Fibre is a must in your diet. We all have heard it thousands of times before but why do we need fibre so much and why is it so good for our health?
Fibre: Fibre contains all parts of plant foods that stay undigested by the body. Body breaks down fats, proteins and carbohydrates but fibre is not absorbed by the body, hence, it passes unchanged through the stomach and small intestine into the colon.
Fibre Types: Basically there are two types of fibre, the soluble and insoluble fibres, responsible for softening and hardening of the stool.
Importance of Fibre: Fibre is important in the diet for several reasons. It helps in keeping the digestive system to function properly. Also, it removes constipation. Other disorders such as hemorrhoids and development of small pouches in colon (diverticular disease) are reduced with fibre diet.
Fibre helps old people in their digestion as their system becomes weak and slow with age. Blood cholesterol can also be reduced and people with obesity can lose weight with the help of fibre. Fibrous foods are also often low in fat and give a sense of fulfillment.
Diabetes can also be prevented with fibre, as it maintains lower blood sugar levels. In the bowel, bacteria convert fibre into short chain fatty acids, which provide energy for the body and may help protect against cancer.
Amount of Fibre We Need: Daily intake of fibre is different for different age groups. Men of 50 years and younger require 38 gms and above over 50 years require 30 gms. Women, 50 and younger require 25 gms and above 50 require 21 gms.
Foods with Fibre: Diet good in fibre include grains, whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and other legumes, nuts and seeds. Refined or processed foods such as fruit juice, white bread and pasta and non whole grain cereals are lower in fibre content. The grain refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which makes it lower in fibre and removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fibre content.
Other Suggestions: A sudden switch from a low fibre to high fibre diet can have disasterous effects. It is better to take fibre as suggested in your daily intake and to switch to fibre diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. Also, fibre diet requires lots of fluid intake, as it causes constipation otherwise.
Important Note: The articles presented are provided by third party authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of KhanaPakana.com. They should not be considered as medical advice or diagnosis. Consult with your physician prior to following any suggestions provided.
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