Dietary fiber is essential for the body and you need a regular supply of it because your body does not store or absorb it. However, dietary fiber aids certain very important functions in the body such as easing bowel movement and giving relief during constipation, promoting weight loss through healthy excretion, reducing hypertension, lowering cholesterol and reducing chances of heart attacks.
Dietary fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The soluble fiber is known to slow down the digestion process and that’s responsible for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, while the insoluble fiber is a gel like substance that eases the bowel movement and its best known health benefit is relief from constipation.
The daily fiber intake required for men is 38 grams and for women it is 25 grams. The reason for fiber concerns in individuals is the increasing use of processed foods. Most of the fiber comes from unprocessed foods such as seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables and grains. Below listed are top ten foods rich in fiber.
Top 10 Foods Rich In Dietary Fiber
If you are on a weight loss diet then oats is definitely on your list. Most weight loss diets recommend oats because it works two ways. Firstly it’s low in calories and secondly it’s rich in fiber. Every hundred grams of oats contains 11 grams of fiber. High fiber foods promote excretion and that helps when one is trying to lose weight. Oats is also rich in Iron, Magnesium and Vitamin B 6.
This fruit is the first natural enema you should try when you suffer from constipation. This fruit is extremely rich in fiber and that can promote bowel movement. Another reason for papaya to be a digestion promoting food is an enzyme called papain that helps in digesting proteins.
Apple is not just brag, but a power-packed super food that is rich in fiber and antioxidants. An average sized apple weighing 182 grams contains 4.4 grams of dietary fiber and makes a delicious snack. You can add apples to your bowl of oats for breakfast or simply chew on one while watching TV. This fruit is extremely low in fat and calories so don’t think twice even if you are on a weight loss diet. To get all the benefits of an apple try eating this fruit along with its skin.
Dried apricots can be bought from the store in semi-dried form and can be relished throughout the year just like any other dry fruit. A hundred gram of these dried apricots contain around seven grams of fiber. These can be eaten plain or can be added to fruit salads, cereals etc… However, cooked dried apricots lose fiber content drastically and the seven grams of fiber drops down to a measly 2.6 grams when a hundred grams of dried apricots are stewed.
Cooked split peas are low in calories and available throughout the year in dried form. Split peas add a distinct taste to soups, broths and even burgers. A hundred grams of cooked split peas contain eight grams fiber. Also the fiber present in split peas is cholesterol lowering because split peas are rich in soluble fiber. Cooked split peas are low in fat and that makes it a low calorie food suitable for those who are on a weight loss diet.
Soybean is one of the most popular beans primarily because that’s where tofu and soy milk come from. These beans are however the healthiest source of fiber in their original form because fried tofu contains just 3.9 grams of fiber and the one that’s not fried contains 0.3 grams of fiber in every hundred grams. A hundred milliliter of soy milk contains hardly 0.6 grams of fiber and that’s quite low compared to the daily requirement of twenty five grams of fiber. That’s why considering soybean in its original form is essential to get adequate fiber intake and one should not assume that the products derived from soybean, such as soy milk and tofu can do the same. Roasted soybeans are the healthiest when it comes to fiber intake because a hundred grams of roasted soybeans contain a whopping eighteen grams of fiber, while the same quantity of dry roasted soybeans contain eight grams of fiber. Then come boiled soybeans that are low in calories and contain around six grams of fiber content. Adding boiled soybeans to salads is simple, easy and useful for those on a weight loss diet. However sprouted soybean is not very rich in fiber and the use of sprouted soybean can be ignored by those consuming it for the sake of dietary fiber.
Rich in fiber and low in calories, a hundred grams of boiled navy beans contains about ten grams of fiber and a hundred and forty calories. Navy bean soup and broth are a favorite, but adding pureed navy bean can also do the trick. Pureed navy beans contain about nine grams of fiber in every hundred and eighty eight grams, which makes one serving. These beans are also a rich source of iron and protein.
Easy to pick from the super market, breads are rich in fiber. The regular white bread contains 0.7 grams of fiber in every slice, while the multi-grain bread contains 1.9 gram fiber in every slice. Using them in your sandwiches and toasts is an easy way to get started with the fiber routine.
Seeds and nuts are often taken for granted assuming they’re just a snack. If you did that then don’t underestimate pumpkin seeds when it comes to fiber. Just an ounce of pumpkin seeds contain as much as five grams of total dietary fiber in soluble and insoluble forms. Toss them in your salads or eat them plain, these crunchy seeds are high in Protein, Calcium and Iron.
These crunchy seeds are teeny weenie packets of nutrition that is much more than a snack. A hundred grams of sunflower seeds contain nine grams of fiber and that goes up to twelve grams when it’s toasted and eleven grams when dry roasted. Sunflower seeds make an excellent snack that one can munch on while chatting with friends on one’s patio. Additionally these seeds can be ground and added in juices, cereals and salads.