Oh, the fantastic dietary fibers. Many of you have heard of them, and some even regularly take them for better health. But the chances are that few know exactly how much you can benefit from these fantastic foods! To motivate and fill you with further desire for a healthier life, we’ve decided to write this little article. Check it out – and stay informed!
A Quick Start: What Are Dietary Fibers?
Generally, by saying “fibers” we usually refer to certain portions of plants that our body isn’t able to digest. That means fibers pass through our gastrointestinal tract almost unchanged, leaving our bodies almost exactly in the same form that they entered it. Herbivorous animals do not have this issue since their bodies have the enzymes needed to break down the substances in question.
One might ask why fibers are good for humans if we can’t use them up easily. While this may look like a reasonable question, there are some peculiarities to fibers that are useful to know to understand their benefits.
First of all, there are two main types of fibers:
Soluble fibers, as the name implies, dissolve in water and form a jelly-like substance that is partially absorbed and ultimately helps to control blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fibers can be found in different beans, oats and some fruits – like citruses and apples, for example.
Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water and pass through your intestines almost intact. One of the main effects of these is that they promote the passage of other foods, thus relieving constipation, to some degree. One of the best sources of insoluble fibers is whole grains of any sort, but potatoes are also unexpectedly good for this matter.
It’s impossible to divide all the foods into two massive categories that would have either soluble-only or insoluble-only fibers. Most products have both types, but the ratio may differ. In order to get the most out of your fiber-oriented diet, make sure to eat a great variety of plant foods, thus covering both your needs of soluble and insoluble fibers!
What Kinds of Food Are Rich in Dietary Fibers?
In general: plant foods. Any vegetable or fruit is rich in fibers, but there are some that are a real treasure – check them out!
- Seeds: chia, sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, sacha inchi, flax, almonds
- Root vegetables: onions, potatoes
- Beans & peas
- Cabbages: broccoli, turnips, radish, cauliflower, kale, collards
- Whole-grains (though these are NOT your best source of fibers: keep reading to discover why)
Health Benefits You Can Expect from Fibers
- Control of blood glucose levels. This one is especially important from those suffering from diabetes. Fibers slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body, thus lowering the ultimate intake of sugars.
- Fibers reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A strong association between fiber intake levels and risk for heart-related diseases has been found.
- Fibers drastically improve your chances to lose weight and prevent obesity. One of the main ways that this is done through is by lowering your appetite and increasing satiety. Also, fibers alter the secretion of different gut hormones, which also play a great role in your alimentary behavior.
- Fibers help to treat hemorrhoids and their complications. As we said above, fibers improve the natural movements in your guts, thus relieving constipation, which is one of the factors that may contribute to hemorrhoids.
- Promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. That’s done, well, by feeding them – as fiber is one of their main sources of nutrients. By increasing the total amount of beneficial bacteria in your guts, it’s possible to improve the functions of your immune system and relieve dysfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Fibers help you to control blood cholesterol levels. This is particularly important because an improper level of cholesterol may contribute to a further development of cardiovascular diseases – and even strokes.
DON’T EAT Much Fiber if Your Intestines Aren’t Healthy Enough!
Do This Instead.
After reading about the numerous benefits of fibers, some people start eating monstrous amounts of beans and fruits, hoping for a rejuvenating effect. Sadly, they often receive the contrary result – and end up even more compromised than before.
So, what’s the problem here?
Let’s take a moment to remember the eternal saying of Paracelsus: “All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dosage makes a thing not poison.”
Those are some wise words, aren’t they?
In fact, the “poison” that we’re talking about in terms of foods rich in fiber – are the so-called “antinutrients.” Their amount is especially high in whole-grains – the scholar “main” source of fibers. Antinutrients are certain substances that may increase the permeability of your guts – or decrease your ability to digest useful nutrients. For example, nuts, grains and seeds are rich in phytic acid, which has strong binding affinity to calcium, iron and other minerals. So, if you eat too much grain, a deficit of calcium is a thing to be expected.
If you’ve got generally healthy guts, perhaps that won’t be a problem for you, but if you’re even slightly unsure of it – restrain from an excessive amount of grains. While healthy intestines will most likely endure this stress, compromised ones may experience serious complications.
In any case, the solution is simple: you’d like to eat vegetables and fruit rather than whole grains. This way you can be sure you’ll receive enough beneficial fibers, but take as little antinutrients as possible. Also, be sure to control the amount of seeds and nuts you’ll be eating.
If You Want to Lose Weight, Just Eating Fibers Isn’t Enough
Although people love fibers for their appetite-reducing and cholesterol-lowering properties, they’re not enough for a significant weight loss. In order to ensure a proper result, the best way is to combine an effective fiber-friendly diet (hCG diet, for example), a proper workout routine, and general lifestyle modification. Every component of this brief list is crucial for your long-term results. You can still take hcg supplements while you are in hCG Diet. The only reason why most people fail is, they dont know how to buy real hcg drops. We always recommend every visitor to go through hcg reviews written by experts in order to buy best hcg drops.
Anyway, don’t take this article too seriously. Yes, fibers are beneficial for your health, but so are other fabulous and mouth-watering things like dairy products and protein foods. In the end, the magnificence of a wisely-planned diet is in its balance – everything is good if taken timely and in moderate amounts.
So be sure to not leave anything aside! Enjoy fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits, take some seeds and nuts as a snack from time to time, don’t forget your fish days (hurray for omega-3 acids!) and even allow yourself for an incidental hamburger once in a couple of weeks.
After all, the secret for a healthy life is to be positive about everything around you – and everything inside you as well, food included. Don’t worry, be happy, and bon appétit!