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Facts of Fiber

Fiber is a mixture of substances found in plant cell walls, which is not digestible by human body. It seems unbelievable but true, fiber is having no nutritional value still it does wonders to our body.

Fiber is mainly categorized into two, depending upon whether it can be dissolved in water or not.

  1. Soluble fiber
  2. Insoluble fiber

Soluble Fiber:

The fibers which readily dissolved in water is known as soluble fibers, the food given below contains soluble fibers.

Oats                                                                                        Dried beans & peas

Brown Rice                                                                             Rye

Barely                                                                                      Seeds

Oat bran

Veggies like carrots, corn, cauliflower, sweet potatoes

Fruits like apples, strawberries, oranges, bananas, pears

Insoluble Fiber:

When fiber is not readily dissolved in water,  it is known as insoluble fibers. The food shown below is the good source of insoluble fibers.

Wheat bran                                                                             Corn Bran

Whole Wheat bread and cereals                                           fruits

Veggies like potatoes with skin, French beans, broccoli etc.

Advantages:

Lower the cholesterol level:

Soluble fibers are having the characteristic to bind with cholesterol and pull it out of the body. So eating the fruits with the skin, veggies with skin, legumes, oats, and foods containing oat and oat bran can protect your heart.

Feeling Fuller with less food:

We can always be able to eat a full bowl of white rice, but never be able to eat more than one or two tbsp of brown rice, why??  Similarly you cannot eat more than 1 mid size apple (if eaten with skin) at a time. Why?? The reason behind it is FIBER. Since fiber absorbs water it swells inside intestine. It tends to stick around and keep us full and satisfied for longer times.

Do the cleaning Job:

Fibers acts like the cleaning agent of our digestive system, insoluble fibers makes the food move faster in intestine and it not allow fat or cholesterol to be absorbed by the system. It acts like a brush and clean the system internally.

How to increase the fiber in our diet:

  • Add few tbspoon of wheat bran to cereal, cottage cheese, yoghurt and salads.
  • Eat veggies and fruits with skin.
  • Try to incorporate beans and lentils with each meal, as they are loaded with fibers.
  • Eat the seeds always after a meal as “Mukhwas” . it will make you satisfied and reduce the cravings to eat any sweet right after meal.

Word of caution:

Don’t overeat the fiber, overloading on fiber can cause bloating, cramping, gas, diarrhea, and other abdominal discomforts. Always have plenty of fluids to help the fiber pass through the system.

About the author

Ami Paneri Upadhyay

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