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Fibers and Fiber Rich Foods – all you need to know

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In this article I will reveal some little known facts about fibers and the beneficial effects of fiber rich foods over one’s body.

What is fiber or fibre?

Fiber (US) or fibre (UK) is an indigestible part of all plant foods. Plants use it to build their cell walls. It is found in fruits, vegetables, grains and beans.

Our digestive systems cannot stomach fiber (also known as cellulose), so it is excreted undigested. And if you think we don’t need fiber, because it’s excreted undigested, you’ll be wrong.

In fact we need fiber more than we know…

Just imagine the following problem…

You overeat once or twice a week – more often in the evenings and at weekends. Your regular menu does not include much foods rich in fiber. Well, if this is your life style, then you should consider some health problems that might occur:

  • digestive troubles
  • gallstones
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • colon cancer
  • obesity

The consequences…

  • indigestion
  • discomfort stomach aches
  • gases in the digestive tract
  • constipation
  • hemorrhoids
  • you got tired faster
  • poor concentration

You become less productive at work and more irritable at home. Besides all this, you gain weight and that’s the crucial moment when you realize you have a problem.

Possible solutions

You pay a visit to your doctor or find a recommended dietitian – both OK, but of little help.

Doctors can offer you nothing but a temporary solution – drugs for the symptoms; or worse – they can recommend an expensive medication for a disease you don’t have.

Dietitians will probably make you start a proper diet plan combined with excersing program to lose weight.

Well, I’m not saying none of those would work – yes, they would, but not for everyone. Imagine changing drug after drug and still suffering gases or constipation…

The solution is in the foods and proper eating habits, not drugs!

Fiber rich foods solve the problem

In this case scenario finding the true cause of your health problems might take a little bit more time.
At the end you’ll find out that no drugs but increased intake of foods rich in fiber is the solution to your problems.

Surprisingly most people regular diets include lessa than 10-15 grams of fiber daily, whereas the average amount of fiber intake should be about 25-30 grams per day. That’s quite unfortunate, yet quite easy to be fixed.

How to start with fiber rich foods?

You should start consuming more of these foods rich in fiber:

  • fiber rich foodsall bran cereal
  • beans (kidney and butter)
  • peas
  • spinach
  • sweet corn
  • wholemeal brown bread
  • red cabbage
  • carrots
  • baked potato with skin
  • apples
  • bananas
  • oranges and many others

I can’t list all of them, but I can advise you to eat more beans, grains, fruits and vegetables. That pretty much sums up the picture on how to get started with fibers.

More on fibers

There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. If you start eating more food rich in both types of fiber, you’ll be amazed of its beneficial effects over your digestive system, your body, your health and way of living.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water in the intestinal tract, it forms glue like gel. It softens stools (no more constipation) and slows down stomach emptying, which means better digestion (no more indigestion).

Benefits of eating foods rich in fiber:

  • You will feel fuller longer – that’s the effect that helps you eat less
  • Your digestive tract uses more energy to digest fiber rich foods – this way your body burns additional calories
  • You can lose weight – of course it takes some time to reach your desired weight, but you won’t be starving, and yet you’ll be losing weight – isn’t it great?

Insoluble fiber acts in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s an excellent natural laxative. Fiber holds onto water and to push waste faster along the intestines, leaving less time for cancerous substances in your stool to have contact with the lining of the bowel. Thus fiber decreases the risk of colon cancer and helps prevent hemorrhoids by adding bulk and softening stools.

Soluble fiber is also known to help lowering cholesterol and the amount of insulin needed to process the blood sugar after eating.

Instead of a conclusion

Adding more fiber/fibre to your menu would be the best thing you could do for your health.

I must admit my stomach feels much better now once I started to eat more wholewheat products and fruits and vegetables.