Fiber-rich foods: Benefits and product list

Can you take too many vitamins
Can you take too many vitamins

Not only vitamins, minerals, and proteins are important for staying healthy. Dietary fiber also plays an important role in our body, even though we are often not aware of this. Fiber-rich foods not only help with smooth digestion but can also help prevent all kinds of health problems.

Just as for minerals and vitamins, fiber also has a recommended daily allowance. Not many people make it, however. Do you also want to know more about fiber? Then read this article and find out exactly what fibers are, why they are so important and, above all, what they are in.

What Are Fibers?

Fibers are ballast substances that mainly occur in the cell walls of vegetable products. The body absorbs energy from the food you eat. Energy sources are fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Fiber is also carbohydrates, but it cannot be digested or only partially digested because your body does not have the enzymes it needs.

Despite fiber being carbohydrates, the big difference is that they provide almost no energy. Nevertheless, it is important that your diet contains fibers, because they support your health. You should eat 30 to 40 grams of fiber every day. Given that only 25% of the people come to this, it is wise to pay more attention to this.

There are different types of fiber, namely fermentable and non-fermentable fiber. You can also classify them as water-soluble and non-soluble fiber. In fact, if you eat foods that contain fiber, they will not be digested by the stomach or in the intestines. That would make you think that nothing is happening with it and that they do nothing for you. Indeed, the body does not absorb nutrients from it. They end up in the colon in the same form that you put them in your mouth.

Some fibers can be broken down there by bacteria. This process is called fermentation. This is not the same as digestion, but the process provides a little bit of energy and substances are released. So the body can still do something with this. It turns out that 70% of the dietary fiber can be fermented.

Although non-fermentable fiber cannot be broken down by the body, it is also important for health. Below you can read about the characteristics of both fibers.

Fermentable, soluble fiber

This species is found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes. There are bacteria in your colon that can break down soluble fiber. In the stomach, these mix with water and other food that is there. This creates a kind of gel-like substance. In the small intestine, soluble fiber sticks to cholesterol, sugars and fats.

This helps to ensure that, for example, sugars are less quickly absorbed into the blood, so that your blood sugar level fluctuates less. You also feel full faster due to the swelling of the fibers. You can read more about the benefits of the soluble dietary fiber under the heading “the benefits of fiber-rich foods.”

Non-fermentable, insoluble fiber

Sources of non-fermentable fiber are whole grain cereals, vegetables, beans and fruit. They are so important to your health because they can absorb a lot of moisture. In this way they ensure a good flow of the intestinal tract, but they also increase its content. This allows the bowel to move better and propel the mass. This helps to reduce the risk of constipation. Because non-soluble fiber absorbs so much moisture, it is important to keep drinking enough.

Sources of fiber

Fiber in our diet comes from plant products, in particular from the cell wall of the plant. You can find them in fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and vegetables. Some products contain more fiber than others and, as you could see, there are different types. If you want to take advantage of all the health benefits of fiber, it is good to make sure that you eat different types of foods that contain all types.

Whole wheat or processed

Dietary fiber is naturally found in grain products. But some products have been edited. If grain grains are ground into flour, the end product will no longer contain so much fiber. This is also the case with peeled white rice. That is why it is better to opt for whole grains (pasta, bread) and brown rice.

Added fiber

Fiber is added to some foods. This is done, for example, with dairy products and certain healthy drinks, but also with bread that is not whole grain. Products that are naturally low in fiber get more fiber that way.

This is done to help the consumer still get the recommended daily amount of fiber. But it is not yet clear whether these synthetic, added fibers have as healthy effects as natural ones. It is best to opt for natural sources of fiber.

The 6 benefits of a fiber-rich diet

  1. A fiber-rich diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

If you eat enough fiber, you support your heart and blood vessels. Research shows that people who eat little fiber are 20% more likely to develop coronary heart disease and strokes. The more fiber you eat, the greater the effect. It is recommended to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Fiber from whole grains and vegetables appears to be the most important in protecting the heart and blood vessels.

The cholesterol level also plays a role in a healthy cardiovascular system. Certain fibers from oats, fruits and mushrooms help balance cholesterol and boost LDL cholesterol. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is wise to eat more fiber. These can also help lower blood pressure.

  1. Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight

Eating high-fiber foods makes it easier to lose weight. This is because you feel full after eating products that are high in fiber. As mentioned earlier, fiber absorbs a lot of moisture and therefore fills the stomach and intestines well. Because fibers cannot be digested, they slow down digestion. In this way, fiber helps you to eat less and can therefore be helpful if you want to lose weight.

