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We often heard words like fiber or roughage when we grew up as we were encouraged to eat foods rich in fiber, otherwise you’ll have some difficulty relieving yourself when nature calls because your stools will be hard and small and most often the not very uncomfortable to eliminate or else you’ll be forced to use laxatives which is a very bad call for your health.

Experts have always been encouraging the consumption of vegetables along with fruits, whole grains and legumes as part of healthy and balanced diet.

This way, a person can have a healthy bowel movements and relieving oneself will not be a problem unless of course a person has some underlying medical condition that requires the doctor’s attention.

According to studies there are some benefits associated with foods rich in fiber and these foods are mostly plant based. It is also recommended to be nutrition wise and opt for whole foods as opposed to processed foods.

I’m compelled to think that taking care of your health is part of loving yourself in that when you are healthy you become happier and happiness among other things can lead to many good things.

Unfortunately healthy eating alone is not enough without physical activity. Incorporating exercise and drinking water on a daily basis could go along way to benefiting your health.

Without further ado let’s unpack what is fiber along with its benefits.

What is fiber and why is it important 

Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrates, the indigestible substance obtained from plant cell walls, also referred to as roughage. Fiber comes in soluble and insoluble form and is found in many whole foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

Dietary fiber forms part of a healthy and balanced diet. It aids digestion but it’s not broken down in the small intestine and is fermented in the large intestine in which it feeds good bacteria. Dietary fiber is thought to have many health benefits.

Research indicates that most people in the world do not meet the recommended daily allowance of fiber and that they consume less than 20 g of the dietary fiber, Iike for instance an average adult in the American community consume 15 grams of fiber and only 7% of the UK population meets their daily target of their fiber intake

The daily target for fiber intake.

  • Adult females : 25 g per day
  • Adult males : 38 g per day
  • Over 50 years, females : 21 g, males : 30g
  • Pregnant/ lactating : 28 g

The soluble form of the fiber dissolves in water while the non-soluble form does not. Dietary fiber is as to have the previous properties that promote growth of good bacteria. The foods rich in dietary fiber are satiating, curb hunger and promote weight management.

Investing in your health will put you at an advantageous position and will yield good investment returns in the long term.

Although there are fiber supplements, it’s recommended to get your fiber from whole foods as they come with a myriad of other benefits, such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can boost your health in many of other ways

Foods high in fiber

Some of the food sources of fiber include:

  1. Lentils
  2. Nuts
  3. Beans
  4. Carrots
  5. Raspberries
  6. Wheat cereals
  7. Apple
  8. Wheat pasta
  9. Raw almonds
  10. Seeds
  11. Potato skin
  12. Broccoli
  13. Black beans
  14. Rye

Beneficial effects of consuming fiber rich foods

Experts seem to think that fiber has many health benefits. Soluble fiber is fermented to feed bacteria in the large intestine, thereby creating a healthy environment in the guy whereas the non-soluble fiber combines with water, softens and speeds up the movement of waste products in the intestinal tract protecting the body against but diseases.

High fiber intake is associated with lowering the risk of many diseases, these include :

  • Cholesterol : fiber promotes healthy cholesterol levels by preventing cholesterol from building up in the arteries.
  • Blood sugar levels : fiber stabilizes sugar levels in the blood due to the fact that fiber is a complex carbohydrate, as a result ingested meals with fiber take time to be digested and this reduces the risk of raised blood sugar levels.
  • Cardiovascular disease and coronary disease : According to research high fiber intake accounts for the reduced risk of cardiovascular and coronary diseases.
  • Colorectal cancer : Studies show that the daily consumption of whole grain along a fiver reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Obesity : According to the studies dietary fiber can prevent overweight and metabolic syndrome by promoting good bacteria in the colon.

Drinking the sufficient amount of water is just as important to aid digestion as well as to hydrate your body, among its roles. It is also recommended to eat 2.5 to 10.3 g of soluble fiber, such as fruits, barley, lentils and the like, to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.

The downside of eating too much fiber in the diet

Fiber promotes a healthy bowel movement. It softens and normalises the passing of stools. Too much fiber can lead to some side effects such as :

  • Constipation
  • dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • flatulence/ gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight issues
  • Intestinal blockage
  • loose stools

Inasmuch as phytic acid prevents mineral absorption by binding essential minerals, fiber too, binds key minerals in the intestinal tract, such as zinc, iron, magnesium etc. This may lead to deficiencies of such minerals in the body.

The bottom line

Fiber is the indigestible part plant foods contributing to good health and forms part of a balanced diet. It keeps the digestive system healthy and efficient as it speeds up the movement of waste products in the intestinal tract. As aforementioned, fiber has many health benefits but then again too much fiber is not good just like too much of everything else.

