We often hear the term fiber. I need more fiber, I am constipated, I need to have more of this and that. But what is fiber, why is it so important to have in our daily meals and how much is enough.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber help to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health.
Fiber comes in two varieties:
🥒Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, can help lower glucose levels as well as help lower blood cholesterol. It is broken down like a gel , is digested by bacteria in the large intestine releasing gases and few calories. Examples of soluble fibre: beans, peas , oats, barley , apples, and citrus fruits.
🍅Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, is left intact as food moves through gastrointestinal tract. It is very kind with constipation sits in the gastrointestinal tract , absorbing fluids , they are ready to be formed into the stools.
The best sources of fiber are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, potatoes, cauliflower and nuts.
Some tips for increasing fiber intake:
✅Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.
✅Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
✅For breakfast, choose cereals that have a whole grain as their first ingredient.
✅Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
✅Consuming fruits and vegetables with their skins or peels intact when possible.
✅Fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high fiber intake has also been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, a combination of factors that increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. These factors include high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight (especially around the abdomen), high levels of triglycerides, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, can cause diverticular disease, and constipation.
✅Starting the day with whole grain breakfast options especially 💯ready to eat bran.
✅Looking up the best way to eat specific foods. The amount of dietary fibre in many food changes, depending on if they are raw, cooked, steamed, stewed, fried or baked.
🌿Fiber and constipation: Experts recommend increasing fiber intake gradually rather than suddenly. It would be a good exercise to know exactly what king of food make you feel well and what food make you bloated or constipated. If you are not sure is better to speak to your nutritionist and make the food intolerance test. Because fiber absorbs water, increasing the amount of liquid is recommended.