We are passionate and committed to providing a platform for Africans to tell their stories and share their lived experiences with a global audience. 9jabook aims to expand upon the coverage of fundamental issues that matter to Africans by using Social Media to encourage the use of innovative multimedia News Telling that improves the imagery of Africa as well as showcases the talents and viewpoints of its most promising bloggers.
Eat more fiber. You’ve probably heard it before. But do you know why fiber is so good for your health?
Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber isn’t difficult. Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it and how to add them to meals and snacks.
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Therefore, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body. It might seem like fiber doesn’t do much, but it has several important roles in maintaining health.
Fiber is commonly classified into two categories: those that don’t dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and those that do (soluble fiber).
The amount of each type of fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, which include:
Uncertain effect on colorectal cancer. Evidence that dietary fiber reduces colorectal cancer is mixed — some studies show benefit, some show nothing and some suggest increased risk. If you’re concerned about preventing colorectal cancer, adopt or stick with a colon cancer screening regimen. Regular testing for and removal of colon polyps can prevent colon cancer
How much fiber do you need each day? The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:
|Age 50 and younger||Age 51 and older|
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
If you aren’t getting enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. Good choices include:
Refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables and pulp-free juice, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber content. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.
Whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better. Fiber supplements — such as Metamucil, Citrucel and FiberCon — don’t provide the vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that high-fiber foods do. However, some people may still need a fiber supplement if dietary changes aren’t sufficient, or if they have certain medical conditions such as constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. Always check with your doctor if you feel you need to take fiber supplements.
Need ideas for high-fiber meals and snacks? Try these suggestions:
High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change. Also, drink plenty of water. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky.
Article extracted from : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033/NSECTIONGROUP=2
Article Views: 5 share what you think