The human body process foods with the help of fiber. The benefit of fibers are being recognized widely, and people are being suggested to increase the content of fibre in their food. An average of around 25 to 30g is required by our body per day. The body requires two types of fibers, soluble and insoluble. The soluble ones absorb water during digestion, contribute to stool bulk, and are believed to reduce cholesterol levels. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, oats, and barley are good sources of soluble fibers.
The insoluble ones are required for good movement of food through the intestines. These are also found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like wheat, rice, barley, oats, etc. It sure takes some planning to ensure your food is fibrous, but the benefits are worth it.
Follow some of the following simple steps and you will see them for yourself:
On a lighter note, make sure each meal of yours is as colorful as possible. Include considerate amount of carrots, radish, greens, legumes, tomatoes, cabbage, and any other vegetable that you like in each meal which will ensure that you get all the fiber and nutrients that you want in a meal. Baked, boiled, raw opt for any form that you like.
It is always better to prefer a raw fruit as compared to having its juice because the fiber content gets reduced when you convert a fruit to a juice. Try not to discard the peel, unless it is not edible at all, pineapple or jackfruit for example. Fruits, and vegetables together forms the most natural and best source of fiber. About 5 servings of fruits and vegetables on daily basis will get you all the fiber you need each day that is 25 to 30 g per day. Berries, pears, prunes, figs, apples, oranges, apples, pears, mangoes, pineapples – take your pick.
Whether you are picking up bread, noodles, cookies, or a packet of pasta, make sure they are made of whole grains and not refined flour. Include one cereal in your breakfast. Oats, barley, wheat germ powder, flax seeds can all be good sources of fiber. Replace white rice with brown rice to induce more fiber.
Incorporate fiber rich legumes in your daily meal, such as beans, lentils, peas or puree them for interesting dips. Adding legumes assist you with the appropriate amount of fiber intake for your body along with regular and smooth bowel movements.
Though not a direct contributor to fiber, increasing the water intake makes the fiber from the aforementioned foods more effective. It promotes better and higher food passage through the intestines and contributes to better stool. It also reduces the bloated feeling that you get with increased fiber.
Step by step, incorporate these small changes to your diet and you will see the benefits almost immediately. Try including more fibrous foods to also prolong your hunger pangs, breakfast being the best way to start.
You should bid goodbye to the unhealthy snacks and inculcate nuts and seeds as a part of your snacks. They provide protein, fat and fiber. An ounce of almonds has three grams of fiber. They’re also high in unsaturated fats, magnesium and vitamin E (14). Other than this, they’re shelf-stable and nutrient-dense, making them ideal snacks to have on hand. You can also use them in recipes to add extra nutrition and fiber to your meals.
Read Labels to Choose Foods with Lots of Fiber
There is no gainsaying that whole plant foods are the ideal way to get fiber. However, if you are going to eat processed foods, you may as well choose products that are rich in fiber. For instance, some foods — including yogurt, granola bars, cereals and soups have functional fibers added to them. These are extracted from natural sources and then added to foods as a supplement. In order to ensure that you choose products rich in fibre, you must see the common names on food labels such as inulin and Polydextrose. Also, read the nutrition label to see how many grams of fiber are in a serving. Over 2.5 grams per serving is considered a good source, and 5 grams or more is excellent.