The importance of fiber to the human body is a fact that doesn’t need any explanation.
You have definitely been told that fibers are good for you and that you should focus on food with high fibers for several times already.
However, the important points to discuss here are: What are fibers? why are they that important? how to get them from the right sources? and what is a high fiber diet?
What are fibers?
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 into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested.
Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Fibers are actually classified into two types according to their solubility in water and both are important to the body.
Soluble fibers: They are fibers that can dissolve in water.
Their function is to lower glucose level and blood cholesterol.
Insoluble fibers: On the other hand comes insoluble fibers, they are fibers that does not dissolve in water.
Their function is to help food move through the digestive system.
The right fiber intake per day:
The national fiber recommendations are 30 to 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women between 18 and 50 years old, and 21 grams a day if a woman is 51 and older.
What are the benefits of fibers?
Have you ever asked yourself why do people keep advising you to eat more fibers?
Eating fibers has many positive effects on your health.
From the benefits of eating fibers:
- Puts you at a lower risk for heart diseases.
- Controls blood sugar levels. (lower risks of Diabetes)
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Strengthens your bones.
- Puts you at a lower risk of some types of cancer.
High fiber diet foods
A high fiber diet is a diet that focuses on eating more high fiber food, as a result, it makes your intake of meat gradually decreases.
Although a high fiber diet requires eating more fibers, however, it does not mean that you should suddenly stop eating meat and start eating too much high fiber food.
That is actually not true at all, the right way to start implementing a high fiber diet is to increase your high fiber food intake gradually.
Examples of high fiber diet food:
Fruits are from the most well known sources of fibers, which is really good for us.
Since we all love fruits with their different shapes, colors and tastes, therefore, we should exploit that they are a great source of fibers.
So, pick a fruit as a snack whenever you feel hungry, drink them as a juice or even cut them and add them to your desserts.
Although all fruits are beneficial, however, some fruits are really high in fibers:
- Apples (3 to 4 grams)
- Bananas (3 to 4 grams)
- Oranges (3 to 4 grams)
- Strawberries (3 to 4 grams)
- Raspberries (8 grams)
- Mangoes (5 grams)
- Guavas (9 grams)
Vegetables are the easiest and the most available source of fibers that you can rely on, because they are already a daily routine to almost all of us.
We are all used to adding a plate of salad beside each meal we eat, also, vegetables come in a very wide variety that you can freely choose your favorite from.
Just like fruits, there are also certain kinds of vegetables that are high in fibers:
- Green Peas (7 grams)
- Artichokes (5 grams)
- Broccoli (5 grams)
- Carrots (5 grams)
- Spinach (4 grams)
- Potatoes (4 grams)
Who does not love almonds, peanuts or pistachios? Even if you do not like some types of nuts, there are definitely other types that match your food taste.
Nuts and seed are more than just snacks, they really have many benefits to the human body.
One of these benefits, is that they are a good source of fibers.
From nuts and seeds that are high in fiber:
- Almonds (4 grams)
- Hazelnuts (3 grams)
- Peanuts (2 grams)
- Sunflower seeds (4 grams)
- Dried coconuts (5 grams)
- Chestnuts (4 grams)
Good news are that popcorn is a very good source of fibers, because popcorn is actually a snack that fits almost every situation.
Regardless that we all eat popcorn at the cinema or while watching movies at home, you can also take popcorn to school, university or work.
It is definitely more beneficial, safer and also cheaper than the snacks you can buy from the supermarket.
Amount of fibers in popcorn is as follows: A 3-cup serving of air-popped popcorn has about 4 grams of fiber.
Oats are grains from the cereal plant, Avena Sativa, and once harvested are processed for use in animal feed, skin products or food.
For food use, oats are milled, steamed, heated and cooled in a kiln, which brings out the flavor.
The oats are then rolled, cut or ground to produce flakes, oatmeal or flour.
Oats make a great and a full of nutrients breakfast, it is also a quickly prepared breakfast when you are late in the morning.
Simply, all you need to do is to add warm milk and fruits or nuts to your oats and then you are done.
A 1-cup serving of raw regular or quick oats 8.2 grams of fiber.
Dark chocolate is not something that all people agree on, although it is more expensive, however, some people find milk chocolate more tasty than dark chocolate.
Lets agree that dark chocolate is really bitter, but still tasty for a lot of people.
Whether you agree on dark chocolate’s taste or not, you can’t deny that it is a good source of fibers.
Amount of fibers in dark chocolate is as follows: A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber.
Can high fiber food help in weight loss?
Fortunately, yes! Eating more fiber is actually a very good way to lose weight.
Since fiber makes you feel full, therefore, it reduces your consumption of other foods that are probably causers of weight gain.
Also, not eating enough fiber can make your body gain more weight, so, try to take your right intake of fiber in order to help your body lose weight and to prevent it from gaining weight.
What would happen if you ate too much fiber
Since excess amount of anything is never a good thing, so, if you overate high fiber food with an expectation that it would give you more benefit, you are definitely wrong!
Eating too much fiber causes several health problems, These problems include:
- Stomach cramps
- Weight gain/loss
- Poor absorption of nutrients
Accordingly, try to not exceed the required portion of fiber needed daily.
Also, if you noticed any of the symptoms mentioned above, pair in mind that you might be getting too much fiber.
Final tips for high fiber diet
So, if you took the decision to follow a high fiber diet, then, these tips might be helpful for you:
- Make your snack something high in fiber (fruits, nuts or popcorn)
- Eat oats, cereals or fruits for breakfast.
- Be keen on adding a plate of salad to whatever the meal you eat.
- Know your suitable intake of fibers per day and try to not exceed it nor undertake it.
- Pay attention if you noticed any symptoms, they might be a result of excess fibers.
- Do not suddenly increase your intake of fiber, increase it gradually.
To wrap up
Getting your right intake of fibers is not just something that is good for you, however, it is something you are forced to do.
Since fibers exist in very available, cheap and also tasty types of food.
So, you do not have a convincing reason to not get your right intake. To make a long story short, you should appreciate your healthy body and be thankful for having it.
Do not let missing very simple acts led you to unpleasant reasons.
Not only for fibers, always listen to your body and try to provide it with what it needs.