As experts would say, diversifying your diet is key. Eat everything in moderation. Exercise and drink sufficient fluids.

Check out the nutrition fact label on products to make better food choices. Go for whole foods instead of refined foods as refined foods are stripped off their nutrients.

Sources:

http://www.ScienceDaily.com/releases/ 2013/12/131220120847.htm

http://www.Sun.ac.za/english/faculty/healthsciences/nicus/how-to-eat-correctly/nutrients/fibre

http://www.ncbi. nom.nih.gov/m/pubmed/1933713/

http://www.ScienceDaily.com/releases/2019/01/190110184737.htm

Thank you for reading this article if you’ve found it interesting kindly leave your comment or opinion on the comment section below and I will get back to you.

 

Maggie

16 Replies to “What Foods Are High In Fiber?”

  1. I found your article quite informative. It fills in some of the blanks in my knowledge of the benefits of consuming fiber. As a diabetic, this article will help direct me to balancing my dieting with my diabetic needs. Even though your articles is more general than just focusing on the diabetic needs of a reader, it is of great benefit to any diabetic reader. I found your article well-organized and easy to read. I also appreciated that you kept your content focused on its informational value and not just used as a sales tool. That always makes a read more enjoyable. Thanks for the article and keep putting out great informational posts.

    1. Thank you so much for finding this article interesting Burton. Its highly appreciated. Yes its good to watch what you eat but as a diabetic for any changes in your diet always discuss it with your Doctor to ensure that you choose the diet that is suitable for you. Thank you once again for reading this post.

  2. Very informative! After “digesting” this info, I will definitely add more fiber into my diet. In regards to “NUts” are there a certain kind that are better for the body that the other? peanuts vs almonds etc??

  3. I have always suffered from constipation since young. Sometimes, the situation can be so severe that I suffer from abdominal pain.

    I have always known that dietary fibre prevents constipation. This is probably the only thing I know about dietary fibre. I am pleasantly surprised to know that dietary fibre can also promote growth of good bacteria. What really impressed me is that dietary fibre can actually help to curb hunger! This really interests me as I am really trying hard to slim down!.

    As my husband and son do not really like vegetables and fruits, I resort to obtaining dietary fibre from supplements. It is already a habit of mine to drink a sachet of Fybogel every day. I am really glad that I came across this article. After reading this article, I realised that I have overlooked the fact that whole food is better than supplements as whole food comes with a lot of other beneficial vitamins and minerals, which makes it healthier than supplements.

    Thank you so much for this informative article.

    1. Hi Lynn
      Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I’m glad that you found it useful. Yes, whole foods are very nutritious as opposed to processed foods. Choosing to be nutrient wise is a way to go. Thanks once again for your time.

      Maggie

  4. Thank you for the informational article on this topic. I did not release there was a daily target to be achieved on fiber intake. Being a vegetarian a lot of my diet has vegetables and lentils. This article will help me keep an eye on my intake now.

    1. Hey Srini
      Yes there’s a guideline for recommended daily intake of every nutrient for different ages and gender. Too little or too much of nutrients can result either in deficiencies or complications. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

  5. Thank you for such an informative article on fibre, I will share this with my dad as he is a diabetic and I this will benefit him to lead a healthy lifestyle and give him more insight on which fibre foods he should be consuming.

    1. Thanks Kay for finding this article useful. It’s good for your dad to read this article just to inform himself but if he needs to change his diet he needs to discuss it with his doctor to make sure the changes to diet suits him and his condition.

  6. Hi Maggie, I enjoyed reading this post as being vegetarian I need to make sure I’m getting sufficient fiber. Looking at the list of foods you suggest, I can truthfully say I eat most of them apart from black beans. It’s very true that variety is essential for a balanced diet. Too much of one food type isn’t always good. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Cathy
      Thanks for finding this article useful.it’s good to hear that you eat your fruits and vegetables. Experts always recommend that we eat them in order to keep healthy.

  7. Another very helpful and informative article. Thank you Maggie. Truth time . . . I don’t give fiber the attention it needs to balance my body and I have suffered in the past. Your post reminds me to take positive action and offers me some things I wasn’t aware of and I am very grateful for that. Thank you. I think one of the problems diversifying diet occurs when I get sucked into the world of work and just feel the need for a quick food fix and that often means I don’t give it the consideration needed. Excellent post and with Christmas around the corner, a very timely reminder.
    Seasons Greetings
    Steve C

    1. We live a very fast paced life these days and it’s hard for people to prepare home cooked meals because they are always rushing to work and chasing deadlines and this impacts on our bodies and minds in the long run because of not providing them the nutrients they need to function efficiently and effectively. Thanks for taking the time to read this article and finding it useful. Happy festive season.

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