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Nutrition and Fitness » Know about fiber

Have you ever realized why your mothers and elders insist on fiber rich food? Why do we need fiber, what good has it to do with our body? Here are few things that we ought to know about fiber.

• Dietary fiber can be classified into soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, depending upon its solubility in water. Both are essential for the body.

• Many varieties of simple dishes can be made out of fiber. It is easily available and cost effective. It acts as a perfect snack.

• Approximately an adult needs 20-35 grams of fiber a day.

• Fiber can help prevents blood sugar imbalance; therefore a blessing for diabetic patients. Though listed under carbohydrate, it does not raise blood glucose level.

• Fiber makes you feel full and satisfied, thereby prevents obesity.

• It is found to lower cholesterol level. Soluble fiber decreases low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol.

• Fiber rich food aids in healthy bowel movement. This relieves bloating and constipation.

• Fiber helps to get rid of excess hormones before they are absorbed into bloodstream.

• Fiber prevents hemorrhoids (swelling at the rectum or anus).

Fiber rich food

Though we are told time and again, fiber should be added in our daily diet; still we tend to ignore it. Many of us do not know which foods are high in fiber. Here are few simple ways as to how we can add fiber to our diet.

• Having a bowl of whole grain cereal for breakfast is an ideal way to start the day. It gives instant energy and maintains it all through the day.

• Replace French fries, chips or other fatty snacks with a salad of tomato and cucumber slices.

• Choose a whole grain wheat bread instead of white flour bread.

• Grab a fresh fruit for a mid noon snack. Fresh fruits like apples, mangos, pears, plums, bananas, kiwis etc are rich in fiber content.

• Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries can be used as toppings on frozen yogurt, an excellent summer treat.

• Switch to fiber rich brown rice instead of white long whole grain rice at dinner times.

• Beans like kidney beans, garbanzo beans are good source of fiber.

• Snack on dried fruits like plums, prunes, figs etc.

• A salad of fresh veggies with carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, cherry etc are high in fiber content and serves as a party dish.

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