  1. Stabilizing effect on blood sugar

Because fibers attach themselves to sugars, they make them less likely to be absorbed into the blood. The longer it takes for sugar to enter the bloodstream, the less severe the effect on the blood sugar level. Therefore, people with diabetes should eat high-fiber foods. This can help reduce the symptoms of this condition. With fiber-rich foods, you can even reduce the chance that you will develop type 2 diabetes.

  1. Lower risk of cancer

Research shows that eating fiber-rich food reduces the risk of colon cancer by up to 15%. Again, it is advisable to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day. The more fiber you eat, the lower the risk becomes. If you eat 10 grams of fiber more per day, you also lower the risk of colon cancer by 10%. It seems that high-fiber diets can also lower the risk of breast cancer.

  1. Healthy skin

By eating a lot of fiber, you stimulate your skin to stay healthy. They promote the fungi and yeasts working outside. That means you are less likely to get infections or a rash on the skin.

  1. Fiber-rich foods supports a healthy intestinal flora

Fiber is a food source for the healthy bacteria in the gut, this is called your intestinal flora. There is an interaction between these bacteria and the colon. Dietary fiber provides nutrition for the bacteria. When these bacteria break down the fibers, substances are released that the intestinal epithelial cells in turn use as food and that stimulate bowel function.

In order to retain enough of these bacteria, you will therefore have to eat fiber every day. This concerns the fermentable fibers, which stimulate the growth of, for example, lactobacilli and bifidobacilli. A healthy intestinal flora reduces the risk of hemorrhoids (because the stool remains flexible) and diverticulitis (these are infections of the diverticula, the bulges, in the colon). Eating fiber can reduce your chances of getting this type of inflammation by 40%. People who follow a high-fiber diet are also less likely to have IBS, irritable bowel syndrome.

Fiber-rich diet list

There are many different types of products that are high in fiber. Below you will find a list of fiber-rich foods from the different product groups.

Whole grains

In grain products, the fibers are located in the membranes of the grain. That is why you have to make sure that the product is unprocessed. Even when you cook grains, about half of the fiber is lost.

The figures given below apply to unprocessed and uncooked grains:

Product Grams of fiber per 100 grams
Oatmeal 7.5 grams
Quinoa 7 grams
Rye bread 8.5 grams
Whole grain bread 6.5 grams
Whole-weat pasta 7 grams
Brown rice 3 grams

 

Fiber-rich vegetables

Some vegetables are very rich in fiber. If you want to keep as much fiber as possible, it is important not to overcook them. Stir-frying or grilling is a better option. The Making smoothies is often seen as a way to get more vegetables inside, but depending on how you make them, can go here lost a lot of fiber.

Most firm, hard vegetables are rich in fiber. Vegetables that contain a lot of moisture generally contain less fiber (think lettuce or cucumber).

Below is a list of fiber-rich vegetables:

Product Grams of fiber per 100 grams
Potatoes 2 grams
Artichoke 5.4 grams
Beets 2.8 grams
Kale 3.8 grams
Broccoli 2.6 grams
Parsnip 3.6 grams
Red cabbage 3.8 grams
Shiitake 3.6 grams
Green beans 4 grams
Spinach 2.2 grams
Brussels sprouts 3.8 grams
Carrot 2.8 grams
Sweet potatoes 3 grams

 

Fiber-rich legumes

In the past, legumes were still widely consumed, such as kidney beans, capuchins and lentils. But nowadays they are not that popular anymore. If you want to eat more fiber, legumes are a good choice, because they are very rich in fiber and also contain many vitamins and minerals. Eat legumes a few times a week.

Below is a list of fiber-rich legumes:

Product Grams of fiber per 100 grams
Kidney beans 9 grams
Peas 5 grams
Capuchins 6.6 grams
Kidney beans 6.4 grams
Chickpeas 7.6 grams
Lentils 7.9 grams
Split peas 8.3 grams
White beans 10.5 grams

 

Fiber-rich fruit

Fruit is also rich in fiber. Forest fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and currants in particular contain a lot of fiber. Do not make fruit juice, otherwise the fibers will not be retained.

 

Product Grams of fiber per 100 grams
Currants 8 grams
Strawberries 2 grams
Apple 3.5 grams
Avocado 6 grams
Banana 2.6 grams
Blackberries 5 grams
Raspberries 5 grams
Pear 5 grams
Orange 2 grams

 

Nuts and seeds

The most fiber-rich foods are nuts and seeds. You can eat them alone, with a salad or with a warm meal. Don’t eat too much of them as they are also very high in calories.

Product Grams of fiber per 100 grams
Almonds 10 grams
Cashew nuts 3.5 grams
Chia seeds 34 grams
Hazelnuts 7.5 grams
Linseed 33 grams
Pecans 2.5 grams
Peanuts 7 grams
Pistachios 9.5 grams
Walnuts 5.5 grams

 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *