Fiber: The key to good health

Published 23.12.2018 19:57
Updated 24.12.2018 08:00
Brussels sprouts, beans, flax seeds, grains, avocado and nuts all contain high amounts of fiber.
Brussels sprouts, beans, flax seeds, grains, avocado and nuts all contain high amounts of fiber.

Fiber offers a range of health benefits, from reducing the risk of significant diseases like diabetes to assisting in weight loss. For the sake of your health, it may be time you looked into a high-fiber diet

Scientists have stressed for years that fiber plays an important role in intestinal health. The best way to get rid of useless residue that has accumulated in your intestines is a fiber-based diet that regulates your bowel movements. A diet rich in fiber is like gold for the health of your digestive system. It can be said that food high in fiber is also your secret weapon to lose weight and keep it off thanks to the component ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone for the stomach. If you consume more fiber, it means you will feel more full for a longer time between meals. Fiber also keeps your blood sugar stable, thus keeping insulin, the fat storing hormone, in check. If you have a high-fiber dinner, you will not only store less fat but experience less sugar cravings after the meal.

What is fiber?

The need to consume high-fiber foods has always been stressed by doctors. Let's first look at what fiber is. Fiber is only found in fruits, vegetables and grains and is a part of the cellular walls of the foods. High-fiber diets can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, according to many studies.

Fiber is responsible for moving food through the digestive tract rapidly and helping it function optimally. When increasing your fiber intake, it is important to start gradually.

Recommended daily intake

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 35-40 grams for men.

The majority of people, unfortunately, consume less than half of the daily recommendation. If your diet is low in fiber, your digestive system is adversely affected, and high cholesterol that can lead to heart disease becomes an issue. Likewise, inflammation in the body may also increase.

High-fiber diets may reduce the risk of some cancers, heart diseases, bowel syndromes, kidney stones and obesity. Studies show women going through menopause may experience slightly decreased symptoms when they have a high-fiber diet. People who have digestive problems can also reduce these symptoms with high-fiber diets.

High intake decreases unhealthy bacteria in some digestive problems and helps change the balance of bacteria by increasing healthy strains.

Fiber regulates bowel function, reduces cholesterol, triglycerides and helps strengthen the bowel's walls. Furthermore, it helps in weight loss and the management of blood sugar levels. It can also prevent insulin resistance and related diseases.

According to a recent study, women who have a high-fiber diet including 38-77 grams per day reduced their risk of developing ovarian cancer.

In the following list of high-fiber foods, you can learn natural ways to obtain the fiber you need. Add fiber to your nutritional program slowly and drink plenty of water and decaffeinated drinks to help the fiber do its job well in the body.

Coconut

The total fiber content in a cup of coconut is 7.2 grams. We hear the word coconut more and more every day. There is a low glycemic index in coconut, and it is very easy to include it in your diet.

Artichoke

The total fiber ratio per medium-sized artichoke is 10.3 grams. Artichokes are ranked seventh on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's list of antioxidant-rich foods. Artichokes can also increase the flow of bile in the liver and help digest high-fat meals and lower cholesterol. They contain almost half of the recommended daily fiber intake for women and one-third for men.

Brussels sprouts

The total fiber content in a cup of Brussels sprouts is 4 grams. Brussels sprouts, one of the soil-less vegetables, are high in fiber. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, they support healthy detoxes and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach and chard, are perfect sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition, thanks to their high-fiber content, they reduce estrogen levels and are extremely beneficial for the digestive system.

Beans

Dried beans contain 19 grams fiber per cup and chickpeas 13 grams per cup. While cranberry beans have 13 grams of fiber, a cup of black beans contains 15.

Dried beans contain magnesium, which helps reduce blood pressure. They are also a perfect folic acid source. In one portion, you can satisfy about two-thirds of your daily needs.

Black beans provide protein and fiber with their rich nutrients. High amounts of flavonoids and antioxidants reduce the risk of certain cancers and inflammatory diseases.

Flax Seeds

A tablespoon of flax seeds contains 2.8 grams fiber. Flax seeds reduce cholesterol and help relieve the symptoms of menopause. You can add flax seeds to your salad and soups by grinding them into a fine powder.

Quinoa

A cup of quinoa means 5 grams of fiber. Adequate fiber levels in your diet help digestion and lower cholesterol levels while also helping to maintain blood sugar levels and healthy weight loss. Quinoa is also rich in other nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-6, potassium and magnesium.

Other cereals

Bulgur has 8 grams of fiber per cup, while brown rice has 4 and lentils contain 15.6.

Bulgur is broken wheat and one of the main ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine. It is a good source of protein for vegetarians, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and is a good addition to a low glycemic index diet.

Lentils are full of folate and one of the top 10 sources of folic acid. Folate is essential for pregnant women and people with liver disease. Lentil soup is a great way to add this high-fiber food to your diet.

Avocado

This popular fruit can contain up to 10.1 grams of fiber per cup. The fiber content of avocados may vary depending on the type. There is a difference in fiber content between bright green, smooth-surfaced avocados, known as Florida avocados, and their smaller, darker cousins, California avocados. Florida avocados have significantly more insoluble fiber than California avocados. In addition to fiber, avocados are full of healthy fats that help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Other fruits and nuts

Figs have 14 grams of fiber per cup, purple plums 12 grams, pears 5 grams and almonds 4 grams.

Figs are a rich source of antioxidants and are recommended for relieving constipation. Dried and fresh figs are a good source of fiber. Unlike other foods, figs have an excellent balance of soluble and insoluble fiber. In addition, they also protect against low blood pressure and macular degeneration.

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