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FIBER – Benefits, Types, Steps To Increase, And Many More

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Overview | Benefits | Types | Foods | The Role Of Psyllium(Isapgol), Oats And Guar | Steps To Increase Fiber | The Bottom Line

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Overview

Hello friends. Welcome to be Healthy Be Fit. In this article we will discuss Benefits, Types, Steps To Increase, And Many More about fiber. Fiber is a structural part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that cannot be digested by the human body. Fiber is also called bulk or roughage. British surgeon, Dr. Denis Burkitt, who took up the banner of high fiber diet to prevent some of the common diseases of this century. In 1970, he reported from Africa that over twenty years of observation – He rarely saw any patient with coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and gallstones in Africa. This is all due to high dietary fiber.

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Researches have confirmed that high fiber intake can, substantially, cut down the risk of many common diseases. It includes obesity, diabetes, gallstones, hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Dietary fiber, of course, for long term known as to prevent constipation.

The recommended daily intake :

  • 25 grams for women
  • 38 grams for men

BENEFITS

Lowers The Risk Of Heart Disease

High fiber intake is associated with a low incidence of heart disease. In one study of twenty developed countries, it was noted that the population with high fiber intake had a lower rate of heart disease.

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Japan, for example, was noted to have the highest fiber intake and lowest CHD (coronary heart disease). The United States, on the other hand, had the lowest fiber intake and the highest rate of Coronary heart disease.

Other studies from England and Holland have confirmed that people with the lowest fiber intake have four to five times more CHD than those with the highest fiber intake.

Can Reduce Blood Glucose Spikes After a High-Carb Meal

High-fiber foods tend to hold a lower glycemic index than refined carb sources, which are stripped of most of their fiber.

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However, scientists believe only high-viscosity, soluble fibers have this property.

Including these vicious, soluble fibers in your carb-containing meals may cause smaller spikes in blood glucose/sugar.

This is important, mainly if you’re following a high-carb diet. During this case, the fiber can reduce the likelihood of the carbs raising your blood glucose to harmful levels.

That said, if you’ve got blood sugar issues, you need to consider reducing your carb intake, especially low-fiber, refined carbs, like white flour and added sugar.

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Relives Constipation

One of the most benefits of high fiber intake is reduced constipation.

Fiber is claimed to help absorb water, increase the majority of your stool, and speed up the movement of your stool through the intestine. However, the evidence is fairly conflicting.

Some studies show that increasing fiber can improve symptoms of constipation, but other studies show that removing fiber increases the chances of constipation. The consequences depend upon the type of fiber.

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In one study, 63 individuals with chronic constipation, happening a low-fiber diet fixed their problem. The individuals who remained on a high-fiber diet saw no development.

In general, the fiber that increases the water content of your stool features a laxative effect, while fiber that adds to the dry mass of stool without increasing its water content may have a constipating effect.

Soluble fibers that form a gel within the alimentary canal and aren’t fermented by gut bacteria are often effective. An honest example of a gel-forming fiber is psyllium(Isapgol). We will discuss the role of psyllium in the later section of this article.

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Other sorts of fiber, like sorbitol, have a laxative effect by drawing water into the colon. Prunes are an honest source of sorbitol.

Choosing the proper sort of fiber may help your constipation, but taking the incorrect supplements can do the other.

For this reason, you need to consult a health care provider before taking fiber supplements for constipation.

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TYPES OF FIBER

1. Water Soluble

It includes all plant gums, pectins, and mucilages. Water-soluble fiber binds the bile acids in the intestine. It is important to know that the only water-soluble fiber has the capacity to lower your cholesterol level.

TypePlant SourceFood SourceAction
PectinBinds cell wall in the plant tissue, giving a gelGel in fruits: some vegetables and legumesHolds water and binds bile acid
Plant GumSticky material at point of plant injuryFruits and vegetablesWater binding capacity; used as emulsifier
MucilagesGelatinous substance similar to plant gumGuar gum(legumes); plant seeds; part of fruits and vegetablesInfluences plasma glucose and insulin levels
Water Soluble Fibers

2. Water-Insoluble

It is particularly good for digestive disorders. It includes prevention of constipation, diverticular disease[Diverticulosis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) develop in your digestive tract], and cancer of the colon.

Water-insoluble comprises lignins, cellulose, and hemicellulose that helps in the formation of bulks.

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TypePlant sourceFood sourceAction
CelluloseChief part of cell wall pantWheat bran and 25% of plant fiberSpeeds up gastrointestinal transit and faecal bulk
LigninWith cellulose makes up cell wall of plant and cementing material between cell wall and cellVegetables and fruitsMay bind bile acids and other materials
HemicellulosePart of cell wall, less complex than cellulose and easily changes to simple sugar50-70% of plant fiber of grains and vegetablesHelps relieve constipation
Water-insoluble fiber

Foods

NOTE*- Many food items are rich, both water-soluble and water-insoluble fibers. If you do not understand the chart then don’t worry. See the below photo.

