This article is dedicated to Foods Rich in Fiber.
What are fibers?
Fibers are the type of carbohydrates that the digestive system of humans and animals can’t digest.
They are plant-based foods, and they are also known as roughages. Some fiber foods contain carbohydrates, although most carbohydrates would break into sugar molecules, and instead of digesting, it passes through the human or animal digestive system undigested.
Fibers are necessary for our body. The digestive system needs fiber foods to be cleaned and healthy. Foods that are rich in fiber help aid digestion and support the digestive system.
It is important to note that fiber foods go undigested in the small intestine. These foods move from the small intestine to the large intestine or the colon. They help ease bowel movement.
All fibers are not the same. There are soluble and insoluble fiber foods. However, some fiber foods have a composition of both soluble and insoluble fibers.
Soluable Fiber Foods
These types of foods are such that attract or mix with water. They absorb water; help slow down digestion and avoid diarrhea. In the absorption of water, soluble fiber foods can bulk stools. They also help lower the rate of glucose that flows or is flowing into the bloodstream, which helps control the blood sugar level.
Examples of high soluble fiber foods are pulses, oatmeal, nuts, and some legumes.
Insoluble Fiber Foods
Insoluble fiber foods repel water; they do not absorb or attract water molecules in themselves. These types of foods are digestion aiders.
They are fibers that help prevent constipation. Therefore, unlike soluble fiber foods, insoluble fiber foods do not have bulk stools.
Foods rich in insoluble fibers include vegetables, fruits, wheat bran, seeds, whole grain foods like pasta.
More than aiding digestion, Foods rich in fibers also offers the following benefits when you consume them:
Reduce the risk of heart diseases
Foods rich in fibers, especially insoluble fibers such as fruit, and vegetables lower the risk of coronary heart disease, referred to as plaque build-up in the heart’s arteries that could lead to a heart attack.
Food rich in fibers also reduces the risk of a second type of heart disease known as heart trouble which could also be referred to as cardiovascular disease
Reduces Cholesterol Level
Soluble fibers found in beans and oats may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein. A good intake of food rich in fibers helps to reduce blood pressure and inflammation
Promoting blood sugar control
Food rich in fibers – particularly soluble fiber, slow the absorption of sugar and improves blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber food may also help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Reduce the risk of Colon cancer
Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common malignancies present in the world. Increase intake of food rich in fiber is directly proportional to low risk of colon cancer
Reduce the Risk of Stroke
One of the causes of stroke is a cardiovascular disease; food rich in fiber- especially soluble fiber could lead to a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk
Food rich in fiber tends to be more filling than low-fiber foods; this means that there is the possibility of eating less and stay satisfied longer. Food rich in fiber tends to take longer to eat and to be less energy-dense, which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food
Adds bulk to the digestive tract
Food rich in fiber helps to reduce constipation or sluggish digestive tract. Fiber naturally adds bulk to the digestive tract, as your body does not digest it.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you must consume about 14grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume daily; this means that women should take roughly 24 grams of fiber and 38 grams for men.
Research shows that so many persons do not meet up with the recommended fiber intake. Fiber food intake seems to be higher in Africa compare to other continents; for example, in America, the average daily fiber intake is estimated to be 16.3 grams: while in Nigeria, it is estimated to be 40.5 grams.
So how does one increase fiber intake?
Increasing your fiber intake is relatively easy; all you have to do is include high fiber food intake into your diet.
Fibers include all but are not limited to these: fruits, nuts, grains, vegetables, and beans.
List of fiber rich foods
Sweet potatoes (2.5 grams)
Sweet potatoes are a common tuber that is both nourishing and delicious. A medium-sized boiling sweet potato contains 3.8 grams of fiber or 2.5 grams per 100 grams. Apart from this, sweet potatoes are also rich in Beta carotene, B vitamins, and many other minerals. Sweet potatoes can serve as a bread substitute or a crackers substitute.
Bananas ( 2.4 grams)
Bananas are versatile perennial fruits. If you possibly consume about nine bananas in one day, then your daily fiber recommendation can be complete. A medium-sized banana has 3 grams of fiber. They are satisfying and a good source of fiber in any meal or snack.
Carrots (2.9 grams)
Carrots will produce more beta carotene if lightly cooked, but you’ll get all of the benefits of approximately 4.68 grams of fiber per cup whether you eat them raw or cooked. To get the daily recommended fiber intake, you’ll need roughly 6 cups of carrots.
