“You have to eat fiber.”
You may have heard or read about this statement and it’s true. Fiber is a very important nutrient present in foods and you need it to maintain your health. But why?
Fiber or dietary fiber, can be found in fruits, veggies, whole grain foods and legumes like peas, lentils, black beans and the likes. It is known to inhibit the occurrence of constipation and if you’re already experiencing the same, then, fiber can relieve you of it. Aside from that, fibrous foods have many advantages such as keeping a healthy weight while lessening the chances of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Does it taste good? This is the first thing that people ask – can fiber foods be made into delicious meals? Of course, that’s if you know how to cook your food.
So, read up on this short blog and learn more about dietary fiber facts and how it can benefit you.
What is dietary fiber?
Some people call it “bulk” or “roughage”. Dietary fiber, when eaten, cannot be digested and will not be absorbed by the body. Meaning if you eat a fibrous food, it will not be broken down unlike fats, proteins and carbs. It will just pass through the body from the stomach, intestines and goes out of the colon as waste.
There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. The former can be dissolved in water while the latter cannot be dissolved.
Soluble fiber can be dissolved and will form like gel. It will most definitely aid in lowering bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Which foods have soluble fiber? You can find it in whole grain oats, green peas, black beans, red apples, any citrus fruit variety, carrot, and barley, among many others.
Insoluble fiber is very helpful to those who have problems with constipation. It can bulk up the waste and then promote regularity in digestion. Foods like whole wheat flour, cauliflower, potatoes and green beans are just some of the food with insoluble fiber.
Some foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Why it’s good to keep a high fiber diet.
A high fiber diet has many benefits, which include:
- It can regulate bowel movement. Foods rich in dietary fiber will “expand” your stool and soften it as well. This will make the hard stool easy to excrete and lessen the risk of constipation. Alternatively, if your stool is watery, then, foods rich in dietary fiber will solidify your stool because it absorbs the water. Whatever your stool problem is, dietary fiber can fix it.
- This type of diet can promote a healthy digestive system. It will lessen the risk of developing painful hemorrhoids and diverticular disease (small sacs within the colon).
- If you want your cholesterol levels to go down, then, try a high fiber diet. Soluble fiber is responsible for doing that and it can be found in foods like oats, beans, flax seed and more. It is also known to reduce inflammation within the body and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- A high fiber diet can regulate your glucose levels. Soluble fiber can assist people who have diabetes because it normalizes their blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber can also help in lessening the chances of developing type 2 diabetes in people.
- It’s been said over and over again. A high fiber diet can help in maintaining a healthy body. These foods are very filling and once you eat it, you will feel satiated. Not only that – these foods are low in calories. It can even reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, according to studies.
(A study in Japan also concluded that consumption of high fiber foods can lessen depression risk. It is important to maintain great physical health, but it is equally necessary to take care of your mental health.