Consuming fibre regularly has beneficial effects on the body. A high fibre diet helps in eliminating waste and toxins. Other medical problems could also be avoided if adequate amounts of fibre are eaten. What are fibre rich foods and how can they benefit an individual?
What is fibre?
Fibre is a carbohydrate composed of a digestible and an indigestible part. The former provides calories while the latter gives roughage to the faeces making elimination of waste from the body easier.
Helps in digestion
Insoluble fibre foods help the digestion processes of the body. Apart from improving waste elimination, the presence of fibre in the diet reduces constipation. Protects the intestines
It also helps to protect the intestines. By consuming fibre, bacteria in the large intestine which can produce cancerous substances and toxins are eliminated. Controlling cholesterol
Soluble fiber foods help in controlling cholesterol in the body. They also help to reduce or stabilise sugar levels and overall, decrease low insulin levels in the body. Assists in weight loss
Fibre assists indirectly in weight loss. It provides bulk, making people feel full after eating foods high in fibre. It needs more chewing making people eat slower and less often, thereby, contributing to weight loss. Not much calories
Foods rich in fibre are filling without having too much calories. So, since fibre foods are filling, the tendency to eat more is reduced. Other benefits People with irritable bowel syndrome can also benefit by increasing dietary fibre. Recommended daily intake An individual should consume about 30 grams of fibre a day.
Sources of fibre Fruits and vegetables and grains are in general good sources of fibre. Whole grains, oat bran, oatmeal, brown rice, beans, peas, citrus fruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, beets, apples, and cabbage belong to the list of high fibre foods.
In summary, eating fibre rich foods improves waste elimination, prevents constipation, lowers sugar and cholesterol levels, and assists in reducing weight. Eating plenty of natural fruits and vegetables and grains which are rich in fibre is one of the ways to stay healthy and fit. It is important to remember, however, that over consumption of fibre foods can also interfere with the absorption of other minerals and vitamins which the body needs.