Why You Should Add These Foods to Your Diet
Fiber is an umbrella name for all the carbohydrates the body cannot digest. Fiber is essential for the body. It performs a number of activities in the body that leaves the body healthy and strong. Though the stomach does not digest fiber, however, it goes to your colon after you must have eaten it and feeds some friendly bacteria. Through this process, it provides numerous health benefits.
Fiber is also known as roughage. It goes into the body and comes out undigested. This process of passing through the body cleanses the digestive tracts and keeps them healthy. It gets rid of high cholesterol levels as well as toxic carcinogens.
Fiber has also been found to manage obesity and promote weight loss, lowers high blood sugar levels, and combats constipation. The recommended consumption of fiber foods by dieticians is 24 grams of fiber and 38 grams of fiber for women and men, respectively. A lot of people do not know this, and this is why they go below the required consumption amount of fiber. Boosting the amount of fiber you consume is not a big task; it has been made quite easy. All you need to do is, incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet, and you are good to go.
There are two types of fiber;
This kind of fiber can easily dissolve in water. It is responsible for the healthy regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body. It can be found in apples, beans, oatmeals, citrus, berries, and pears.
Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water at all. It is a fiber that helps get rid of constipation and can be found in wheat, celery, carrots, and tomatoes.
Most fiber-rich foods contain a combination of the two types of fiber. Refined and processed foods do not have fiber because their fiber content has been reduced or totally removed through their refining process. The more natural the foods are, the more the fiber content you get from them.
Health Benefits of Fiber
- When you consume fiber, the following are the health benefits you tend to enjoy;
- Lowered cholesterol levels; when the fiber is in the digestive tract, it helps reduce the rate at which the body absorbs cholesterol. When a fiber diet is combined with medications that lower blood pressure, the result is usually rapid and visible.
- Obesity; since most fiber-rich foods have low calories, they help you maintain a proper and healthy weight. In addition, with the presence of fiber in the stomach, the digestion process in the stomach slows down, thereby making you full and not feel hungry for a long time. In addition, eating fiber helps push out some fats from your body and helps your body absorb less fat. Also, exercising becomes a simple task when you consume fiber. These, in turn, helps maintain a healthy body weight.
- Constipation; fiber is a known good treatment for constipation. Fiber moves the bowels and gets whatever form of constipation it finds in the bowels out of the way. For people whose food digestion is abnormally slow, as well as those who deal with constipation, fiber is an all-natural remedy to ease their bowels.
- Controls sugar level; the same way it takes the stomach a long time to digest fiber is the same way it takes the body a long time to break down fiber. This speed breaker class of food helps regulate blood sugar levels and maintains a healthy sugar level, especially for people with diabetes.
- Lowers the risk of gastrointestinal cancer; Eating fiber-rich foods can help protect you against certain kinds of cancer, which includes colon cancer. This is very possible as a result of the antioxidant properties contained in some forms of fiber.
- Skin health; fiber helps eliminate acne-causing toxins. Eating foods that are rich in fiber can give the skin ultimate protection while keeping it 100% healthy and beautiful in the process.
- Heart health; consuming fiber, especially soluble fiber, can eliminate toxic cholesterol out of the body, thereby regulating your cholesterol level and keeping your body and heart toxin-free. It is also known to help lower inflammation risk, reduce unnecessary weight gain, eliminate fat, especially in the stomach, and lowers high blood sugar levels.
- Incorporating fiber-rich food into your diet is a healthy move. Nevertheless, it is important to take caution while incorporating them to avoid excess fiber in the body, which can lead to bloating or excess gas in your stomach. Also, staying hydrated while you are on your fiber diet can also help ease the symptoms of excess fiber in case you find yourself consuming more than the required fiber consumption amount.
10 Fiber-Rich Foods
Of all the grain foods in the world, oats are the healthiest. They have a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The kind of fiber contained in oats helps regulate cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels. In one cup of oats, there are at least 16.5 grams of fiber.
Sweet potato is a tuber crop that is known to be satisfying and fills the stomach quickly when you eat it. Asides from its high fiber content, it is also high in numerous minerals as well as vitamin B. Its delicious taste and flavor are enough to entice you into eating them. For an averagely-normal sized tuber of potato, at least 3.8 grams of fiber can be found in it. It is a tasty and healthy substitute for bread.
Banana is a combination of fiber and numerous other vitamins and minerals, which include vitamin B, C, and potassium. Unripe bananas also have a kind of carbohydrate that performs the same function as fiber. This carbohydrate is indigestible and slows down the digestion process while it clears the bowels of unwanted properties. In an average-sized banana, about 3.1 grams of fiber can be found.
The fiber in beetroot is one that helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, just like oatmeals. Asides from its fiber contents, it also contains copper, potassium, iron, and folate.
Broccoli has high fiber content and is also incredibly rich with cancer-combating properties.
Of all the most nutritious foods, lentils are the cheapest. It is naturally packed to the brim with essential nutrients, including fiber. It can be made into a soup, and a number of healthy spices can be added. These spices do not only add flavor to the soup, but they also increase the nutritional benefits of the soup. These spices include; turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.
Bean is a protein-based legume that has high nutritional benefits for the human body. One cup of cooked beans contains 13.1 grams of fiber.
Almond is a kind of nut that does not only contain fiber. It also contains healthy fats. Manganese, vitamin E, and magnesium. Its nutritional benefits are so high that it ranks top of the most nutritional nuts in the world. On every three tablespoons of almond flour, there are 4 grams of fiber in it.
Carrots are not only tasty and crunchy, but they are also highly nutritious and healthy for you. They have high vitamin B, K, magnesium, and carotene contents. They are also packed with high antioxidant properties and are encapsulated with quality fiber content. One cup of blended raw carrots contains 3.6 grams of fiber.
Being a unique fruit, avocado is filled with healthy fat and fiber instead of unnecessary carbs. It contains numerous health benefits, courtesy of its high nutritional contents. These nutritional contents are potassium, vitamin B, C, and E, magnesium, and potassium. For one serving of raw avocado, its fiber content is about 10 grams per cup.
What Happens When You Consume Excess Fiber?
As healthy as fiber is to the body, excessive consumption could spell danger. The following are the side effects of excessive ingestion of fiber;
- Feeling too heavy and full.
- Vital nutrients may not be absorbed.
- Blockage of the intestines
- Cramps in the stomach
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Excessive fiber consumption affects the digestive system, and this is due to its habit of making the bowels bulky. This, in turn, causes fermentation and formation of gas in the stomach.
- However, when you notice these symptoms, you can manage them by;
- Reducing or totally putting a stop to your fiber intake for a while until your body gets back to normal
- Engaging in more physical exercises
- Avoiding foods that cause bloating
- Always staying hydrated
In conclusion, fiber is an essential nutrient that promotes a lot of health benefits, including regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels and healthy bowel movement. Incorporating fiber-rich foods in diets is the best way to get the recommended amount of fiber required by the body for proper functioning.