy for us (unsalted, of course), we are also frequently told they are...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Surprising Factors That Can Raise Your Blood Sugar
    When you think of things that will raise your blood sugar, especially if you're a diabetic, you might think of things to avoid such as candy bars or pastries first.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 20 Foods to Reach For in an Energy Slump
    Late afternoon is when my energy is usually at an all time low. I used to think that meant a walk to the coffee shop to grab an extra-large cup of caffeine to get me through the...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Foods That Help Banish Bloating
    Bloating: that uncomfortable pants-are-too-tight feeling many people experience after overeating at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Incredible Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
    The flaxseed: it's one of the world's oldest superfoods. Consumed by humans for roughly 6,000 years, the flaxseed has long established itself as a source of important vitamins and...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Seaweed
    When you think of seaweed, you're probably not thinking about its benefits – and more about how it's just slimy weeds at the bottom of the ocean or lake that can get tangled up...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Ginger
    There are few spices in the world more useful or beneficial to human health than ginger, a root that's typically available in most parts of the world at a remarkably affordable...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Cucumbers
    Cucumbers are cool – in more ways than one. Not only are they a nutritious and light addition to salads (not to mention being tasty), they carry a lot of health...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Incredible Health Benefits of Eating Celery
    Celery – it's sometimes the co-star on a plate of chicken wings while watching the big game, but in fact celery should have a pedestal all its own.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Healthy Foods You Should Eat in Moderation
    Everything should be enjoyed in moderation – even healthy foods. That's because if you consume too much of them, they're no longer a benefit – and may even become a...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice