Fibres are carbohydrates that are not absorbed by the body. They are found in some foods such as fruits and vegetables, grains and cereals. The adequate consumption of high-fibre foods in the diet is essential to maintain intestinal health and prevent diseases such as constipation.
In addition to this, fibre, mainly soluble fibre, also helps regulate blood glucose levels and increases the feeling of satiety, fighting diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Therefore, the daily recommendation of fibre for an adult is between 25 to 38 grams.
Benefits of Ingesting High-Fibre Foods
The most excellent effect of fibre consumption occurs in the colon, where it dilutes the intestinal content, provides the substrate for the bacterial flora, captures water and fixes cations. Furthermore, partially fermentable or soluble fibre can retain water and increase faecal mass, which increases peristalsis, reduces intestinal transit time, decreases abdominal pressure and prevents and treats constipation.
In this sense, there is evidence that soluble fibre supplements can improve the bowel movements, the consistency of stool and the symptoms of those who suffer from constipation.
More so, soluble fibre delays gastric emptying and therefore has a satiating effect. In contrast, insoluble fibre promotes stool volume thanks to the fact that it helps to increase the water in these and thus, it favours intestinal transit and is vital for the prevention of constipation. Sufficient consumption of fibre helps to improve intestinal transit but also to control appetite and body weight since it favours the feeling of satiety, it also helps control blood glucose and cholesterol levels and supports the prevention of colorectal cancer.
Some fibres, especially oligosaccharides and insulin, have a prebiotic effect that enhances the development of desirable bacterial flora. Simply put, the term prebiotic is defined as “that non-digestible food substance that is beneficial for the individual by the selective stimulation of the growth and development of one or more bacteria of the colon.”
Fibre consumption can also help prevent the development of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. The use of fibre, especially from whole grains, would be “a protective factor against the development of alterations in hydrocarbon metabolism such as diabetes.”
Highlighted below are 22 foods with a high volume of fibre.
Walnuts and other nuts
Nuts have been haunted by an unfairly lousy name: They are very caloric, yes, but that is only a problem if we eat them as an aperitif instead of using them as substitutes for other foods. They are satiating, which helps to lose weight, and 100 grams of raw almonds will give us 12.5 grams of fibre; if they are walnuts, 6.7g.; and peanuts, which are technically legumes, provide 8.4g. for every 100.
An excellent breakfast option to replace cereals, which when they are processed are often sugar bombs. One hundred grams of oat flakes contain 8.4 grams of fibre. In Kellogg’s famous wheat-based All-Bran, this contributes up to 17.3g.
The piece of fruit must be consumed whole and not in the form of juice or smoothies because then the contribution of fibre will decline, and the absorption of sugar in our body will increase. A good-sized apple has 5.4 grams of fibre; one large peach, 3.4g.; a plantain or banana, 3.5g.; and a water pear, up to 7.1g.
In addition to being an excellent source of vitamins and beneficial sugars when consumed whole, we find in the large orange 4.4 grams of fibre, 3.7g. in grapefruit of similar size, and 2.2g by tangerine.
It is one of the main contributions that come from the Mediterranean diet to the world of nutrition and can be eaten dried if our goal is to increase fibre intake: about two grams per piece.
Tomato and carrot
Tomato is a fruit, but it provides us with insoluble fibre such as cereals and legumes: 1.1 grams per 100 grams of product, as long as it is natural. The carrot, on the other hand, is a source of soluble fibre: 2.8 g by the same measure.
These berries have a good reputation for their antioxidant and cardio-protective effects. And they help to complete the fibre we need: 100 grams will give us 2.4 g., while the same proportion of strawberries will mean 2g. and raspberries, up to 6.5g.
Whole grain cereals
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25 grams is the minimum amount of fibre that each person should consume daily. Part of this fibre can come from whole grains, which can provide us with an average of 45 grams of fibre per 100 thanks to the fact that a shell wraps the seed made up mostly of cellulose, a fundamental component of dietary fibre. This rye bread or whole wheat bread contains about 1.9 grams of fibre per slice; one cup of oat bran 5.2 grams of fibre or one cup of cooked brown rice up to 3.5 grams of fibre.
Green leafy vegetables
If we opt for an iceberg lettuce salad, it alone will provide 1.2 grams of fibre for every 100 g; if we do it with chard, it will be 1.6 g .; and if they are spinach, 2.2 g. by the same proportion
Adding it to our salad will make it a more nutritious first course, it will give us “good fats” (monounsaturated) and also fibres of both types, soluble and insoluble: up to 20.4 grams, almost all the recommended amount for one day, for one piece.
