Of late, the many benefits of dietary fiber has come to fore, says Debra J. Johnston, RD, director of nutrition services at Remuda Ranch, a treatment program for eating disorders in Wickenburg, Arizona.
Dietary fiber is part of the structural component of the plants. The human body is incapable of digesting it. It doesn’t provide the body with energy but greatly helps in digestion and prevention of diseases,” says Lanah J. Brennan, RD, a dietitian in Lafayette, La.
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The dietary fiber has a couple of divisions – soluble and insoluble fibers. The mixture of these two can be found in most of the foods that contain fiber.
“The soluble fibers when coming in contact with liquid makes the process of digestion in the body sluggish. On the other hand, the insoluble fiber moves inside the intestinal tract, which aids the bowel movements,” Brennan elaborates.
Fruits and vegetables as a whole are good sources of soluble fiber, while their skins contain insoluble fibers. Whole grains and seeds are also good sources of soluble fiber.
Advantages of a High Fiber Diet
“Fiber also maintains the blood sugar level, fights obesity, lowers cholesterol and even decreases the risk of some cancers,” Brennan reveals.
Following are the advantages of having a high fiber diet:
Cholesterol: The soluble fiber forms chemical bondage with a fatty acid to lower cholesterol level in the body.
Heart: Apart from reducing cholesterol, fiber also lowers the blood pressure, thereby reducing the chances of any cardiac problem.
Diabetes: A high fiber diet wanes the absorption of sugar. Due to this, there is a lesser chance of occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
Obesity: A high fiber diet creates fullness in the stomach, lowers absorption of sugar by the body and decelerates the process of digestion. A combination of all these helps to fight obesity.
Colon cancer: A high fiber diet helps the body to purge the toxin formed in the colon. Hence, it also prevents the occurrence of colon cancer.
Constipation: High fiber diets are excellent laxatives.
Foods that contain High Fiber
Studies point out that most Americans do not have the proper knowledge about high fiber-rich foods. Vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of fiber. You can also get it from seeds, nuts, bran, oats, and barley. The following food items also contain a high amount of fiber.
Avocados: Avocado is the fruit that has the most fiber.
Legumes: Legumes like lentils and peas contain a high amount of fiber.
Noodles: Since noodles are prepared from grains, they are a good source of fiber. The whole-wheat grain is the best in this regard.
Popcorn: Having popcorn for breakfast is a smart way to get your share of high fiber.
Berries: Berries, whether fresh or canned are a good source of fiber.
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Now that you know the many advantages of high fiber diet, remember to incorporate them into your daily diet to help you lead a healthy and happy life.
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