Is Your Child Getting Enough Fiber?

ImageThree out of four children aren’t getting enough fiber, which puts them at high risk for chronic constipation, among other things. Here are some ways to make sure your child isn’t at risk and how to incorporate more fiber in your family’s diet.

Why Fiber is Important 

Fiber is the part of natural foods (plant foods, the only place fiber is found) that isn’t digested. It provides “roughage” for everything that you eat and helps things move through the digestive process. In Dr. Rex Russell’s book, What The Bible Says About Healthy Living, he notes the importance of fiber based on a group of African men, some living in Africa and some attending school in England. The African natives ate a traditional high-fiber diet and rarely needed medical attention. The Africans who were at school in England were enjoying processed foods without fiber. They suffered from episodes of appendicitis, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and gallstones.

The term “processed foods” refers to products made with grains that are heavily processed and very far from their natural state. These include products like enriched macaroni, cookies, cakes, pies, and cereals.

Inadequate fiber intake is also believed to contribute to, and sometimes even cause, heart disease, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and adult onset diabetes. Without sufficient fiber to move food through the body, toxins and bodily waste can fester inside the body for extended periods of time.

A lack of fiber also highly contributes to obesity problems in America. Part of this results from the negligible amount of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by Americans. Both fruits and vegetables, along with other natural foods, contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble is the kind of fiber that changes as it moves through your digestive system, while insoluble doesn’t change; both are equally important. 

Source: Pediatrics for parents

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