Magical power of fibers in improving your health

Fibers are indigestible components of food.  Plant-based foods are generally good source of fibers. Since our early age we have heard our parents insisting on fibrous food; primary reasons being well-being of our digestive system and to avoid co-related secondary disorders. Regular and adequate consumption of fibers thus could really help us steer ourselves safe of innumerable problems.

Sources of dietary fibers

Fruits –  Green Apples, Strawberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Boysenberries, Green Pears

Vegetables Alfalfa Sprouts, Artichokes,  Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots,  Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage), Broccoli, Broccoli flower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage

Whole grains Barley, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Bulghur (cracked wheat) ,Chick Peas


Whats and Hows of fiber benefits

  • Relieves constipation by facilitating bowel movements
  • High fiber diets help in losing weight, since it quenches hunger for longer period by making one feel fuller by promoting release of satiety hormones. Fibers make you full without adding many calories.
  • Lessons risk of cardiovascular disorders by reducing the risk of developing coronary artery diseases, stroke and high blood pressure.
  • Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes. Fibers in intestine slow absorption of sugar, thereby regulate the blood sugar levels
  • Lowers risk of cancer.

More about Fibers

  • Studies suggest that...

    men must consume 38 grams and women must consume about 25 gram of fibers per day.
  • One should gradually increase the intake of fiber to optimal level. Raising fiber intake gradually could help one avoid cramps, bloating and gas problems.
  • Different type of fibers exhibit different benefits. Fibers could be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibers have shown health benefits like reducing sugar and cholesterol.
  • Insoluble fibers are beneficial for preventing constipation and diverticular disease.

These days various food products like yoghurt, snack bars and cereals are fortified with fibers. These fibers are known as isolated fibers. These isolated fibers like insulin, polydextrose and maltodextrin are still ambiguous in offering the health benefits commensurate to that of intact fibers obtained from natural sources like fruits, vegetable and whole grains.

Apart from just alleviating constipation and acting as a master cleanser of digestive tract, fibers could have numerous health benefits. Even if our body does not really derive any nutrients from fibers, the advantages of fibers in maintaining our health certainly make them essential and indivisible part of our daily diet.

Source: NIH


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