IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT DIETARY FIBRE
DIETARY FIBRE PLAYS MANY IMPORTANT ROLES IN HELPING US STAY HEALTHY, AND AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIBRE PLAY VERY DIFFERENT ROLES.
When we speak of fibre consumption, just how much fibre are we supposed to consume anyway? The good news is that we don't really need a large amount of fibre in our diets to keep the body happy. The bad news is that most of us are not getting enough fibre. As it turns out, Dietary Fibre can be divided into two main categories. These are called Soluble and Insoluble, and all foods that come from plants contain a combination of both types of fibre in different proportions. I will now give you an insight into the makeup of both of these types.
This type of fibre is the one that you and are would be most familiar with. It is the "roughage" and "bulk" that we refer to when we think of dietary fibre.Although, we can find a lot of different types of Insoluble Fibre in the plant foods, the best know fibre is called "Cellulose", and in addition to this being a primary component to the plant foods that we eat, it also happens to be the main component in the grass clippings that we collect when we or someone else mows the lawn, as well as sawdust. Guess what also, those favourite pair of your jeans, you guessed it, they also have cellulose in them as well. It is even indigestible to the animal population that rely on it for the majority of their diet, including ruminants such as cows and sheep. Only the activity of bacteria in their digestive systems , prevents these animals from starving to death on a diet that is composed primarly of Cellulose and any other Insoluble Fibres.
Insoluble Fibre has the role of adding bulk to the contents of our intestines and helps to move the byproducts of digestion rapidly through our disgestive tracts. This beneficial to us because some of these by-products can be very toxic, and the faster our bodies can be rid of them, the better off we are. When we have a diet that is high in Insoluble Fibre, this also helps to reduce the incidence of constipation, which is one of the things that can contribute to us getting Diverticular Disease.
The Soluble Fibre is a little harder to visualise and it also known by another word which is Mucilage, and one of the many compounds that is included in this category of dietary fibre is a group of chemicals that we know as Pectins, which is the clear, gelatin-like compounds that make fruit jams and jellies semi-solid. This differs from the tough chewiness characteristic of Insoluble Fibre, because it is characterised by its slimy consistency. This property accounts for the slippery texture that we find in many of our foods that are high in Soluble Fibre, such as that found in oats and barley.
Soluble Fibre has been found to thicken the contents of our intestines, thus slowing down the formation and release of the same nasty toxins that I spoke about earier, It can also play a role in the prevention of heart disease and also with Type 2 Diabetes. It is also responsible for absorbing some of the Cholesterol and Sugar in the foods we eat , and allows them to be excreted rather than absorbed in our blood streams. I am making this sound very simple because I am not clever enough to put it into more technical terms for you.
FOODS THAT WE GET FIBRE FROM
Increasing the amount of fibre in our diet doesn't have to be a chore like some of the modifications to our diet might be. For example, lets say you like to eat artichokes, which is one thing that I don't like, and like me while you were researching about the artichoke hearts on the internet you learned that they are very high in fibre (they actually are, you know?) Now you know that you can eat as many artichoke hearts as you normally would but just add in a few to give you a bit more fibre. There now, wasn't that easy? It will be just as easy for you when you do your research, so go to it .
I have listed below some easy strategies you can use to assist you in increasing your intake of Dietary Fibre:-
instead of white rice, and eat more whole grains such as wild rice, barley, and oats. Don't that corn, in any form (except hominy or pozole) from fresh on the cob to stone-ground cornmeal, is also a whole grain, so it would be good to eat more polenta and cornbread.
- Eat more legumes of all kinds, such as beans, lentils, split peas, green peas and peanuts.
- Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of things like potato chips and biscuits and cookies.
- Eat a whole-grain cereal for your breakfast, but also you should keep an eye out for what else is included in . Just because Lucky Charms might be made with whole grain, doesn't mean that you should eat them also as a choice.
- Berries, especially blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are all excellent sources of fibre, so we should eat more of them. This goes the same for dried fruits such as figs, apricots, dates, raisins, and last but not least, which is not a favourite of mine, but then again I can't eat them anyway, PRUNES. UGH.
- Nuts are also a very good source of fibre, and as well as this, they are high in"good fats", even so, they are still fat, no matter which way you look at it, so these should be eaten in moderation.
- Vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, and beans in their pods, such as green beans (haricot beans) snow peas (mange touts) and sugar snaps. All varieties of winter squashes are also very high in fibre, and onions and artichokes are especially high in Soluble Fibre.
- The edible skins of our fruits such as apples, pears, plums, and peaches, and the vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumber, and summer squash are excellent sources of Insoluble Fibre.
I have explained how Dietary Fibre is by definition the parts of the plants that pass through our digestive systems virtually untouched. Therefore, we can see from this that we don't gain any calories from Dietary Fibre. The good news is that dietary fibre does not need to be considered by anyone who is trying to lose weight by having to count the calories, because there are none. In fact, consumption of fibre can make you feel fuller and therefore help people to stick to their diets because they start to reduce their appetite.
We need to keep in mind that Dietary Fibre (both the soluble and the insoluble kinds) have the responsibility of absorbing water and preventing some of it from entering our blood streams during the digestion process. Accordingly, if you increase the amount of dietary fibre in your diet, then you must also increase the amount of fluid that you take in as well. Otherwise, if you have a diet that is really high in fibre and you have insuffient fluid intake, then you could end up with constipation, which is one of the things you are trying to avoid by eating more fibre in the first place.
Please make this information I have given you a starting point for your own journeys into the nature and importance of Dietary Fibre. I am sure you will find that by doing these things that I have mentioned you will not only give yourself a good healthy body but will also keep yourself regular!