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How much fiber do you need?

Do you know how much fiber your body needs each day, or how you can get more? Find out how to make sure you’re getting enough fiber into your diet.

According to The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, men who are 50 or younger should get 38 grams of fiber a day, while men over 50 need about 30 grams per day. Women who are 50 or younger need 25 grams of fiber in their diet each day, but only 21 grams if they’re over 50.

If you’re not getting your daily recommended amount of fiber, there are plenty of ways for you to add fiber to your diet. Fiber can be found in grains and whole-grain foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. If you’re trying to boost your fiber intake, try to stick with whole-food sources, as refined or processed foods have often had much of their fiber content removed.

If you’ve tried to add fiber to your diet naturally but still find that you’re suffering from constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome as a result of insufficient fiber intake, you may consider taking a fiber supplement. Products such as Metamucil, Citrucel, and FiberCon can give you added fiber, but they do not contain additional vitamins and minerals found naturally in fiber-rich foods. Remember that fiber requires plenty of water to aid digestion, so always make sure you’re drinking extra water when you’re boosting your fiber intake.