DIETARY FIBRE

DIETARY FIBRE-GOOD FOR WOMEN? [2018 Update]

DIETARY FIBRE-GOOD FOR WOMEN?

We mostly hear people saying “eat more fibre”. So, the question arises do you really know what is fibre? Is fibre really beneficial for women?

WHAT IS FIBRE?

FIBRE comes from plants. It is the portion of plants that cannot be digested by the human digestive tract. So technically speaking our bodies cannot digest fibre but it still is beneficial for our bodies in a variety of ways and is also important element to maintain good health.

According to the National Institutes of Health's Food and Nutrition Board, women under 50 needs to consume about 25 grams of fibre per day.

fibre is sometimes referred to as Vitamin F. Women need for calories is lesser as compared to men so women need lower fibre than men.

It is classified into two categories: -

SOLUBLE FIBRE

Soluble FIBRE dissolves in water and slows the process of digestion which prolongs the feeling of fullness. Sources of Soluble fibre includes Oats, peas, beans, lentils, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, flax seeds, chia seeds. Inulin, gums, pectin and beta-glucan are some other sources of soluble fibre.

INSOLUBLE FIBRE

Insoluble fibredoes not dissolve in water and it promotes regular bowel movement.

Dietary sources of insoluble fibre are skin of fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables like kale, lettuce, spinach, etc. green beans, cabbage, cucumber, celery, onions, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seed. Gluten containing grains such as whole wheat and couscous also contain insoluble fibre.

There are also some gluten free options for insoluble fibre such as quinoa and brown rice.

WHAT IS DIETARY FIBRE?

Dietary fibre also known as roughage or bulk includes the parts of plant foods our body can’t digest or absorb. It is a type of carbohydrate we consume. It helps us feel full for long which can stop us from overeating and weight gain.

CAN INTAKE OF FIBRE HARM WOMEN?

According to Keri Glassman says “When you have too much fibre, it can work against you,"

Over dosage of dietary fibre in the body can make the body strip off other essential nutrients as the presence of fibre pushes food easily out of the body not allowing it to absorb vitamins and nutrients and can also constipate the person.

Constipation is the result of fibre soaking up water and slowing digestion to the point that it causes what Glassman calls as a “traffic jam of waste” in the small intestine.

So, to avoid this situation fibre intake should be between 21-25 gms per day only and should be obtained from whole foods.

It can be tough to maintain that amount for example it will take 80 baby carrots or five and a half oranges or two cups of peanuts to meet that quota, but most foods consist of soluble and insoluble fibre and the body needs both.

RELATION BETWEEN DIETARY FIBRE AND FATS AND RISK OF COLORECTAL CANCER IN WOMEN

Combination of fats and dietary fibres helps prevent colon cancer in women. Colorectal cancer is the third most common types of cancer in the US. Dietary fibres and fats are the two well-resourced components to protect the women against this type of cancer.

BENEFITS OF FIBRE DIET

A diet high in fibrehas many benefits.

HELPS MAINTAIN BOWEL HEALTH: A diet high in fibrecan soften your stool and make it bulky, which is then easier to pass which also decreases the chances of constipation. On the other side if you have a condition of loose or watery stool fibrediet may help to solidify the stool as fibreabsorbs water making the stool bulky.
A diet high in fibre may also decrease the risk of formation of hemorrhoids and small pouches in the colon.

HELPS CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: Women with diabetes can be benefited from fibretoo as soluble fibrecan slow the absorption of sugar which helps improve the blood sugar level. A healthy diet which includes insoluble fibre can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

LOWERS CHOLESTEROL LEVELS: Soluble fibre found in flaxseeds, oats and oat bran can help reduce cholesterol level by loweringbad cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that intake of fibrecan also improve heart health and inflammation.

HELPS IN ACHIEVING HEALTHY WEIGHT: Foods high in fibretends to be more filling than that of low fibre, that’s the reason that women high on FIBRE diet can loss weight as they are satisfied for longer periods.

NATURAL SOURCES OF FIBRE

The skin of fruits and vegetables contains a lot of fibre.fibre also is found in beans, legumes, lentils whole grains, nuts and seeds. Typically, the more refined and processed a food content is the lower will be its fibre content.

For example, one medium apple with he skin contains 4.4 gms of fibre while ½ cup of applesauce contains 1.4 gms of fibre and apple juice doesn’t contain fibre.

With a few simple and easy preparations and substitutions a woman can increase her fibre intake from her food in no time.

Following are the changes which can increase fibre in your diet.

1- Eat at least 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day. This includes

  • 1 Artichoke
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato
  • 1 small Pear
  • ½ cup of Green Peas
  • ½ cup of Berries such as Raspberries or Blackberries
  • ½ cup of Prunes
  • ¼ cups of Figs or Dates
  • ½ cup of Spinach
  • 1 medium Apple
  • 1 medium Orange

2- Replace white bread with whole grain breads and cereals. Choose brown rice instead of white rice. Eat the following foods.

  • Popcorn (unbuttered)
  • 100% whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Bran Muffins
  • Almonds

3- Check nutrition fact label for the amount of dietary fibre try to get 5 gms per serving.

4.- Eat ½ cup of cooked beans such as lama,navy,kidney, pinto, black or white beans.

High fibre foods are beneficial for a women’s health but adding too much of fibre in your diet can lead to intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fibre in your diet slowly over a period of a few weeks.

Also, drink plenty of water. fibre works best when the intake of fluid is in abundance.

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