When it comes to a balanced diet regimen, the emphasis is always more on incorporating good amount of fibres in your diet; like fruits, leafy greens, whole grains, etc. Why so? The answer is simple- foods enriched with fibres have numerous health benefits.
There are two types of fibres: The soluble ones which help restoring a balance in the body’s metabolic machinery and the insoluble type, also known as bulk formers are mainly involved in restoring bowel movements. The bottom line is we need to mix both these varieties to receive the desired health benefits.
Your doctor might be insisting you to eat loads of fibres to regularize your bowel movements. Cruciferous vegetables (spinach, celery, lettuce, etc.), whole grains and fibrous fruits (prunes, peaches) are bulk formers that help in softening the stool so that it can pass out easily from your body. You can also have Psyllium husk for this purpose.
Those who eat adequate amount of fibrous foods are less likely to suffer from heart problems. The reason is- fibres can lower bad cholesterol by preventing its deposition in the main bloodstream. Thus, incorporating dietary fibres like fortified grains, beans, legumes, leafy green vegetables, and fruits help to maintain good heart health.
High fibre diet is essentially quite low in calories. Furthermore, while eating the chewy varieties like whole grain bars and crackers and green salads, you tend to take lot of time to finish your food. This somehow makes you feel full and keeps your hunger pangs at the bay. So snack in high fibres to shed off those extra pounds. In this regard, you can also prepare some low calorie gourmet food with lean sources of meat like skinless chicken and fishes like salmon, halibut, rohu, etc.
Apart from acting as a bulk former and improving bowel movement, high fibre diet is recommended to those suffering from haemorrhoids, piles, fistula, irritable bowel syndrome, and other types of inflammatory diseases of the rectum and colon.
Even diabetic patients are advised to increase their daily intake of fibres. Dietary sources of soluble fibres decrease or slow down absorption of sugar in the blood. Apart from that, fibrous foods have very low Glycaemic Index, which make them healthy for type 2 diabetes patients. You can choose from a wide range of varieties like grains, beans, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bitter gourd, spinach, kale, etc and fruits like apples, peaches, berries, prunes, pears, etc.
Although each and every source of dietary fibre has some benefit or other; you must choose the correct food type to receive the desired health benefit. For instance, broccoli and cabbage despite containing loads of fibres may not be suitable for those with gas problems.
So check with a nutritionist or health expert before going on a high fibre diet.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 16, 2014