It is, in fact, wheat semolina. But, what better presentation than in the form of a complete meal, with a satiating effect that will help us control our weight? We will obtain 1.4 grams of fibre for every 100 g, on the plate.
Vegetables represent an indispensable component in our diet. In addition to micronutrients, they provide us with slowly absorbed carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Artichokes contain about 5–6% fibre. A half-measured cup of artichokes contains fibre valued to be about 10.3 grams. This capacity is worthy enough to promote the intestinal constitution of an average human by boosting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon; It also helps lower cholesterol and keeps our blood sugar levels normalized.
Lentils and other legumes
Legumes are a great source of minerals, alternative proteins to those of animal origin, and above all, fibre — lentils of a lifetime reign in this classification with 7.4 grams of fibre per 100. Natural white beans would have up to 7.7 g. Fresh green beans, on the other hand, contain 3.2 g. for every 100 grams of the product.
A medium skinned pear contains 5.5g of fibre. Pears are ideal for fighting liquid retention, since they have more than 80% water, and are practically fat-free. As for the rest of its content, a pear contains 190 mg of potassium, 7.5 mg of vitamin C, 12 mg of folic acid, various antioxidants, including quercetin, which protects us from cancer and heart disease.
Broccoli does not contain fat or cholesterol, and it also has the right amount of protein and fibre. One hundred grams of Broccoli includes 2.6 grams of fibre. If we add a cup, it would be 10.3 grams of fibre or have about vitamin A, C valuing about 81 mg, alpha-carotene and beta carotene acid. Additionally, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, niacin, choline and folic acid can be found in small quantities. Other components such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus are available in Broccoli.
Lentils, peas and beans help fight cholesterol. As for these, half a cup of cooked beans provides us with up to 11.3 grams of fibre. Furthermore, they are rich in iron and vitamin C (growth and repair of tissues). Vitamin C also helps our bodies block free radical damage from environmental toxins that contribute to various health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
Popularly known as ‘goat’s beard’, this root is famous for its soft texture and dominant flavour. One hundred grams of salsify provide 3.1 grams of fibre in addition to significant amounts of vitamins E, B1 and B2 or minerals such as iron and calcium.
Sweet potato and cassava Roots and tubers are two types of food with which fibre consumption is practically guaranteed. The potato, which is probably the best known, has 3.2 grams of fibre in every 100 grams that increase if the skin is consumed. The same is true for sweet potatoes or cassava, all of which are very rich in carbohydrates, vitamin C and vitamin B; in addition to being low sodium foods.
Cinnamon Spices are a fundamental element to maintain a balanced diet and enhance the flavour of food, as well as being an excellent source of fibre. Cinnamon, in particular, contains 53% fibre and for its antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, cinnamon is one of the best known aphrodisiac foods.
The beet is actually the lower stem of a plant typical of the Mediterranean and occidental Europe. Aside from 2.5g of fibres contained in it, it’s also a good source of sugar. However, it provides few calories and, as it is a food rich in fibre, these sugars are absorbed slowly.
It is also a source of folic acid, vitamin C and potassium, in addition to phosphorus. The vitamins and minerals it provides are involved in the production of red and white blood cells, the synthesis of genetic material, the functioning of cellular metabolism and the strengthening of the immune system.
Brussels sprouts stand out for their high content in vitamin C, although, like all food of plant origin, it also has other characteristics and qualities, such as its richness in fibre (about 2.6g), minerals such as calcium and iron, and other vitamins, such as vitamin A, which provide our diet with a series of essential substances for our body.
Like all crucifers, they are rich in sulfur, which makes them smell unique and with classy characteristics.
As its name suggests, split peas are obtained by splitting green, red or yellow dry peas. The best known are split green peas, which contain more chlorophyll and have a more robust flavour than yellow peas. A serving of cooked split peas is an excellent source of folate, providing 20% of the recommended daily amount of this nutrient. Like lentils, split peas contain a negligible amount of fat and are a good source of fibre, valuing about 16.3g, a nutrient necessary for tissue growth and repair.
Having said all that, the fibre must be only of vegetable origin. Meat does not have fibre, nor does fish. However, although we tend to think of fruit as a source of high-fibre, it is also found in legumes, cereals and almost all nuts. As a general rule, if it is a vegetable, it has fibre.
However, as in everything that has to do with food, if you abuse fibre because you read that it is excellent for your digestive system, and you intend to exceed these recommended amounts, you will most likely have problems: gases, diarrhoea, colic … Besides, if you exceed the recommended limits of daily fibre, it will interfere with the absorption (use) that your body makes of some essential minerals for your life, such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.
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