Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. It just simply passes through the guts not broken down further. Most of the carbohydrates that we consume gets broken down into sugar molecules. But the fiber does not breaks down into sugar molecule and rather passes through the body undigested. Fibers help to regulate the body’s use of sugar and keeps the hunger in check. The base amount of fiber is between 20 to 30 grams for healthy individual. But the matter of fact is most Americans get only 15 grams a day. We will discuss about importance of fiber for healthy living.
Types of Fiber
There are two types of fiber and both equally important for body.
- Soluble Fibers
Soluble fibers dissolves in water. It helps in lowering the glucose and blood cholesterol level in body. Soluble fiber is found in oats, nuts, beans, apples, lentils, blue berries etc.
- Insoluble Fibers
Insoluble fibers don’t dissolve in water. Their function is to help food pass through the digestive system, promoting regularity and preventing the constipation problem. Insoluble fibers are found in wheat, whole wheat bread, carrots, cucumbers, etc.
Why is fiber important?
Dietary fiber is important for our digestive system. They help keep blood sugar, cholesterol, bowl movement etc. in check. The daily requirement of fiber in diet is from 20 to 30 grams. Some of the importance of fiber in diet are as below.
- Increase bowel movement keeping digestive system healthy
- Fiber helps us feel fuller for longer, decreasing the urge to eat often
- Improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Prevent disease like diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer
- Relieves from constipation
- Promotes weight loss and healthy weight management
- High fiber diet reduces the risk of gallstones and kidney stones
Also Read: What does healthy eating mean
Sources of Fiber
It is very important to know the healthy sources of fiber and implement them in your lifestyle. Some of the common yet fiber-rich sources are:
- Beans: You will find beans everywhere. It is easily available and great source of fiber.
- Whole Grains: It is always great and healthy to consume whole grains. Whole wheat bread, pasta, wheat etc. are easily available whole grains.
- Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, almonds have more fibers than other nuts. Be sure to munch some of them whenever you can.
- Brown Rice: White rice has very less fibers in them, alternative is brown rice.
- Corn: Specially as popcorn, corn has very good amount of fiber to provide.
- Oatmeal: Quick and easy as breakfast, oatmeal provides soluble fibers that keep you full for longer. It also keeps your blood sugar in check.
- Baked Potato with skin: Potato is great source of carbohydrate. Potato with skin has good number of fiber in them.
- Vegetables: The crunchier the vegetable, the more fiber. Vegetables are always healthy source of food. Include them in high number.
These are few of the importance of fiber in diet. If you struggle with your excretion, be sure to check your fiber intake first. Most of us don’t actually eat the basic requirement in the first place. Later we are troubled with different health issues. So, it is better to know the importance of fiber in diet and start adding them seriously. Consume at least the recommended amount to improve your gut health. Constipation is problem many of us have gone through some part in life. Healthy lifestyle will keep these problems aside. Adopt to healthy eating and be sure to add fibers to your diet.