Ever wondered why dieticians and nutrition experts persistently take a crack to create awareness about including fiber in our diet? Whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables are the buzzwords that rule the health pages of the newspapers and magazines. Let’s crack the mystery and find out why fiber has earned such a reputation.
Often referred to as roughage or bulk by a layman, fiber is actually composed of sugars and starches from plants. Your body does not digest or absorb fiber, but it passes though the body undigested. Fiber is a digestive dynamo which reduces constipation and helps keep the digestive tract healthy.
“Populations that consume more dietary fiber have less chronic disease. In addition, intake of dietary fiber has beneficial effects on risk factors for developing several chronic diseases.”- American Dietetic Association
Why fiber is touted as an essential ingredient for good health and well-being?
With the paradigm shift in the dietary patterns these days, we often find many people choosing the healthier food options over the other unhealthy ones available. Eating a high-fiber diet has a wide array of health benefits. Not only it helps keep • Whole grainsmany chronic diseases at bay, but is also helpful in the treatment of gastric disorders like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids. Dietary fiber may also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, keep cholesterol levels under check, and help in the prevention of certain types of cancer.
• Nuts and seeds
• Fruit and vegetables
Daily recommendations of dietary fiber
The dietary recommendations for the intake of fiber are about 25-30 grams per day for someone eating 2000 calories per day. Women should try to aim for at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should eat about 30 to 38 grams per day.
Tips before you start
Before you start, keep a few things in mind. As you increase the amount of fiber in your diet, remember to simultaneously increase your water intake as well. Add fiber gradually to give your gastrointestinal tract time to adapt. High fiber foods work wonders for your health, but adding too much fiber instantly to your diet may result in bloating and digestive problems. In case you suffer from any pre-existing gastric disorders, including constipation, check with your doctor first.