The fibers foodstuffs, which are mainly found in fruits, vegetables, Whole grains and the legumes, are probably best known for their ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber may also provide other health benefits, such as helping maintain a healthy weight and reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
It’s not hard to choose tasty foods that contain fibers. Here’s how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add it to meals and snacks.
What is dietary fibre?
The fibers Foods include the parts of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fat, protein, or carbohydrates, which your body breaks down and absorbs, fiber is not digested by your body. Rather, they pass relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, and colon and out of your body.
Two types of fibers
The fibers are generally classified as soluble, meaning they dissolve in water, or insoluble, meaning they do not dissolve.
1) fibers soluble: This type of fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. They can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood. We find fibers soluble in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
2) fibers insoluble: This type of fiber promotes the circulation of materials in the digestive system and increases the volume of stools. They can therefore be useful for those struggling with constipation or irregular bowel movements. Whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes, are good sources of fibers insolubles.
The quantity of fibers Solubles and insolubles varies with foods of plant origin. For the best health results, eat a wide variety of fiber-rich foods.
The health benefits of a high fiber diet
A high fiber diet:
1) Normalizes bowel movements: fibers food increases the weight and size of your stools and softens them. Bulky stools are easier to pass, which reduces the risk of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fibers can help solidify them because they absorb water and add bulk to the stool.
2) Helps maintain gut health: A diet high in fibers may reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in the colon (diverticula). Studies have also shown that a diet high in fibers probably reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Some of the fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are studying how this may play a role in preventing colon disease.
3) Lowering Cholesterol Levels: The soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseeds, and oat bran can help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low fat lipoprotein levels. density, or “bad” cholesterol. Studies have also shown that foods riches fiber may have other benefits for the heart, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
4) Helps control blood sugar levels: In people with diabetes, the fibers, especially the fibers soluble, can slow sugar absorption and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet including fibers insolubles may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
5) Helps achieve a healthy weight: Foods rich in fibers tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you’ll tend to eat less and stay full longer. And foods rich in fibers tend to take longer to eat and to be less “energy dense”, which means they contain fewer calories for the same volume of food.
6) They help you live longer: Studies suggest that increasing your consumption of fibers food, especially fibers grain, is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
How much fiber do you need?
Daily recommendations for adults
Men: 38 grams
Women: 25 grams
Your best fiber choices
If you don’t eat enough fibers each day you may need to increase your intake. Good choices include
- The products based on Whole grains
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Refined or processed foods, such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads and pastas, and non-whole grain cereals, are lower in fibers. The grain refining process removes the outer layer (bran) of the grain, reducing its fiber content. Fortified foods are fortified with B vitamins and iron after processing, but not fiber.
Tips for easily increasing your fiber intake:
Need ideas for adding more fiber to your meals and snacks? Try these suggestions:
– Start your day. For breakfast, choose cereals rich in fibers, 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. Opt for cereals whose name includes the words ” Whole grains “, “his” or ” fibers“. Or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
– Switch to Whole grains. Eat at least half of all cereals as whole grains. Look for breads where the first ingredient on the label is whole wheat, whole wheat flour, or other whole grain, and that contain at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Try brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole grain pasta and bulgur.
– Bake in bulk. Replace half or all of the white flour with wholemeal flour when baking. Try adding crushed bran cereal, unprocessed wheat bran to cakes and cookies.
– Lean on the legumes. Beans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of fibre. Add kidney beans to soup or a green salad.
– Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fibers, as well as vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat five or more servings a day.
– Make snacks count. Fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and whole grain cookies are all good choices. A handful of nuts or dried fruit is also a healthy snack rich in fibers, but be aware that nuts and dried fruits are high in calories.
Foods rich in fibers are good for health. But adding too much fibers too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramps. Gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adapt to the change.
Also drink plenty of water. The fibers are most effective when they absorb water, making your stool soft and bulky.
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