What is Fiber?
Fibers or dietary fibers are found in fruits and vegetables that are not digested by the body. There are two types of fibers, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers dissolves in water whereas insoluble fibers doesn’t. Soluble fiber and its benefits helps in lowering down cholesterol level and glucose level in blood. While insoluble fibers regulates constipation and smoothen passage of stools.
Are you familiar with the overpowering benefits of consuming enough quantities of fiber on a regular basis? Did you know that it has the ability to reduce of heart diseases, colon cancer, diabetes, and other serious life-threatening problems? But, are you aware that several types of fibers exist and all of them have their own list of benefits. Fiber comes under both the categories – soluble (one that absorbs water the process of digestion) and insoluble (the ones that remain unchanged). Fiber is known for several properties except its ability to hold water. One must consume different types of fiber to reap the benefits of them all.
What Are The Different Types Of Fiber?
Fiber affects different aspects of our health. From aiding in weight loss to gut bacteria – researchers and nutritionists have considered fiber to be a significant part of a diet. The lack of knowledge about fiber makes people assume that there is only one type of fiber.
This insoluble fiber happens to be the primary component of the plant cell walls. Many vegetables are rich in cellulose – cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and cabbage.
The soluble fibers bring about a feeling of satiety. They slow down the digestion process. This prevents blood sugar spikes. Garlic, bananas, asparagus, barley, rye, and onions are high in inulin.
These are also soluble fibers that slow down the glycemic response. It lowers cholesterol levels and flushes the harmful fatty acids. Potatoes, apples, strawberries, carrots, citrus fruits, nuts, and legumes have pectins in them.
This is a soluble fiber. It is considered as a prebiotic which means it offers food to the beneficiary gut bacteria. You can find it in reishi mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, barley, and oats.
It helps to offer relief when a person is suffering from constipation. It is added as an ingredient to other food. Example – psyllium plant’s outer husk.
This is an insoluble type of fiber just like cellulose which means it is also a part of the plant cell wall structure. Whole grains, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, avocado, flaxseed, and nuts have lignin.
It performs the same function as fermentable, soluble fiber. It is also a friend of the gut bacteria. Oatmeal flakes and bananas are the best source of resistant starch.
The Benefits Of Fiber
The primary function of fiber is to keep our digestive system healthy. However, it also contributes to the functioning of other processes like controlling cholesterol levels and stabilizing glucose. Children must consume 8 gms of fiber every day.
A diet rich in fiber has the following benefits –
- Takes care of constipation
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Prevents the occurrence of cancer
- Soothes irritable bowel syndrome
- Promotes weight loss
- Lowers the blood sugar levels
High Fiber Foods That Everyone Should Eat
The benefits of fiber are never ending and highly crucial. It slows down the digestion process and that is how it ends up in the colon. This way it feeds the beneficial gut bacteria. Here is a list of high fiber fruits and vegetables
- Pears – High in fiber content and extremely nutritious.
- Strawberries – This nutrient dense fruit is packed with fiber, manganese, powerful antioxidants, and vitamin C.
- Avocado – Loaded with healthy fats and high carbohydrate content this fruit is incredible. It is also high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins.
- Apples – Simply satisfying with high fiber content.
- Raspberries – Packed with manganese, vitamin C, and fiber
- Carrots – The source of magnesium, beta-carotene, vitamins, and fiber.
- Beets – Rich with important nutrients and loaded with fiber – beetroots are amazing.
Don’t miss out on the benefits of fiber and make sure it is on your plate. Some further good reads: