The Health Benefits of Promoting Natural Fibre In Your Diet
With an ever-expanding palette of food choices, including less-than-savoury processed delights, many people aren’t sure whether they are including enough natural fibre into their diets. There is an abundance of studies out there that positively confirm the health benefits of natural fibre intake. However, too many adults still seem to lag behind in improving their diets by ingesting more fibre, even though it is shown that a diet low in fibre is known to cause diverticulitis - an inflammation and damage on the bowel wall and colorectal cancer, among other diseases (1. Nutrition.org.uk ).
Just how important this component is to our nutrition is shown through the raising of the daily recommended dose in 2015 to 30g. On the other hand, this didn’t help raise the share of people who are meeting this recommendation, as only 9% of all UK adults do, according to the UK Nutrition Advisory Committee. (2. Sciencedaily.com )
So, in order to encourage more people to take the 30g recommendation seriously, we shall briefly go over the essentials of natural fibre, consider how people end up skipping fibre in the first place and present a list to some of the most nutritious and easy to find sources of fibre on the market.
Dietary Fibre, Structure and Essentials
In their basic structure, dietary fibres are carbohydrate polymers forming the parts of the fruit or vegetable that don't become fully broken down. The undigested fibre is the residue that lines the inside of the digestive tract with material which becomes fermented by the gut flora. This, in turn, promotes good digestion, bulking and easier movement of the excrement, which further improves the absorption of sugar and the interaction between the gut bacteria with chemicals and nutrients in the body. (3. Nutrition.org.uk )
Where All Dietary Fibre Is Contained
Dietary fibres are found in a long list of natural foods: nuts, fruits and vegetables, pulses and legumes are all good source of it.
Starting with the basics, apples and bananas both contain more than 4 grams of fibre per 200g serving. When it’s strawberry and raspberry season, do use the opportunity to indulge, as these tart delights contain 2 and 7 grams of fibre per 100g cup. (4. Web MD ) Other fruits that deliver significant doses of fibre are mango, persimmon and grapes.
The class of legumes is abundant in nutrients and those hardened carbohydrate polymers that we like to call fibre. Here you can start with lentils, as these can be made delicious and are very easy to cook. Consuming just half a cup gets you a steady dose of 8 grams. A full cup and you’ve half-met your recommended daily fibre intake! (5. Lentils.org ) Stocking on pouches of chickpeas, edamame and fava bean, provides us with a variety of delicious cooking and snacking material.
Nuts are an excellent source of fibre too (7g per 100g), and these are widely available, cracked and ready to consume. Almonds, pistachios and sunflower kernels also have 3g of fibre, or more, per 100g. Pasta, such as spaghetti, is an obvious choice that is easy to prepare at the comfort of your home, as one cup of whole-wheat spaghetti contains 6g of fibre.
So, if fibre is difficult to miss, then why do so many of us end up lacking it?
The underlying cause may be attributed to the lack of resolve in making healthy food choices. Whether busy and on the go, or simply around the house, we can always refine our selection of go-to food items to snack on or to have for dinner or breakfast. When preparing for work, it really takes just seconds to place a couple of apples inside a bag and snack on it on the go. Fruits are the easy source of fibre, as we don’t have to cook it, perhaps peel it, but that removes part of the nutrients as there is fibre in the skins.
But when it comes to making the right choice, it seems that many people prefer processed snacks that are full of sugars and sodium, instead of the fresh and healthy variant. To the organism that is yet to become used to smaller punches of sugar per serving, it will be at first difficult to replace the bag of sweets with fruits, but the health benefits are more than obvious and it is well-worth getting around this habit right away.