Why do we need to eat fibre? It used to be called roughage, and people tried to get rid of it. P Now we have heard plenty about it, but why do we need
in our diet? Dietary fibre is actually a form of that does not get digested by enzymes in our small intestine, and so its sugar units are not absorbed into the bloodstream. P Dietary fibre is therefore known as. However, fibre has important effects on other nutrients within the small intestine and through effects on the large intestine, where few other nutrients arrive intact. P It has a range of valuable health effects: Smooths out digestion and absorption of and fats in the small intestine. P It reduces the of a meal. Provides fuel for the healthful or good bacteria in our large intestine which in turn benefit us by making, and by releasing volatile fatty acids from the dietary fibre which are important for the health of our colon. Speeds up transit though the intestines to remove waste and toxins Regulates bowel action, so reduces cancer risks. Did you know? P Dietary fibre has been sold for years as a bulking agent as people thought it must reduce appetite and help weight loss. P But research shows that it doesn t actually reduce appetite or assist weight loss directly. So,? P Find out more by clicking that link. Where do we find dietary fibre in our food? Generally, dietary fibre is present in all plant foods fruits, vegetables and grains but not in animal foods.
P This is mainly because of the different in cell structures plants cells have cell walls, animal cells don t. Insoluble fibre can be found in foods such as wheat, corn, wholemeal bread, brown rice, bran, whole grain cereals, nuts and seeds, vegetables and peels of fruits. Soluble fibre is particularly rich in legumes lentils and peas and beans (including peanuts) and bean products like soya protein and in oats, barley, fruits, vegetables and potatoes Is there a down-side? P Can you have too much dietary fibre? Well, yes you can First, some advice for you if you want to add more fibre to your dietP Increase fibre-rich foods gradually, because a sudden large addition of fibre into your diet can cause stomach cramps and excessive, often painful, wind. P Your intestine will adapt in time. And, too much dietary fibre can interfere with the absorption of minerals such as, and from foods. P This is not often a problem because high-fibre foods usually contain plenty of these minerals, and vegetarians on very high fibre diets tend to be healthy, but it can cause problems when the overall diet quality is poor. P If you are taking fibre supplements, be careful and only use them occasionally. It s important to always make sure that you keep yourself well hydrated in relation to your fibre consumption, because fibre can dehydrate you a little and become sluggish in your system.
So we can see that dietary fibre has lots of plus-features, but it can have a few minuses too. P Our health depends on eating a balanced diet- and it can sometimes be a bit tricky to work out all the pluses and minuses of all the nutrients. Do you consume enough fiber each day? If you are like most Americans, then you probably consume about 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day. Unfortunately, this is just not enough. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), we should actually be eating anywhere from 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. What exactly is fiber? Fiber is the element in plants (like fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that our bodies do not digest. Fiber is different from most foods that we eat in that, unlike most foods which are absorbed and digested, fiber is not absorbed or digested. It actually passes quickly through your digestive tract, mostly intact, and it is not broken down like other foods. The fact that fiber is mostly left intact is a good thing as it creates bulk which aids in moving stool and harmful carcinogens through the digestive tract. Without enough fiber in your diet, you will have irregularity, constipation, and sluggishness. Insufficient fiber can also increase your risk of colon cancer, as well as other serious health issues. Because fiber helps to move stool through your digestive tract and colon, it actually helps to prevent colon cancer as it keeps your colon clean and healthy.
Other health benefits of fiber include reducing the incidence of heart disease, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels and inflammation, and even weight loss. Fiber can help with weight loss because it creates a fullness within your intestines that helps you to eat less. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. According to the Mayo Clinic, БSoluble fiber dissolves with water and creates a gel-like substance that helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Б Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, Б absorbs water which adds bulk to your digestive tract and helps to move things through quickly. Б Examples of soluble fiber include oats, oat bran, peas, rice bran, legumes/beans, apples, and citrus fruits. Examples of insoluble fiber include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, rye, cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts and nuts. What would a daily diet of 30 to 35 grams of fiber look like? Lunch or Dinner: One cup of lentils, split peas or black beans (15-16g of fiber); one cup of broccoli contains 5g б of fiber You do not need to eliminate other foods in order to have a fiber-rich diet, just learn how to incorporate fiber-rich food into your daily life! It is really that simple. When you think of all the health benefits, plus the added bonus that you may lose weight, why wouldnБt you incorporate these foods into your diet?