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What are the benefits of a Fiber-Rich Diet and How should it be taken and by whom?

Dietary fiber which is a non-digestible form of carbohydrates and if taken in adequate amounts can benefit your digestive system and save us from numerous chronic diseases. Fiber intake is deeply associated with reduced threat of colorectal and other forms of cancers. But unfortunately, 90% of adults and children are not able to fulfill the fiber intake due to fancy eating habits and dependency on canned food items. Our article aims to highlight the benefits of a fiber-rich diet in our all-over health and sources which can be easily incorporated into the daily diet. You can simply adopt some tricks to increase the fiber intake to optimal amounts depending on the individual.

Introduction

You have most probably heard it from your grandmothers or your mothers saying this slang "Eat more fiber". But have you ever thought, does it matter? So, the answer to your question is yes! Let's dive into some details. Fiber which is also referred to as roughage or bulk is derived from cellular parts of plants. This is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be absorbed by our body and is resistant to digestive enzymes. Fiber has two basic forms i.e. soluble and insoluble where soluble fiber produces a gel-like substance on mixing with water which nourishes good bacteria present in the gut whereas non-soluble fiber helps smooth passage of stool from the intestine by adding bulk to it.

Fiber-Rich Diet

What are the Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet?

Consumption of dietary fiber is closely related to reducing the risk of many diseases and maintains the overall health of a person. Here are some of the benefits given below-

  1. Digestion - Dietary fiber normalizes and softens bowel movements by increasing the size and weight of your stool. Though, bulky stool prevents constipation as it is easier to pass. Digestive conditions such as hemorrhoids, diverticular disease, diarrhea, etc. are managed with high fiber diets.   
  2. Cholesterol Levels - Food items like oats, flaxseeds, beans, etc. which contain soluble fiber help in lowering the lipoprotein levels which ultimately maintains the healthy cholesterol levels in the body naturally. 
  3. Diabetes - Soluble fibers are beneficial in lowering sugar levels in the body by slowing down the absorption of sugar in the body. Individuals with Type II Diabetes should eat a healthy fiber-rich diet for maintaining healthy sugar levels.  
  4. Healthy Weight and Obesity - A platter rich in insoluble fiber gives the feeling of fullness, contains low content of fat and calories. When we eat plenty of fiber-rich food it reduces eating which automatically controls our body weight.

Along with these above-mentioned benefits, a rich diet also enhances microbiota composition, reduces hypertension, hyperlipidemia and provides longevity.

How Much Fiber Do You Need?

According to studies and medical research, a normal adult should take around 25 grams of fiber per day. Though quantity may vary with sex and age; women of age under 50 should include approximately 21-25grams while males of age around 50 must have an intake of 30-38grams of fiber. Every doctor recommends that children ages between 1-18 should eat about 14-31 grams per day for proper digestion and health.

What Are The Natural Sources Containing High Fiber?

Relatively, fiber intake can be integrated into your diet very easily by adding some food items which are rich in fiber. Here are some of the items you should start eating from today only-

  1. Fruits - Decorate your fruit salad with pear, strawberries, avocado, apples, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, and blackberries every day. These are most delicious, loaded with vitamins and nutrient-rich options which can be added to your plate for increasing intake of fiber.
  2. Vegetables - You can toss some nicely diced veggies like carrots, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and tomatoes to make a bowl of soup. If you are a salad person then cut them julienne and snack on them. All these vegetables are rich in fiber, micronutrients, and micronutrients like iron, copper, manganese, etc. which are needed to be included in your diet. 
  3. Nuts and Seeds - Seed mix containing chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. are the best sources of fiber which are usually added in jam and granola bars. A handful of dry fruits Pistachios, almonds and walnuts have high fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats content. Sprinkle some on your oatmeals or sweet dishes for some extra dose of goodness. 
  4. Peas, Beans, and Legumes - Split peas, kidney beans, and legumes like chickpeas, black beans, etc. are loaded with minerals, proteins, and fiber. These are the cheapest sources of quality nutrition and are mostly cooked daily in houses.

Processed and canned food products such as fruits, vegetables, juices, loaves of bread, portions of pasta, etc. are low in fiber because of the refining procedures that take place in industries.

What Are The Tips For Fitting More Fiber Into Your Routine?

Cooking your daily meals is not a heavy task but deciding it has been a question mark. If you are searching for ways of adding more fiber to your snacks and meals then this might be the end of your search. Try these ideas-

  1. Kick start your day with high-fiber oatmeal or cereal with a handful of seeds and nuts on it. 
  2. Switch to whole-grain versions like buckwheat, millet, wheat berries, bulgur wheat, and barley.
  3. Try to add lots of legumes and beans in fresh salads, soup, and veggies for increasing fiber intake. 
  4. Eat whole fruits and vegetables and cut off only juices from your routine. 
  5. Avoid munching on slices of bread and kinds of pasta, replace them with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, or anything with high fiber content. 
  6. Keep your body hydrated every time as fibers function best when it absorbs water.

Conclusion

Fiber is as important as other components needed for growth, being healthy, and vitality. One should find out the requirements of fiber for your body and the food that contains it. Selecting and making new recipes isn't difficult; so put on your toque and apron from today itself.

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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