Eating Right for the Unexpected Leak™
Feel the Benefits of Fiber
We’ve all heard the wonders fiber can work for your digestive system and how it can help you keep regular. But did you know fiber can actually alleviate symptoms of incontinence? Well, it’s true. Putting more fiber in your diet helps keep you from feeling constipated. When you’re constipated, undue and excess pressure is put on your bladder, which in turn can agitate incontinence. So, to avoid that uncomfortable bloated feeling, throw some extra fiber in your diet and feel the benefits not only to your stomach, but to your bladder too! Because after all, eating well is such an important part of feeling well.
According to the Mayo clinic, foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Foods high in fiber can also make you feel full longer and curb overeating. They need more chewing, which may help you feel full faster. And fiber is linked to a lower risk of certain cancers such as colorectal cancer, so eat up!
Right. So how can you put eating more fiber into action? Well, when it comes to everyday foods such as pasta, bread and rice, go for the whole-grain and whole-wheat options as much as possible. These choices will give you the maximum amount of fiber and nutrients. When you’re making your usual rounds at the grocery store, look for the 100 percent whole grain stamp on the packaging. This is something important you should watch for!
Now that you know all the wonders fiber can work on your overall health, let’s talk about the different types of fiber and which sources of food you can find them in. Soluble fiber (means that it can dissolve in water) helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, and could lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Insoluble fiber (which does not dissolve in water) helps keep you regular, prevents constipation, and could lower your chances of getting diverticular disease (a disease that affects the colon).
But most people don’t eat enough fiber! Women should eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day.
Top sources of fiber are:
- Legumes (beans of all kinds)
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables, including raspberries, blackberries, prunes, peas, corn and artichokes.
But all plant foods have fiber (in varying amounts), so dig in!
And don’t forget, in addition to eating lots of fiber and other good stuff, there are certain foods to avoid to help manage the Unexpected Leak™, including caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods.
Now, go check out some of our bladder friendly recipes here.
Happy eating everyone!