You must have read many articles on IMBB reiterating the importance of including fiber-rich food in one’s daily diet to boost digestive system and to lose weight effectively. However, how exactly does dietary fiber help to maintain a good health and in shedding weight. Let’s explore more about what fiber can do for your health and also this post will list out 34 fiber-rich food items that can you can include easily into your daily diet.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a category of nutrients that does not break up into sugar molecules, rather it passes down into the gut unbroken, and helps feed the healthy bacteria in the gut with nutrients. Healthy bacterial colonies are essential to maintain a healthy gut for better absorption of nutrients and vitamins into the body. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet because it helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, clears constipation, regulate blood sugar levels, and also to control appetite. Fiber helps to reduce appetite, reduces belly fat, and thus helps with weight loss too.Fiber helps to treat constipation and other digestive system related issues. Most importantly, fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer.
How Fiber helps with Weight Loss?
Soluble fiber, combines with water to form a gel-like component that slows down the release of digested food into the gut. Soluble fiber also helps the friendly bacteria that exist in the intestines thrive well and these bacterial flora helps with better absorption of vitamins and nutrients into the bloodstream from the small intestine. This process is called fermentation which releases short chain fatty acids which can in turn reduce belly fat. Fiber also helps reduce appetite to a great extent by regulating the production of hunger hormone “ghrelin.” Fiber content also reduces one’s appetite by slowing the movement of food through the gut. Since fiber has low glycemic index, it also does not spike up insulin and thus reduces the chance of extra calories getting stored up as fat in the body.
There are two categories of dietary fiber – soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble Fiber – Soluble fiber is known to help decrease blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Pectin, Gum are soluble fiber. Mixes with water in the body to form a gel-like component. It also helps lower blood cholesterol. Some examples of soluble fiber are lentils, oatmeal, citrus fruits, barley, apple, etc.
- Insoluble Fiber – Insoluble fiber, as the name suggests, does not combine with water and adds as a bulky agent and helps to have a strong digestive system. Hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin are fiber found in cell walls. Insoluble fiber increase the bulk of stool and helps speed up the passage of food through the digestive system. It retains its consistency without mixing with water. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation. Foods with whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, brown rice, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers. Some foods, like nuts and carrots, are good sources of both types of fiber.
Recommended Dosage of Daily Fiber Intake:
Men need around 38 gm per day and women need up to 25 gm per day.
34 Fiber Rich Food Items for Weight Loss (100 gm):
- All bran – 12 gm
- Sunflower seeds – 3 gm
- Flaxseed – 6 gm of fiber (20 gm).
- Almonds – 4 gm (23 almonds)
- Barley – 17.3 gm.
- Buckwheat – 10 gm.
- Green peas – 4 gm
- Lentils – Arhar dal, toor dal, masoor dal – one cup has 15 gm of fiber.
- Black beans – 8.7 gm
- Broccoli – 4.7 gm of fiber.
- Walnuts – 6.7
- Carrot – 2.8 gm.
- Oranges – 2.2 gm.
- Pumpkin: 2.5 gm fiber in a single cup.
- Spinach – 2.4 gm.
- Pear – 3.1 gm.
- Sweet potatoes – 8 gm of fiber.
- Avocado: 10 gm.
- Pistachio: 3 gm.
- Pecans – 9.6 gm.
- Sweet corn – 2.0 gm.
- Apples – 4 gm (one apple)
- Banana – 3.1 gm (one banana)
- Cherries – 3 gm.
- Figs – 12 gm.
- Grapes – 3.9 gm.
- Kiwi – 2.1 gm.
- Olives – 1.5 gm.
- Peaches – 1.5 gm.
- Oatmeal – 7.5 gm
- Plums – 1.4 gm.
- Raspberries – Rich in ketones, 8 gm of fiber in one cup.