6 Ways to increase fiber in your diet

Fiber Rich Foods

Benefits of Eating Fiber-Rich Foods

Every single person in this world is unique and so are his nutritional requirements. There are a number of people who do not consume enough fiber, which is essential for an individual's health. Fiber has been found to be effective in improving digestion and regularity.

Fiber is the part of the plant that our body cannot break down. It is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest completely, so it passes through our digestive system without being absorbed.

The health benefits of fiber is a vast topic and in this article, we focus on a major benefit of consuming a fiber rich diet. A high-fiber diet helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents carbohydrate cravings. It makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time, making it easier for you to eat less and lose weight. Fiber is effective in helping you to maintain a healthier weight as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer thereby preventing you from overeating.

Fiber is a part of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients (macros) that are found in food. The other two macros include fats and proteins. Fiber makes up the plant part of our foods. Fiber provides the body with energy, helps with detoxification and contributes to a healthy bowel system. Furthermore, fiber can help lower blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Fiber is the stuff that keeps your system moving and functioning well. In fact, foods that are packed with fiber are an essential part of a healthy diet as they help regulate your body's digestion and metabolism, and also aids in bowel movement and other processes that keep you fit and fine.

6 Ways to Increase Fiber in your Diet

There are various ways in which you can increase your fiber intake and they all stem from the same source - plant-based foods. 

Fiber is the part of plant-based foods that your body can’t digest and hence, it helps you get rid of the extra calories from the food you eat. The key is to include fiber in every meal and snack to make sure that you get enough of it. Fiber can be found in different forms in different types of foods. 

Here are the 6 best ways to eat more fiber and increase fiber in your diet:

1. Eat more fruits & vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber. High-fiber foods also help in maintaining the body’s pH levels by producing acids and enzymes that aid digestion and absorption of food. Foods that contain fiber also help in fighting cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation and obesity.

2. Choose whole grains instead of refined grains: Whole grains are less processed as compared to refined ones where the vitamin-containing germ and fiber content of foods is compromised to a large extent. Some whole grains include barley, millet, quinoa, bulgar wheat, etc.

3. Take fiber supplements: You might consider taking fiber supplements like guar fiber, psyllium, glucomannan, etc. if your fiber intake is low and you are unable to fulfil your fiber requirements from food. However, these supplements have their own drawbacks, therefore it should be your last option to indulge in fiber supplements.

4. Fiber-rich fruits: Some people find it really difficult to include fruits in their daily diet. Fiber-rich fruits like apples, pears, plums, oranges and bananas help to get the digestive system working properly by increasing regularity.

5. Eat chia seeds: Chia seeds are high in fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals as well. They contain 11 grams of fiber per ounce and are 95% insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps in keeping the digestive tract clean and in motion. Apart from chia seeds, flax and sesame seeds also have the same nutritional profiles as that of chia seeds.

6. Some best fiber foods include beans, lentils, peas, pulses, chickpeas, salads, etc that must be added to your diet in order to get recommended daily intake.

Fruits High in Fiber

Exotic fruits tend to draw a lot of attention and are often referred to as superfoods. A group of people are obsessed with them and this is because they are rich in fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Most common fruits grown in India have a lesser amount of fiber when compared to these so-called superfoods.

  • Passion fruit: This fruit has the most amount of fiber amongst all fruits and it also helps to keep your heart fit and strong. If you consume this fruit regularly you can protect yourself against stroke.

  • Avocados: This fruit is a great snack option for those looking to lose weight. It has 80% less sugar content than any other type of fruit available and hence there is no extra weight gain after consuming them.

Take Away

For every individual, how much fiber they need a day is based on age, gender, activity level, bodyweight etc. In general, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for fiber is 25 grams per day. However, the RDI for children is based on age and gender.

It is estimated that up to 30 % of the world’s population suffer from some form of digestive problems, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A high-fiber diet helps to keep the colon healthy and regular. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help meet the daily fiber requirement. For instance, eating a banana before a meal may help slow down how quickly food travels through the gut, preventing symptoms of IBD.

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