You would have probably heard this said by your dietitian or doctors, where they tell you about eating more fiber rich foods. But do you know why fiber is good for your health? If not, then through this post we will provide you with sufficient insights about the dietary fibers. Here, we will comprehend about what dietary fibers are, their types, benefits as well as their commonly available sources.
What are Dietary Fibres?
Dietary fiber is that part of leafy vegetables, fruits, bread, legumes, pulses, cereals, and other food items, which are removed by the intestine without being digested or absorbed.
Fibers are a type of carbohydrates, in which nutrients are very less. Fats, proteins or carbohydrates are foods that are broken down during digestion and digested by the intestines, but on the other hand, fibrous foods are not digested by the intestines.
Being indigestible, fiber stays in your stomach, which makes you feel full and you do not feel hungry for a long time. In this context, fiber foods can prove to be effective for weight loss.
According to a research, fiber rich foods are beneficial for diabetic patients. Because by taking fiber diet, there is less appetite and the level of blood-glucose also remains balanced in the body.
Types of Dietary Fibres
1. Soluble Fibres
Their name tells their property, such fibers dissolve in water and form a gel-like substance. This gel-like fiber helps to slow down the rate of digestion, making you feel full for a longer period of time.
Soluble fiber helps to soften the stool. Due to which you can get rid of constipation.
Apart from this, soluble fiber helps to balance blood sugar as well as it helps in reducing cholesterol levels.
2. Insoluble Fibers
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, so it increases the volume of stool, so as not to cause constipation, which is why it can be beneficial for people who are struggling with constipation or irregular stools.
Common Sources of Dietary Fibers
- Brown Rice
- Dry fruit
- Isabgol Husk
- Blueberries & Blackberries
- Nuts and Seeds
Benefits of Fiber-rich foods
1. Assists in Weight loss
The main advantage of a fiber-rich diet is in reducing weight. The fiber present in the diet gets attached to the fat and sugar molecules because the fiber is not absorbed by our intestines, as a result of which our body expels the fat and sugar along with the fiber. The number of extra calories we get decreases and our extra weight does not increase.
Some studies suggest that increasing the amount of fiber in the diet can reduce calorie intake on its own. Because fiber slows down the absorption of nutrients, which leads to a loss of appetite. Weight loss starts due to the absence of extra calories in the stomach.
2. Helps in Constipation
High fiber foods are also beneficial in relieving constipation. Fiber helps in absorbing water and bind stools together. Due to which both the weight and size of the stool increases, as well as softens the stool. Heavy stools pass easily, which reduces the chances of constipation. High fiber fruits for constipation are apples, pears, watermelon, pomegranates, blueberries and blackberries.
3. Controls Cholesterol and keeps Heart healthy
Fibrous food is beneficial in controlling cholesterol. The soluble fiber found in broccoli, beans, flaxseed, and oats may help lower total cholesterol levels by reducing low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels.
According to one study, consuming 2-10 grams of soluble fiber per day can reduce total cholesterol by about 1.7 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol by about 1.2 mg/dL.
Other studies have also shown that consuming an appropriate amount of fiber can also help reduce heart disease such as high blood pressure and inflammation in the body.
4. Reduces the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world.
Several studies suggest that the risk of colon cancer can be controlled to some extent by consuming high-fibre foods, and high-fibre foods can also reduce the risks of piles (haemorrhoids).
5. Beneficial in Controlling Diabetes
Fibrous food, especially soluble fiber, helps improve blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar.
A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes who consume more soluble fiber can lower their blood sugar levels. There is more research that suggests that dietary fiber can help keep insulin levels balanced.
Deficiency of Fibers can cause
- Increased Weight
- Fluctuating Blood Sugar
- High Cholesterol
- Loss of Energy
- Improper Sleep
- Feeling hungry even after eating food