WHAT IS FIBER?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. It helps to clean intestines by going inside the body and improves metabolic process of your body. It also helps to boost digestive system and makes food to digest easily. Being well digested helps in weight loss.
Fiber is an important part of your everyday diet. It helps in cleansing the body in a natural way. It not only gives energy to your body, but after consuming fiber-rich food, you don’t feel hungry for a long time.
That’s why dietitians recommend taking high fiber diet to control cholesterol and lose weight. Fiber is found in abundance in whole grains, bran, fruits, vegetables, pulses and beans. Apart from this, the presence of fiber in flax seeds, plums, bran, whole grains makes the intestines strong.
TYPES OF FIBER:
There are two types of fiber —
Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water. It creates beneficial bacteria in the body, which makes your intestines healthy. This fiber reduces cholesterol, keeps blood sugar levels under control and reduces the risk of diabetes. It slows down the movement of food from stomach to the small intestine, due to which glucose is absorbed slowly in the blood. It is found in beans (kidney beans, cowpea etc.), fruits, oats and barley.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system through food. The main function of insoluble fiber is to improve digestive system. This fiber absorbs water and relieves the problem of constipation. It improves digestion, which causes food to digest easily. Insoluble fiber does not allow extra fat to accumulate in the body.
RICH SOURCES OF FIBER:
Some of the best fiber rich foods may include —
Avocado is known for its high levels of heart healthy monounsaturated fat. It is a very large source of fiber. One cup (approx. 150 g) of raw avocado contains 10 grams of fiber, which is about 40% of your daily requirement. [Trusted Source 1]
Being rich in fiber, making this fruit an ideal choice for individuals who are searching for fiber instead of a carbohydrate restricted diet. Fruit is low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, calcium and folate. [Trusted Source 1]
Raspberries are generally known as one of the best high fiber fruit. One cup (approx 123 g) of raw raspberries provides 8 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 32% of your daily need. [Trusted Source 2]
Raspberries are also rich in vitamins A, C, E and K. The fruit is low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. [Trusted Source 2]
Apart from this, it contains abundant amounts of many other important minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron. [Trusted Source 2]
Beans such as kidney beans, cowpea have the most fiber. Beans contain a lot of protein and soluble fiber and a very little fat. It’s free from saturated fat and is a good source of many nutrients necessary for human health.
More than 15 grams of fiber is present in a cup of kidney beans and cowpea.
4. Dry Fruits:
Dietary fiber is one of the most important food of a healthy diet. High-fiber diet balances body weight and also keeps you away from many diseases. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts not only contain protein, they are also rich in fiber.
Raisins contain both soluble and non-soluble fibers. They provide instant energy to your body.
5. Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds help in maintaining your overall health. High quality fibers are found in them in plenty. They are rich in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful in boosting your metabolic system, calming the appetite and increasing the fat burning hormone, glucagon. One ounce (approx 28 g) of dried chia seeds contain 10.6 grams of dietary fiber, which fulfills 42% of your daily need. [Trusted Source 3]
Oats contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. It contains both soluble and non-soluble fiber, which is good for fat burning.
In addition, it also contains iron, protein and vitamin B1. Oats are low in fat, which helps in reducing excess cholesterol in your body. In this way, it helps in reducing cardiovascular diseases. One cup (approx 156 g) of oats provides you 16.5 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 66% of daily recommended value. [Trusted Source 4]
7. Flax Seeds:
Flax seeds are versatile seeds rich in omega-3 and fiber. Flax seeds also provide all kinds of nutrients to your body. Only one ounce (approx 28 g) of flax seeds contain 7.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 31% of your daily recommended value. [Trusted Source 5]
Broccoli is a fiber rich perennial superfood. It is a dark green vegetable of Brassica family.
Apart from this, it also contains phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are helpful in fighting disease and body infections. Broccoli can be cooked or eaten raw. One cup (approx 91 g) chopped raw broccoli provides 2.4 gram of dietary, about 9% of your daily need. [Trusted Source 6]
Being rich in fiber, it is advisable to eat apples daily. A medium-sized apple has about 5 grams of fiber, which comes from a special type of fiber called, pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps diet to be easily digested and absorbed by building up as gels in the stomach. In addition, it is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and folate. [Trusted Source 7]
10. Brussels Sprouts:
Brussels sprouts are very much liked by all, especially by children. It is rich in fiber like vegetables i.e. sprouts, cabbage, broccoli. It promotes stomach, kidney and liver health by keeping the excreta right. It regularly works to remove toxins from the body.
In addition, it is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FIBER:
Benefits of eating fiber rich foods may include:
Protects Against Heart Diseases:
Including fiber rich food into regular diet reduces blood cholesterol level. Lowering of cholesterol level leads to easy flow of blood in the blood cells, which reduces the risk of heart attack. Include broccoli, sprouts, beans, oats and flax seeds in your morning breakfast.
They provide sufficient amount of fiber to your body to avoid the risk of heart diseases.
Controls Sugar Level:
Fiber rich food helps to control sugar level of your body. Including it in regular diet also reduces hunger, as well as maintain your blood sugar levels. Taking the prescribed amount of fiber can also avoid the risk of many serious diseases.
The elements present in fiber reduce the cholesterol level of your body. It also helps to keep your intestines healthy. Fiber diet is considered most beneficial for weight loss, but taking it for a long time can also avoid the risk of diseases like heart disease, type-2 diabetes and kidney stone.
Many individuals feel that if they don’t have breakfast in the morning, then calories will be cut. But this is not the case, non-breakfast in the morning slows the metabolism of the body. Due to this, the fat burning process also becomes slow. On other hand, many people take fiber diet for weight loss, but not everyone knows the right way to take it. If the fiber diet is taken correctly, your weight can be reduced rapidly.
It is considered best to have high fiber food in the morning breakfast. This is because when we take high fiber food in the morning, our stomach is full for a long time.
We don’t feel hungry again and again during the day. The best way to take fiber diet for weight loss is eat sprout and pulses with peels. It’s because most pulses peels contain many vitamins and minerals, which are very beneficial for your body. By taking fiber rich diet, you avoid overeating. In this case, it helps you to control weight.
According to a research published in the Journal of Nutrition, people who have consumed 8 grams of fiber daily for 1000 calories a day for two years have lost less than four and a half pounds. That is, it has been proved in research that weight can be controlled by including fiber in regular diet.
If patients of diabetes want to control the disease, they may include high fiber foods in their diet. It avoids the risk of type-2 diabetes. To control the problem of diabetes, diet contains soluble fiber such as beans, oats, flax seeds and oat bran can be included. These foods contain sufficient amount of fiber, which dissolves into the water and reaches your blood.
After reaching the blood, it starts absorbing the sugar, due to which blood sugar level can be controlled.
When we have lunch, the food does not digest properly. Because of this, weight starts to increase rather than decrease. So make sure to have breakfast in the morning and include high fiber foods like broccoli, sprouts, carrots and green leafy vegetables in the breakfast. Weight can be reduced by including them in the diet. Also pay attention to exercise.