What are fibres?
A healthy diet contains 5 major components that are carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Apart from these 5 components, we miss a very important part of our diet i.e. Fibre.without fiber our diet is incomplete. Fiber is that edible part of plants that passes undigested through our body but play a very major role in cleaning our digestive tract.
Type of fibres
On the basis of solubility in water there are mainly two types of fibres that are soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibers are soluble in water and help in managing the cholesterol level in our blood, weight, and diabetes. It is present in oats in the form of beta-glucan, psyllium husk( isabgol), methi, citrus fruits, and fruits containing pectin in them like oranges, guava, pineapple, etc.
Insoluble fibers are insoluble in water and are the main constituent for the treatment of constipation. Cucumber is a very good example of this.
Healthy diet should contain both types of fibers.
Sources of fibers
- Green leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, fenugreek
- Whole grain cereals like whole wheat flour, brown rice
- Bread and pasta
- In vegetables like ladyfinger, carrots, beans and leafy greens.
- In fruits like pineapple, apple, orange, strawberry etc.
- Pulses like chana, peas, rajma etc .
Prevention of various intestinal disorders
The main role of fiber in our body is to clean our digestive tract. It is mainly associated with the relieving of constipation. Constipation is a condition when stool does not passes properly out of our body. It makes a person feel bloated and sluggish. People often feel lethargic and fatigued. People take it lightly but it increases the risk of colon cancer. It can reduce appetite. Sometimes constipation results in flatulence (gas formation) which affects the mood of a person and increases discomfort. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation as it does not get dissolved in water. Due to the water holding capacity of Insoluble fiber, it absorbs water from the intestinal wall and makes it soft that helps the fecal matter to come out. Sometimes not taking healthy diet is also a reason of constipation.
Diverticulitis is a disorder of inflammation of the intestinal wall with the formation of pouches. When we take less amount of Fibres, our intestines struggles to get rid of undigested waste. This causes a strain on intestinal walls which sometimes develop in small pouches. This condition is mainly seen in old age. Due to the retaining the ability of water,high fiber diet is a good source to get rid of this disorder.
When our digestive tract does not clean properly, fecal matter is acted upon by bacteria in the intestines leading to the formation of cancer-causing carcinogens. Since fiber increases the speed of stool to come out there will no Chance for bacteria to work upon fecal matter.
The deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels is the main cause of heart disease. When soluble fiber is dissolved in water it forms a viscous gel. It swells up the digestive tract and forms a layer around the stomach and intestine so that it slows down the process of digestion and absorption. Cholesterol is the main precursor of bile formation. Fiber helps to bind the cholesterol and facilitates its excretion and cholesterol level in blood decreases. Hence fiber is the best source to reduce heart risk.
We all know that carbohydrates are the major component of our diet. It breaks into glucose and that glucose level absorbed in our blood is regulated by a hormone, called insulin.(it is an antagonist of glucose means decreases the glucose level) since fiber slows down glucose absorption thus avoids any spikes or fluctuations in blood glucose level.
Fiber-rich foods are lower in calories. If a person’s fiber intake is high, he may feel stomach fulfill ness which reduces the craving for food because fiber stay in our stomach for a longer time, therefore, reduces the intake of food as a result fiber helps in maintaining weight. Taking a healthy diet is good to maintain healthy weight.
Everyone needs a flawless skin. Our uppermost epidermis has fibrous tissues beneath the skin. Fiber intake helps to maintain and repair these tissues and keep our skin glowing and Young for a longer time. Healthy diet for glowing skin should contains fibres.
Precautions while taking fibre
Everything in excess is not good for our health. Hence excess intake of fiber can also lead to discomfort such that
- Suddenly increase in fiber intake can lead to abdominal pain, gas, and sometimes diarrhea too. Hence it should be added slowly in diet especially for those who are already on a low fiber diet.
- Fiber works well only when our diet has a proper amount of water so the deposition of fiber in our tract should not be there.
- Fiber should be intake from a natural and healthy diet rather than from supplements.
- Sometimes the excess intake of the fiber reduces the intake of minerals such as calcium and iron.
also read: http://proteindiet