I’m quite sure you have heard that you should eat more fibers… But do you know what fibers are? Where can you get it from? And why are they good for you?
Fibers are the indigestible parts in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grain bread and cereals. Studies have shown that fibers have many health benefits and can prevent various diseases and health problems, that is why it is very important to include them in your daily diet.
So what do fibers do?
Eating a diet high in fibers keeps your digestive system healthy; it makes stool pass more easily and so reduces your chance of having constipation. It also protects you from developing hemorrhoids, diverticulosis (pouches in the colon wall) and decreases the risk of having colon cancer.
Fibers are also good for your heart. They lower your blood cholesterol level and especially your LDL (bad cholesterol), that is why a high-fiber diet can protect you from high blood pressure and many other heart diseases.
Fibers slow down sugar absorption in your intestine, so they lower your risk of having diabetes and help control blood sugar level for people with diabetes.
A high-fiber diet can help you lose weight. Fibers slow down your absorption and make you feel full faster and for a longer time, and so it makes it easier for you to cut down calories consumed and hence helps in weight loss.
After knowing all these health benefits … how about adding some fibers to your diet?
Where can I get fibers from?
Good sources of fibers include:
- Fruits. Have dried fruits and fresh fruits with their peel instead of canned fruits and pulp-free juice.
- Vegetables. Eat lots of fresh and cooked vegetables with their peel.
- Legumes. Include plenty of legumes in your diet like beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas…
- Nuts. Have a cup of nuts as a snack including almonds, walnuts, cashews…
- Whole grains. Have whole grain bread, cereal, pasta and rice instead of regular ones. Be careful “Brown” does not always mean whole grain, make sure what you’re buying says “Whole Grain” on its label. Also, try bran and oatmeal products; they are rich in fibers
Sara El Baba