According to recent nutrition findings, less than 3 percent of Americans consume the required fiber intake. Fiber, like water, is one of the most important parts of our diet, yet remains ignored. The ignorance is understandable to some extent: that maybe lack of knowledge on the importance of fiber is to blame.
So, why high-fiber foods?
In definition, fiber is a required part of the diet that is not digested at all. Rather, it goes into the body and comes out in its original state. The duty that the fiber accomplishes on its journey through the digestive system is what matters. Fiber exists in a soluble and insoluble form. Vegetarian diets contain both of these.
When soluble gel gets to the stomach, it converts into a gel and regulates digestion by slowing it down. This helps in regulating blood sugar and cholesterol to the right quantities. Insoluble fiber is always whole. When it gets into the colon, it collects or “sweeps” waste along the walls. This leaves the colon clean. Additionally, it softens waste, making it easier to move through the colon and out of the digestive tract.
High-fiber has additional long-term benefits. They include: reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, and stroke. Also, it cuts down the risk of diabetes by regulating blood glucose.
On the hand, lack of fiber not only reverses the above benefits but also accounts for painful toilet moments due to hard stool. Again, it leads to constipation, insufficient digestion, and uncontrolled appetite. On the other hand, though, over consumption of the same may lead to very fast digestion thus insufficient digestion and absorption. It may also lead to bloating, gas buildup or cramping.
Types of High-fiber Foods
- All types of bran: rice, corn, wheat oats and other cereals.
- Beans: Lentils, mung, cranberry, garbanzo, black beans, adzuki, Lima, navy, kidney, French, and black turtle soups beans to mention but a few.
- All types of berries: blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, elderberries, loganberries, currants and blueberries are examples.
- Whole grain: spaghetti, barley, popcorn, teff, brown rice, whole wheat, wild rice, crackers, whole bread, wheat berries, millet, and amaranth, plus many others.
- All fruits
- All green foods (veggies)