I’m A Fibre-Starter: Top 5 Fibre-Rich Foods
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or simply to get healthier and fitter, fibre should be your best friend. Fibre is essential for digestion of food, and the proper functioning of your digestive system. It helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Fibre may also benefit the immune system, thereby decreasing the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. However, don’t overdo it, especially not all at once. Excess fibre can lead to diarrhea, dehydration, gas, and cramping. An increase in fibre intake must be paired with an increase in water intake.
It is recommended that women should have 25 grams of fibre a day, while men need 38 grams. Women above 50 years of age need 21 grams, while men in the same age group should have 30 grams daily.
Here are the top 5 foods for your fibre needs:
- Bran — Corn, rice, wheat, or oat, they all are the way to fibre heaven. Oat bran is high in soluble fibre, which has beneficial effects on cholesterol. Corn, wheat, and rice bran are all high in insoluble fibre, preventing diabetes, promoting weight loss, and keeping you full for longer.
- Beans — White beans, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans — there are so many varieties, and all of them are packed with fibre, along with protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Most people associate them with uncomfortable gas and bloating. However, the way to combat that is to slowly introduce these in your diet, if you are not used to them.
- Berries and other fruits — The many seeds in berries raise their fibre content to super high. Berries are also a great source of antioxidants. Try blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries by themselves, or as a topping on cereals or yoghurt. Fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, oranges, peaches, and figs are great sources of fibre too, while providing many other vitamins and minerals.
- Nuts and seeds — Nuts and seeds are a healthy and quick way to incorporate fibre in your diet. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds can be had by themselves or added to smoothies, cereals, and yoghurt.
- Potatoes — Potatoes are the easiest way to load up on fibre.
Affordable and easily available everywhere, they already form a part of the staple diet for people almost all over the world. Just don’t deep fry them, or you will be gaining more weight than you’ll lose! Keep your portion sizes in check, as cooked potato is packed with resistant starch, a fibrous substance that could help you lose weight. And remember, the fibre in potatoes is in the skin, so don’t just discard it.
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