Why Fiber is good for you

The main reason why whole plants are good for you is because of fiber. It is evident that fiber is really good for your body as it benefits digestion and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Fiber is the part of vegetables and grains which cannot be digested. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that keeps the digestive system healthy.

There are two types of fiber

1.    Soluble fiber: Soluble fibers are fibers which can be dissolved in water which then forms like a gel-like material. It helps tremendously in lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels. There are many food and vegetables where soluble fibers can be found such as apple, citrus fruits, barley, and psyllium.

2.     Insoluble fiber: Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of the digestive tract which allows the movement of the stool smoothly. The insoluble fiber absorbs the fiber and softens it. Insoluble fibers are found in wholegrain bread, cereals, nuts, seeds, and on the skin of vegetables.

Dietary fiber is important for our digestive system and it promotes better bowel movements and fiber keeps us satiated for a longer period of time, improves our blood cholesterol levels and massively assist in fighting life-threatening diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stomach cancer.

How Much Fiber Should One Consume In a Day?

Below is a table on how much fiber you need in a day.

Gender Over 18 years

Acceptable Intake

Females

25 grams per day

Males

30 grams per day

The amount of soluble and insoluble fibers is different among plants and grains. So choose from a wide range fiber rich foods and consume it on an everyday basis.

Fiber is the main reason why whole plant-fibre-rich foods are great for you. Here are six benefits of fiber rich foods

1.    Lowers Cholesterol Level: Soluble fibers found in oats, beans tremendously help lower the blood cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that consuming fiber rich foods reduces rates of heart diseases in individuals. The gel-like substance traps the bile and the components of the cholesterol, and the trapped bile is disposed of in the stool.

2.    Weight Management: The supplements found in fiber promote weight loss among obese people because fiber-rich food makes you full for a long period of time. Fiber keeps you satiated for a long period of time plus fiber also prevents the body from gripping the calories from the food we eat. “Fiber binds with fat and sugar molecules as they travel through your digestive tract, which reduces the number of calories you actually get," explains Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet.

3.    Increased Insulin Sensitivity: The presence of amylase from resistant starch increases insulin sensitivity. Short chain fatty acid (SCFAs) which are produced after the fermentation activated the production of hormone related to insulin sensitivity. The fiber-rich food stimulates a switch in metabolism within the intestinal tract.

4.     Reduces Constipation: Fiber-rich food helps in constipation by adding bulk to the stool. The whole grains which are rich in insoluble fiber moves faster through the intestines resulting in increased stool weight and regularity. If you think your stool is watery, consuming fiber-rich food will add bulk as it absorbs water.

5.    Cancer Risk is Reduced:  If you consume 10 grams of good fiber every day, then you reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 9 percent and five percent in breast cancer. In addition to the anti-cancer effect of fiber-rich food like fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that can reduce the odds.

6.    Mineral Absorption is Increased: Fibers which are fermented improve the absorption of minerals, particularly calcium. Research have shown that people who eat fiber-rich food shows tremendous improvement in calcium absorption and good improvements in bone mineral density.

7.    Maintain healthier weight overtime: Yes, you heard it right, fiber-rich food will help you to maintain weight and avoid putting those extra kilograms back. People who eat more fiber food are leaner and tender overall, while those are obese do not have much fiber intake in a day. Studies show that people whose diets lacked fiber (especially soluble fiber) gained weight and had more body fat compared to those who took more fiber in their diet.

8.    Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk: People who ate fiber-rich food, more than 26 grams of a day lowered the odds of the disease by 18 percent, compared to those who consumed less than 19 grams daily. Researchers believed that it’s the fiber keeping the blood cholesterols level in check and steady keeping a healthy weight and warding off the development of diabetes.

9.    Get The All Natural Detox: Who needs juice anyway? All you need is fiber. It acts as a natural scrub and eliminates harmful toxins from your Glycemic Index. All the harmful components are absorbed by the soluble fibers such as excess estrogen and unhealthy fats before they can be absorbed by the body. Insoluble fiber makes things move at a faster rate so chemicals like mercury, BPA, and pesticides will not be allowed to stay in the system for a long time.

10.  Healthier Bones: Soluble fibers found in rice barn, lentils, and strawberries increases the bioavailability of many minerals. They provide an important mineral like calcium which helps to strengthen the bones.

How would a daily fiber diet look like?

  1. Breakfast: Three-quarters of a cup of bran flakes (5 grams of fiber)

  2. Mid Morning Snack: One cup of raspberries (8 grams of fiber)

  3. Lunch/Dinner: One cup lentils, split beans (15-16 grams of fiber)

High fiber foods are good for your health, but make sure you do not add too much of fiber in the first day as it can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. If you want to, then slowly increase the intake of fiber in your diet over a few weeks. The body will get adjusted slowly and the natural bacteria in your digestive system will adapt to the change. Do drink lots of water as the fiber present in the food works best when it absorbs water which will make your stool soft and girthy.

 

Published by Daphenee Plaisir