Fiber Rich Foods

Fruits and Vegetables are good sources of FIBER. (Photo courtesy of Mike Dela Cruz)
Fruits and Vegetables are good sources of FIBER. (Photo courtesy of Mike Dela Cruz)

I had a problem with constipation when I was pregnant. My OBGyn told me that I need to eat foods that are rich in fiber. By the way, I don’t like to eat vegetables because I felt like I was a goat during those times. Funny, isn’t it? So my doctor gave me a list of foods that are rich in fiber. However, I got more interested in finding out the details about this dietary fiber. I made my own research. This is what I want to share with you in this article. I want to focus more on a high fiber diet that is good for our health. Sometimes many of us don’t realize the potential benefits of having enough fiber diet

But before we go any further, let us try to understand first “What is fiber?”

The term “fiber” (also spelled as fibre in British) comes from the Latin word fibra , meaning thread, string, filament, or entrails. According to the Medilexicon medical dictionary, dietary fiber means “Nutrients in the diet that are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes.” 1 It is also called as “roughage” in some medical references. In laymen’s term, I shall define “fiber” as the nutrients or supplements needed to help regulate the digestive system for our common understanding. It is also said to be the indigestible portion of plant foods that pushes through the digestive system, absorbs water and eases defecation .2

So, “Why do we need fiber?”

Many of us know that pregnant women really needs fiber intake. It will help support the regularity of our bowel movement. A high fiber food along with adequate fluid makes it easier for the digestive system to function properly. It will prevent constipation, which is a normal problem during pregnancy. This means that it can also help prevent possible colon or rectal cancer.

Furthermore, this type of nutrients can help reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes.3 It is said to help maintain a normal blood sugar level. It is also said that it can help maintain a normal cholesterol level. This means that fiber is also good for those who have problems with high blood.

According to the Editors of Health Magazine (2002), “Eating fiber foods such as legumes can help lower cholesterol by as much as 33 percent.. . Fruits, veggies and even nuts are good first-line defense against high cholesterol.4

Some parents tend to forget to instill in the minds of their children about the nutritional importance of fiber. According to the American Diabetic Association, the typical American eats only about 11 grams of fiber a day. Health experts recommend a minimum of 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day for most people.5 However, it would be advisable if you consult your family doctors about your fiber intake.

Now you might asked, “What are the sources of fiber? What foods are high in fiber?”

It is known that some vegetables, fruits and grains are good sources of fiber. You may refer to the list for a high fiber diet.

  1. Juice or beverages - I tried drinking prune juice, which helps me with my digestive system. My doctor also recommended “Nectar Juice.” We should also take note that we need to drink enough water to supplement our fluid intake.
  2. Bread, Cereal and Grains - Some recommended foods are whole grain and wheat bread, bran cereals, oatmeal, pasta, and brown rice. I have tried eating whole grain old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast. One serving already contains 25 grams of fiber based on its nutritional facts. It is really good every morning.
  3. Fruits - Fresh fruits such as prune and papaya are recommended as high fiber diet. Dried fruits such as apricots and figs are also good sources of fiber.
  4. Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage are high in fiber. The Sav-on Health Book listed the following top ten most nutritious vegetables as follows: broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, peas, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and carrots.6 Just want to share with you that I now eat vegetables every week.
  5. DairyProducts – Some cooked dried beans, peas, lentils and chunky peanut butter were also suggested to me. However, I have to say goodbye to ice cream and cheese because it is said to be low in fiber that may also aggravate constipation.

Source: Editors of Health Magazine (2001), The Sav-on Health : Self-Care Advisor, Time Inc Health, Alabama
Source: Editors of Health Magazine (2001), The Sav-on Health : Self-Care Advisor, Time Inc Health, Alabama

Actually, there are still a lot more things that we can talk about dietary fiber. I would also like to refer you to the website of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the nutritional facts of some specific fruits and vegetables.

References:

1 www.medicalnewstoday.com (2009), What is Fiber?

2 www.wikipedia.org, Dietary Fiber

3 www.mayoclinic.com, High Fiber Foods

4 Editors of Health Magazine (2002), Women’s Health Wisdom, Oxmoor House Inc., Alabama

5 www.highfiberdiet.net, High Fiber Diet

6 Editors of Health Magazine (2001), The Sav-on Health : Self-Care Advisor, Time Inc Health, Alabama

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Comments 15 comments

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Fiber is important. I had the same problem when I was preggers especially after (had c-section) so at the mercy of another cook. Great info.

Tammy


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

I was able to appreciate the importance of fiber when I was pregnant. It helped me a lot. I hope that this article would also be useful to others.

Thank you for your comment.


Karina S. profile image

Karina S. 6 years ago from USA

Nice informative hub.I agree with and your doctor it is very important to eat food that is full of fiber, also it may not always test good.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

You are right. Some vegetables doesn't taste good for me. It took me some time to like it. However, I was able to appreciate the importance of fiber that I learn to like these foods now.

Thank you for your comment.


EllenGraeger profile image

EllenGraeger 6 years ago from Madrid

I love nutrition chats. Thank you, very helpful.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

I am glad to hear your comment.

Thank you for reading this hub.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

very nice information TinaV, hey I cam down to greet you happy holidays, Maita


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Thank you so much for your comment.

Happy New Year Maita!


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Nice Post! You are not alone. I use to hate Vegetables too. But these days i force myself to eat it.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

It's nice to know that you, just like me, also learned your way to appreciate vegetables. Perhaps, it may boils down that parents sometimes concede to children of not liking to eat it. Oh well, it now taste good to me.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

As another who requires a healthy dose of fiber in his diet to keep things moving along, this had some helpful parts. :) For me, fruits have always posed much difficulty. I absolutely love vegetables, but I can't stand fruit. lol. Though, at times I do try and make an effort to get some down if there happens to be some around the house.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Springboard,

Although, I also don't like to eat mango, it is quite surprising that you don't like to eat any fruits. But I am glad that you absolutely love vegetables. It is really a good source of fiber. Have a great week!


VivekSri 6 years ago

Great article sharing, enjoyed the useful and worthwhile reading. Thanks for your insightful approach.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi VivekSri,

I am glad that you found this useful and worth your time reading it. I hope others would feel the same way, too. I really appreciate your comment. Thank you.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 4 years ago Author

Thank you patbess. It is always good to watch our diet. Enjoy your week!

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