Dietary fiber, also known as roughage, is found in vegetables and fruits. There are two types of dietary fibers: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Our body can't digest or absorb fiber from the food, and it passes intact through our stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, and is finally thrown out of the body.
Fiber can provide several health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss and lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. They keep the gut clean and healthy while promoting gut-friendly probiotic bacteria.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming approximately 38g of fiber for sedentary men and 24g of fiber for sedentary women. Most people do not get this amount of fiber in their regular diet.
Adding the following common seeds, vegetables, and fruits can easily add roughage to your diet and prevent gut-related issues and indigestion.
Dietary Fiber Foods To Include in The Diet
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a rich source of soluble dietary fiber, which helps maintain a healthy gut and promotes the growth of good bacteria. Chia seeds can be added to greek yogurt, oats, fruit salads or protein shakes to make them more nutritious.
They also help regulate blood glucose levels and hence can be beneficial for people with diabetes. Chia seeds have gained popularity recently due to their weight loss benefits, and they are also a rich source of magnesium.
As a low carb vegetable that is rich in fiber, broccoli can help people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It's also rich in Vitamin C, and 100g of the vegetable contains only 7g of carbs. Broccoli is versatile and can be used in various recipes like stews, soups, and stir-fry. This nutrition-packed vegetable can be steamed and added to pasta, chicken and other dishes.
Berries are a popular dietary fiber food, which promote the growth of good gut bacteria and help with your gut health. Berries may also prevent dementia and mental degeneration. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the most commonly consumed berries. They can be added to fruit salads, greek yogurt, and oats.
Guavas originated in Southern America and Mexico. They are rich in soluble dietary fiber, which promotes the growth of good probiotic bacteria and also aids in digestion and prevents constipation. Guavas can be added to oats, fruit salads, and chia pudding. They are also rich in lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals which can cause oxidative stress.
Carrots are dietary fiber foods that promote gut-healthy probiotic bacteria and prevent constipation. They are rich in antioxidants, including beta carotene, which is responsible for fighting oxidative-free radicals that can cause cellular damage and inflammation. Beta carotene is also a precursor to vitamin A, which is essential for eye health.
Spinach is a popular dietary fiber food consumed all around the world that contains a high amount of dietary fiber. Spinach can be added to a variety of dishes like soups, stews, and curries to increase their fiber content.
It's also rich in iron and magnesium. Iron is required to synthesize hemoglobin in the red blood cells of our body, while magnesium plays a key role in bone metabolism and nerve function. Spinach is also known to lower blood pressure and bad LDL cholesterol.
Dietary fiber foods are essential for gut health. They help maintain a healthy gut by promoting good probiotic gut bacteria. They also provide bulk and roughage to the food, which helps in smooth bowel movement.
These foods may also promote weight loss and lower blood sugar levels. However, adding too much fiber can lead to the formation of intestinal gas, bloating, and cramping. The ideal way to ensure an adequate dietary intake of fiber is to have a varied and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, and whole grains.