Pears (3.1 grams)
Pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber in a medium-size, raw pear, or 3.1 grams per 100 grams. Pear is generally known for its satisfying taste. It is very nutritious and also very tasty. It is one of the best sources of fibers.
Chia seed ( 34.4 grams)
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that are immensely popular in the natural health community.
They are very rich in fiber and very nutritious; they contain magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Chia seed contains 9.75 grams of fiber per ounce of dried chia seed, or 34.4 grams per 100 grams.
Almonds (13 grams)
They are rich in many nutrients; yet very rich in fiber. They can be processed into almond flour for baking with a dose of extra nutrients. Almonds are also known to be rich in vitamin Manganese and magnesium
They contain 4 grams of fiber per 3 tablespoons or 13.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
Popcorn (14.4 grams)
Popcorn could be the easiest way to increase your fiber intake. Air-popped popcorn is very rich in fiber, calorie for calorie, however many persons make the mistake of adding so much fat to it; therefore, the fiber-to-calorie ratio will decrease significantly.
Apples (2.4 grams)
They are among the tastiest and most satisfying fruits you can eat. They are very rich in fiber. Apples contain 4.4 grams of fiber in a medium-sized or 2.4 grams of fiber per 100grams.
The avocado contains very high vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and various B vitamins. It has 10 grams in 1 cup of raw avocado or 6.7 grams per 100 grams.
Oats (10.5 grams)
Oats are grain food; found to be very healthy for human consumption. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants and contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
Quinoa (3 grams)
It contains 5.2 grams of fiber per cup of cooked quinoa or 2.8 of fiber per 100 grams. Quinoa has many nutrients, including protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.
Chickpeas (7 grams)
Chickpeas are rich in protein, one of the best spreads you can make for your bread and salad. They contain 12.5 grams of fiber per cup of cooked chickpeas or 7.6 per 100 grams.
Artichoke (5.5 grams)
Artichoke is one of the best sources of fiber; it contains 6.9 grams of fiber in 1 raw globe or French artichoke or 5.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
Broccoli (3 grams)
Broccoli has vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It is one of the cruciferous vegetables; with loads of B vitamins and manganese, they are also useful for fighting cancer.
Beets (3 grams)
Beets are known for their inorganic nitrates; they have various benefits related to blood pressure relaxation. Beets remain one of the best fruits for better performance during exercise. They contain 3.8 grams of fiber per cup of raw beets or 2.8 grams of fibers per 100 grams.
Strawberries (2.2 grams)
Strawberries contain approximately 3 grams of fiber in 1 cup of fresh strawberries or 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Strawberries are delicious and highly nutritional. They are also among the most nutritious foods that you can eat; they are very rich in vitamin C, manganese, and various powerful antioxidants.
Beans ( 6.8 grams)
Beans are another popular fiber food. Beans are known to contain several food nutrients. For a good dietary fiber, two cups of beans daily would be the best. Each cup of cooked beans contains about 12.2 grams of fiber content.
In Nigeria, some profound foods are so rich in fiber, here are a few:
Rice is one of the most common foods in Nigeria that is Rich in fiber. Rice has insoluble fiber that prevents constipation; rice provide the body with energy due to their high carbohydrate content.
Rice fiber varies; according to its refining process however, it is still known for a good amount of fiber content.
Fufu is a staple food consumed in Nigeria and many other west African countries. It is very rich in fiber, and it is consumed with soup or stew.
Abacha is sliced and soaked cassava. it is mostly consumed by the Igbos of the southern part of Nigeria. Abacha is one of the finest food rich in Fibers anytime, any day.
Abacha has over 90 percent fiber, and its taste can be improved with the use of spices and red oil.
Garri is well-processed cassava, usually consumed in the southern part of Nigeria. It is made with hot water(eba), and it is consumed with soup.
Garri can also be eaten with water, sugar, milk, and groundnut; it serves as a quick meal for those that enjoy drinking it.
Maize or corn is another cereal crop widely consumed in Nigeria; it is very rich in fibers and promotes the health of the human body.
Maize can be consumed after it has been roasted or boiled; it remains one of the best recommendations for those that want to lose weight; because it is low in calories.
It is necessary to increase your fibre intake. At the same time, try to be physically active for at least 2 and a half hours every week. This can equally be sustained when you take your balanced diet more seriously. A balanced diet will provide enough fibre in the body. See https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/881/SACN%20guidelines%20meal%20planner.pdf to serve as a balanced diet meal plan for you. There are several foods rich in fibre that you can easily afford whether as legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains, or cereals and some of these foods do not even cost a penny.