You should eat more fiber. You've probably heard it before. But why fiber is so good for your health, do you know that? Let's dig deeper into it.
What is Dietary Fiber?
Dietary fiber is the portion of plant-derived food that cannot be completely broken down by digestive enzymes. It passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, and colon and out of your body.
Types of Fiber
Soluble fiber – This type of fiber dissolves in water – is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active by-products. It is viscous, may be called prebiotic fiber, and delays gastric emptying which, in humans, can result in an extended feeling of fullness.
Insoluble fiber – This type of fiber does not dissolve in water – is inert to digestive enzymes in the upper gastrointestinal tract and provides bulking. Bulking fibers absorb water as they move through the digestive system, easing defecation.
How does Fiber help in digestion?
Fiber plays a major role in digestive health. Fiber is the fuel the colon cells use to keep them healthy. Soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol particles and takes them out of the body, helping to reduce overall cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease while Insoluble fiber helps to keep the digestive tract flowing, by keeping your bowel movements soft and regular.
Below are the 10 Fiber Rich Foods For Your Better Digestion:
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that form a gel when comes in contact with water. They’re highly nutritious, containing high amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Chia seeds are very high in fiber.
The fiber in chia seeds absorbs a good amount of water and expands in the stomach, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer. An amazing source of fiber, protein, and minerals, chia seeds are perfect for decreasing cholesterol, boosting bowel function and reducing inflammation in the body. Soak chia seeds overnight and eat them in breakfast by adding to your favorite smoothie to get your daily recommended intake of fiber.
Oats are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They contain a powerful soluble fiber called oat beta-glucan, which has major beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber from oatmeal binds with bile acids in your gut, helping excess cholesterol go out through waste, ultimately lowering your cholesterol level. As it goes through the digestive system, it turns into a gel that slows digestion, keeping you feeling fuller longer. Oats increases the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
The chickpea is a type of legume which is loaded with nutrients, including protein and minerals. Chickpeas are rich in prebiotic fibers which act as food for healthy bacteria in your digestive system. This can lead to reduced risk of some digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer. Protein and fiber work synergistically to slow digestion, which helps promote fullness. Chickpeas contain soluble fiber; it blends with water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract.
Lentils are very high in protein and loaded with many important nutrients. Lentils contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. That means they make you full by expanding in the stomach and absorbing water. Additionally, their fiber can help improve heart, digestive immune and metabolic function, by carrying waste, excess fat and toxins out of the body.
Apples are among the tastiest and most satisfying fruits you can eat. They are also relatively high in fiber. Apples contain a unique type of fiber called pectin, which has been shown to help improve digestion because of its soluble nature and ability to bind to cholesterol or toxins in the body and get rid of them. Due to the high content of fiber, apple makes you feel full; eating an apple a half hour to an hour before a meal has the result of cutting the calories of the meal.
Sweet potatoes are super healthy and have a delicious sweet flavor. It’s very high in beta-carotene, B vitamins, and various minerals. They are best had with their skins if you want to benefit your digestive system. With the peel on, their fiber content gets better. The starchy texture of sweet potatoes contains fiber, which aids digestion. They are soothing to the stomach and intestines so you can avoid any difficulties of digesting them.
Remaining 4 Fiber-Rich Foods explained in the Ebook.
Read Full Chapter in Eat So What! Smart Ways To Stay Healthy (Mini Edition)
Good digestion is key for a good life. By keeping your digestive system healthy you can keep many diseases at bay. Fiber-rich foods play an important role in digestion by helping food move through your system more easily or quickly. If you’re seeking relief for your digestive woes, consider adding fiber-rich foods to your diet. After all, prevention is better than cure.
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