People are always talking about the importance of high fibre foods. Why is it important? Well it promotes intestinal health, keeps us regular, and keeps cholesterol low.
Fibre is consumed mainly through fruits and vegetables. It is also present in other foods. The reason fibre promotes bowel regularity is that the body expels it as waste; which moves the intestinal tract more often.
Of course, most people do not realize they need to increase their fibre intake until something happens. They may get haemorrhoids due to constipation. A physician will often recommend increasing fibre intake. Always remember to drink plenty of water, especially if you have problems with constipation. Also, avoid those foods low in fibre (or eat fewer of them), and get plenty of exercise.
So how much of these high fibre foods do we need?
Dietary fibre is best, meaning it is naturally present in foods. It is absorbed better than supplemental fibre, or fibre that has been added to processed foods.
Twenty-Five grams of fibre are recommended for women and thirty-eight for men.
What are the High Fibre Foods?
Raspberries, pears, apples (pears and apples with skin) Bananas, oranges strawberries, figs and raisins are all excellent fibrous fruits. Raisins contain about 1.0 per oz, and 1.6 for two medium sized figs. It may seem like the latter two contain the least amount, but more fibre is present in smaller amounts of these. Most berries will also contain fibre. Be sure to eat fruits with the skins when trying to achieve the maximum amount.
Artichokes and green peas, Brussels sprouts and sweet corn, turnip greens, tomato paste, and carrots are some of the most fibrous veggies. If cooked, these should be steamed or cooked lightly to retain nutrients.
Legumes, Seeds, and Nuts
Split peas, lentils black beans baked beans, sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachio nuts, and pecans are among those containing the highest fibre in this group. Remember that when it comes to canned foods, fibre content can vary from brand to brand. Be sure to check labels so you can make comparisons.
Grains, Cereal, and Pasta
Whole wheat spaghetti, Barley, Bran flakes, Oat bran muffin, Oatmeal, Popcorn, Brown rice, Rye bread, whole wheat or multigrain breads. These are the grains that will give you the most fibre. Basically, eating natural foods, and avoiding processed foods will give you the most nutrition. Remember that white rice, white bread, enriched spaghetti, and the like, are all processed, which robs them of essential nutrients.
Consuming a lot of fibre will help you maintain a healthy weight as well as keep cholesterol down. It also promotes intestinal health for most people, and prevents colon cancer. High fibre diets can also be linked to healthy blood sugars and increased vitamin intake, merely due to the whole and natural foods one must consume in order to absorb a good amount of fibre.
Know that the foods listed above are merely a starting point – there are many fruits and vegetables, most of which contain fibre and are classed as high fibre foods.