Fiber rich foods

The Role Of Psyllium(Isapgol), Oats And Guar

Psyllium(Isapgol)

Psyllium or Isapgol has been known and used for centuries in ancient Indian medicine. In recent years, it is noted that Isapgol reduces the cholesterol level. All thanks to its high fiber content.

In one study, after an eight-week intake of Isapgol, a 15-20% reduction of LDL cholesterol(the bad cholesterol) was noted in men with high cholesterol. Other studies have also shown the same results. It also helps you with constipation.

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India is one of the principal producers of Isapgol. Isapgol is not expensive and is readily available in the market. Regular intake of Isapgol can reduce your cholesterol level by 10-20%. I will link the best Isapgol powder for you.

For India

1. Organic India Psyllium – https://amzn.to/32URZVf

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2. Sat-Isabgol Psyllium – https://amzn.to/305wKhM

For Outside India

1. NOW Supplements, Psyllium (Husk Powder), Non-GMO Project Verified – https://amzn.to/334Ehzj

2. Nutricost Psyllium – https://amzn.to/2EeTGlZ

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Oat And Oat Products

Oat and oat products are very popular in Western countries. Oatmeal, which has high soluble fiber, is widely used as a cereal. It is widely available for many years in western countries. The actual benefits of oat bran have come to light only recently.

In 1997, Dr. Anderson, a pioneer researcher, decided to investigate the role of oat bran. He found that the outer part of oat contains the most fiber and is does not digested by the body.

The Quaker Oat Company in the USA, informed Dr. Anderson that though they knew all about oatmeal, they had not heard about the oat bran. The company referred Dr. Anderson to an oat-milling plant.

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The plant executives informed Dr. Anderson that oat bran was a byproduct of milling oat flour and it was only used for pet foods.

When Dr. Anderson received the first shipment of oat bran, he used it on a number of people, including himself. To his great surprise, Dr. Anderson’s own blood cholesterol declined from 280 mg to 175 mg. A 30% drop on 100 grams of oat bran a day just after 5 weeks of eating! The rest is history! Today, millions of Americans start their day with oat bran breakfast.

Here are some of the best oat bran available in the market. If you want to buy then just click the link below.

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For India

1. Dietofy A Healthy Diet Solution (Oats Bran) – https://amzn.to/3hFSTJn

For Outside India

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1. Quaker Hot Oat Bran – https://amzn.to/3f3l6rK

Guar

Guar is a fiber and found in legumes, particularly in their seeds. It contains high soluble fiber and some Indian companies have even come up with guar tablets.

Steps To Increase Your Fiber intake

  1. Eat bread, especially wholemeal bread. Wholemeal flour is made from the complete grain of the wheat plant, including the outer part.
  2. Eat More potatoes. Both potatoes and wholemeal bread are excellent fillers, and need not be fattening(make you fat). Only if, you don’t load them with butter or fry them in fat( oil, ghee, etc.)
  3. Eat high fiber breakfast cereal but go low for the sugar. The more bran it contains the better it is.
  4. Increase your intake of beans, peas, lentils, and other pulses.
  5. Eat more vegetables. Vegetables, particularly the green leafy ones. Don’t overcook them or you will lose all their goodness. Just cook enough to soften them. You can eat some of them raw. Example – cabbage.
  6. Eat plenty of fresh food and salads. Even softer fruits like melons and oranges contain a good amount of fiber. Many of you till now must though that orange only contains vitamin C. Right? Comment down below if you already knew.
  7. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water. They are low n calories and can help you stay slim.
  8. Do not peel fruits and vegetables; leave the skin and eat it. Example – you can eat a whole baked or boiled potato with skin.
  9. Make a room for all the good food by cutting down on sugary and fatty items. For example – biscuits, sweets, and crisps(chips) especially between your meals.
  10. Try using wholemeal products.
  11. Try brown rice. It takes longer to cook. But it doesn’t clump together into a sticky mess as white rice sometimes do.

The Bottom Line

Dietary fiber has various health benefits.

Not only does it satisfy your gut bacteria, but fermentable fiber also forms short-chain fatty acids, which nourish the colon wall.

Additionally, viscous, soluble fiber may decrease your appetite, lower cholesterol levels, relieves constipation, and decrease the rise in blood sugar after high-carb meals.

If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you should make sure to get a variety of fiber from whole fruits, vegetables, and grains.

To get more articles related to health, fitness and other things related to health subscribe! That’s it for this article. Thank you for reading.

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Dessert in Five
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Aman Pawar
Aman Pawar is Certified Diet and Nutrition Expert. Also he is Certified Fitness Trainer. He also writes on Quora and his answers has generated more than 15k plus views in less than 6 months! For more info visit About Us page.
Articles: 88

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