Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, can contribute to constipation and malnutrition over time. Studies show that, while such fiber is likely to help a small subgroup of constipated people, it is more likely to aggravate constipation in those most afflicted. Fiber does bind water, but this property is lost when it is split, or absorbed. All too often commercial fiber sold to correct constipation is neither split nor absorbed; in fact, a common side effect of fiber promoted to prevent constipation is worsening constipation. Bran, for example, is an insoluble fiber widely promoted for colon health. Poorly digested by bacteria, bran retains its ability to absorb water and may (or may not!) shorten transit times through the digestive system. This insoluble fiber (and others) can actually worsen constipation. And, along with other fibers common to seeds, nuts, beans and legumes, bran fiber bears a significant shortcoming: phytates. Phytates bind minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc, preventing them from being absorbed by the body, resulting in deficiencies, particularly when when grains, legumes, beans and nuts are not properly prepared (soaked, sprouted, fermented) before they are consumed.
My advice: eat a healthy diet low in processed foods. Eat a rich source of probiotics, such as yogurt, or even better, kefir containing live cultures every day. If you suffer from constipation or other bowel distress do not assume fiber deficiency is the villain. Common medical and physiological conditions, such as dehydration, thyroid disease, magnesium deficiency and gut dysbiosis (a collection of unfriendly bacteria and yeast in the digestive system), may underlie your difficulties. Undergo a medical examination to find the root of the problem, then join with your doctor to take steps to correct it. Learn all you can about maintaining the health of your digestive system. Your body will thank you.
Resources (if you do not see a working hyperlink, copy the address and paste it into your address bar to access the information):
Healthy eating does not have to be expensive. Below are healthy but inexpensive ways to enrich your diet with probiotics:
How to make your own kefir, and more: Dom's Kefir-making in-site
How To Make Fresh Healthy Homemade Yogurt - YouTube