10 September 2016

Fiber optimal - Good sources of dietary fiber !

Tug of war !

Where did you hear the word "Fiber" for the first time ever in your life ?? Let me guess,most probably in science class. Well,not me though.Yeah probably, I was sleeping or day dreaming about all the useless stuffs of this world than fiber optimal.

I heard "fiber" for the first time in my life ,when my mom caught me red handed ,trashing my lunch box secretly and I remember my hair going "Kramer" and she yelling at the top of her lungs (remember the lady in "Tom and Jerry cartoon") ,to eat greens by hook or crook and the lecture - they are full of fiber and nutrients blah blah blaahhh...

And then she started conspiring how to make me eat greens by all green-y means.Her favorite one was by making a Kerala special curry called "Aviyal" which is nothing but a mishmash of vegetables together with a ground coconut paste and she used to take full advantage of this opportunity ,fill it with every vegetables she could ,so that I have no choice but to eat it and since she would expect me to frown ,she certainly made different side dishes alongside .That was the beginning of my theoretical knowledge about dietary fibers but it was the practical knowledge that enlightened the true importance of fiber - " The Constipation ".

Since I was little I had a troubled relationship with the toilet ( *Veil on my face!*) . We saw each other not regularly . It became the hot topic in my family . It was high time they said. When my mother's food-y tricks wasn't working on me ,I was dragged to see a doctor .As if mom's ,dad's lecture and my bro's taunting and teasing wasn't enough ,even the doctor's first question to me was ,"Are you taking enough fiber ?"

Since then and every now and then my body keeps on reminding the resounding question at bass mode ,"Are you taking fiber optimal/enough ?"

So,even though my ears are still ringing with examples of fiber from mom and doctors ,I was not entirely sure about what exactly fiber is and the different types of fiber and the foods rich in fiber.So,this is what my research says all about fiber :

What is fiber/dietary fiber?

Dietary fiber simply means bulk or roughage meaning the indigestible part of plant foods that is not absorbed by the body but just passes through our digestive system,absorbing the water ,detoxing the digestive system and easing out the bowel movements and waste products out of our body.

The word fiber comes from the latin word ,"fibra" meaning string/thread/filaments/entrails.

Good sources of fiber includes :
  • Whole Grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables
Importance of fiber in our diet and for our body :
  • Fiber aids in proper digestion and prevents constipation .( Tell me about it !)
  • Fiber adds bulk to the diet ,making us feel full ,keeps hunger at bay .
  • Fiber helps in weight control.
  • Researchers have found out that for every 7g of fiber consumed on a daily basis,the stroke risk is cut down by 7%.
  • Fibers like psyllium husk helps in getting rid of yeast and fungus from the body which then prevents from skin breakouts/acnes etc and promotes a glowing skin in and out.
  • Fiber provides relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome ,Hemorrhoids and diarrhea.
  • Fiber helps in regulating sugar and thereby reduces the risk of formation of gall stones and kidney stones in the body .
  • Fiber helps to control cholesterol and heart diseases.
 Types of fiber :
  1. Soluble Fiber : The fiber that dissolves in water .When these fiber pass through our digestive system,they absorb water and gets fermented by the bacteria and becomes gel kind.For examples,fruits,vegetables,pulses,oats,barley etc
  2. Insoluble fiber : The fiber that doesn't dissolve in water or change it's form while through the digestive system.For example :Wholegrain cereals and wholemeal bread etc ..
Our body needs both kinds of fibers as both of them have their own health benefits .

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 g for women and 38g for men.

However,it is advised by the nutritional experts that fiber should be added to our diet gradually ,otherwise too much fiber quickly may lead to excessive gas,bloating and cramps . Slow but steady...

I made a list of food sources that is rich in fiber which will surely guide me to take the right amount of fiber everyday :

Food Serving size Amount of fiber
Acorn squash, cooked 1 cup 9 g
Avocado, raw 1/2 fruit 9 g
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 6 g
Edamame, frozen 1 cup 6 g
Cauliflower, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Mustard greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Beet greens, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Swiss chard, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Cabbage, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Russet potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 4 g
Sweet potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 4 g
Red potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 3 g
Taro, sliced 1 cup 4 g
Zucchini squash, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Kale, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Spaghetti squash, cooked 1 cup 2 g
Navy beans, cooked 1 cup 19 g
White beans, small, cooked 1 cup 19 g
Yellow beans, cooked 1 cup 18 g
French beans, cooked 1 cup 17 g
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Peas, split, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Dried Peas 1 cup 16.27g
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Mung beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Peas, green, frozen 1 cup 14 g
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 14 g
Garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup 12 g
Cow peas (blackeyes), cooked 1 cup 11 g
Broad beans (fava), cooked 1 cup 9 g
Pigeon peas, cooked 1 cup 9 g
Peas (podded), cooked 1 cup 5 g
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Guava, raw 1 cup 9 g
Raspberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Blackberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Figs, dried 1/2 cup 8 g
Prunes, dried 1/2 cup 6 g
Gooseberries, raw 1 cup 6 g
Pear 1 medium 6 g
Currants (red and white), raw 1 cup 5 g
Orange 1 medium 4 g
Apple 1 medium 4 g
Blueberries, raw 1 cup 4 g
Starfruit (carambola), raw 1 cup 4 g
Asian pear, raw 1 fruit 4 g
Hearts of palm, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Lotus root 10 slices 4 g
Banana 1 medium 3 g
Strawberries, raw 1 cup 3 g
Peaches, dried 1/4 cup 3 g
Raisins 2 ounces 2 g
Flaxseed 1 ounce 8 g
Almonds 1 ounce 4 g
Sesame seeds 1/4 cup 4 g
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 3 g
Pistachio nuts 1 ounce 3 g
Pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup 3 g
Peanuts 1 ounce 2 g
Walnuts 1 ounce 2 g
Brazil nuts 1 ounce 2 g
Cashews 1 ounce 1 g
Corn bran, raw 1 ounce 22 g
Wheat bran, raw 1 ounce 12 g
Oat bran, raw 1 ounce 12 g
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 8 g
Rye flour, dry 1/4 cup 7 g
Rice bran, raw 1 ounce 6 g
Amaranth, grain 1/4 cup 6 g
Barley, pearled, cooked 1 cup 6 g
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Buckwheat , cooked 1 cup 5 g
Oats (old fashioned), dry 1/2 cup 4 g
Wheat flour (whole wheat), dry 1/4 cup 4 g
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Crackers, rye wafers 1 ounce 6 g
Spaghetti (whole wheat), cooked 1 cup 6 g
Popcorn, air popped 3 cups 4 g
Bread (whole wheat), sliced 1 slice 2 g
Millet, cooked 1 cup 2 g
Cinnamon 2 Tsp 2.76g
Black Pepper 2 Tsp 1.47g
Cloves 2 Tsp 1.46g

Well,now that I know the fiber rich foods ,even though my mom's lecture still rings in the back of my mind ,I can at least make sure that I don't have to rely on any tasteless laxatives or stool softener or churans lol that used to make me nauseous and gave me abdominal pain and those embarrassing visit and questions from doctors.Oh my !

So,Are you eating enough fiber ? Cheeky Smile


P.S. - References and sources :
  1. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/063008p28.shtml
  2. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=59
  3. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146935.php
  4. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/25/9-fiber-health-benefits.aspx
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/dietaryfiber.html
  6. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146935.php
 P.P.S - DISCLAIMER:I am collecting all these vital health related info (from reliable sources all over the internet) ,for my personal use and storing it at one place as guidelines for good health .So that I don't have to google it always .So,these are otherwise strictly for informational purpose only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.