Fiber is in most of your daily foods you just don’t know it!
Do you actually know what and why fiber is good for the body?
Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Dietary fiber, which is obtained solely from food of plant origin, plays a vital role in the digestive process.
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble fiber, which can dissolve in water; and insoluble fiber, which does not have the ability to dissolve in water.
What is soluble fiber?
The inclusion of soluble fiber in the diet slows the breakdown of complex carbohydrates, such as starch, into simple sugars, such as glucose, thereby slowing the absorption of sugar and pssibly leading to reduced levels of sugar in the blood.
During digestion, soluble fiber forms a gel-like mass that binds cholesterol to the stool; if eaten in sufficient quantities, soluble fiber can also help reduce the levels of cholesterol in your blood. Good sources of soluble fiber include:
- Whole grains – Oats, Barley and Rye
This type of fiber occurs naturally in brown rice, Wholemeal bread, whole-grain cereals, pulses and seeds, also in the skins of vegetables and fruits. It will not dissolves in water and is not digested or absorbed by the body.
Including insoluble fiber in your daily diet will keep the gastrointestinal tract clean and promote regular bowel movements. It does this by drawing water into the stools, making them larger and softer, and easier to pass.
Do you know what the benefits of fiber are?
The Benefits of Fiber
Foods that are high in dietary fiber often take longer to eat, and they increase the feeling of fullness after a meal because they slow down the passage of food through the intestine.
This improves the body’s blood sugar response because fiber slows the rate at which glucose is released from food. This, in-turn, slows the rise of blood sugar levels so that less insulin is released into the bloodstream. In addition, because fiber-rich foods increase the feeling of fullness they can help with weight control.
“Gut Flora – The bacteria i the large intestine, which are referred to as gut flora, can break down some of the chemical bonds in fiver that are resistant to the digestive enzymes. People who eat plenty of fiber have healthy colons teeming with millions of bacteria. Researches have suggested that the action of gut flora on fiber creates an acidic environment in the colon that decreases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.”
By promoting bowel regularity and keeping the gastrointestinal tract clean, inclusion of insoluble fiber in the diet mat also reduce the risk of developing conditions such as diverticular disease and constipation.
Certain studies have shown that a high-fiber diet helps prevent diabetes and, as a result of the activity of gut flora, reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer. This cancer is rare in countries where the traditional diet consists mainly of cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Try This High Fiber Breakfast
Get your day off to a healthy start with a bowel of the above ^^.
- Mixed grain muesli topped
- With fresh fruit
- A serving of low-fat yogurt
So how much fiber do you need?
Can you have too much fiber?
How Much Fiber Do I Need?
According to the latest government guidelines, your total fiber intake should be 18g per day, depending on your age and gender. But on average most of us only get around 12g per day. Take a look at cat A below and add some more fiber to your diet!
Increasing Your Fiber Intake
If you plan to increase your fiber intake, do so gradually to give your system time to adjust. As you increase your intake, drink plenty of water to balance tat absorbed by the fiber.
These tips below will help you meet the recommended intake:
- Eat more vegetables, either raw or steamed. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli are particularly high in fiber.
- Eat more fruit with skin and seeds, such as apples, pears and berries.
- Choose high fiber breakfast such as, cereals hot or cold.
- Add rolled oats or canned beans to casseroles, use rolled oats for crumble topping and stuffing’s.
- Eat whole-grain products, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, and biscuits make from wholemeal flour rather than white flour.
- Add wheatgerm or oats to pancakes, meatballs, or burgers.
- Use cereals in place of nuts or in place of flour when making biscuits.
Crunchy high-fiber apricot and apple bars
Serving: 16 bars
- 175g (6oz) Dried apricots
- 2 Apples
- 120ml (4floz) Apple juice
- 225g (8oz) Butter
- 75g (2 1/2oz) Soft brown sugar
- 175g (6oz) Wholemeal flour
- 200g (7oz) Porridge oats
- Preheat the oven to 180°c (350°F, gas 4). Very lightly oil shallow baking tray measuring 31 x 21cm (12 1/2 x 8 1/2in).
- Chop the apricots, and peel, core, and finely chop the apples. Place in a pan with apple juice and simmer for 10 minuets.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then blend in a food processor until smooth.
- In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then fold in the flour and oats.
- Spread half of the flour and oat mixture in the baking tray. Spoon over the apricot and apple mixture and spread it out evenly. Spread the remaining flour and oat mixture on top and press down lightly.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until light golden. Cut into 16 bars while in the tray, and leave to cool before removing. Store in an airtight container.
Macros: Kcal: 231 | Fat: 13g | Protein: 3.5g | Carbs: 27g | Fiber: 2.8g