There are two types of fiber, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The former facilitates the movement of substance through a persons digestive system and increases stool bulk. Good sources of insoluble fiber are whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material which can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium are good sources of soluble fiber. As the type and quantity of each type of fiber differs from one plant food to another, maximum benefit is derived from consuming a wide variety of fiber rich foods and following a fiber based diet.
It is an unfortunate truth that the amount of fiber children and adults in the US consume, is only half of the recommended levels. The health benefits of a high fiber diet are many, including lowering the risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. By consuming a larger quantity of fiber, one can lower their blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. It is especially good for diabetic individuals, as it improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity.
An increased intake of fiber can help an obese individual significantly with weight loss. It also helps ease a wide number of gastrointestinal disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease, diverticulitis, duodenal ulcer, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Studies have also shown that prebiotic fibers have a role in enhancing immune function. Dietary fiber benefits both children and adults in similar ways. The recommended dietary fiber differs according to age and gender. However, a good thumb rule to follow is 14 g/1000 kcal. The requirement for women between the ages of 19 to 50 is 25 grams, while it is 38 grams for men. Women who have crossed 50 need 21 grams, while men need 30 grams. Read on fiber and weight loss.
Fruits: In ascending order of fiber content, a cup of raspberries contains 8.34 grams of fiber, half a medium grapefruit has 6.12 grams, 1 medium pear has 5.08 grams, a medium apple with skin has 5 grams, a cup of blueberries has 4.18 grams, 1 medium navel orange has 3.40 grams and a medium banana has 3.1 grams of fiber. Read on high fiber fruits.
Vegetables: 1 medium avocado has 11.84 grams of fiber closely followed by a cooked medium artichoke with 10.3 grams. 1 cooked cup of peas has 8.8 grams, a cup of cooked kale has 7.20 grams, a cup of cooked sweet potato has 5.94 grams, and a cup of winter squash has 5.74 grams of fiber. A cup of boiled broccoli has 5.1 grams, a cup of boiled turnip greens has 5 grams, a cup of cooked carrot has 5.22 grams, and a cooked cup of sweet corn has 4.2 grams as does a cup of beet greens. Read on vegetables high in fiber.
Grains, Cereal & Pasta: A cup of bran cereal has 19.94 grams, a cup of dry oats has 12 grams, a bowl of brown rice has 7.98 grams, a cup of whole wheat pasta has 6.34 grams, a cup of cooked whole-wheat spaghetti has 6.2 grams and a cup of pearled barley has 6 grams. 3/4 cup of bran flakes has 5.3 grams, while a medium oat bran muffin has 5.2 grams, and a cup of regular oatmeal has 4 grams of fiber. Read on high fiber cereals.
Legumes, nuts & seeds: A cup of split peas has 16.3 grams of fiber, a cooked cup of lentils has about 15.6 grams, a cooked cup of black beans has 15 grams, a cup of cooked kidney beans has 13.33 grams, a cooked cup of black beans has 14.92 grams, a cup of cooked lima beans has 13.2 grams, a cup of canned baked beans has 10.4 grams,a cup of cooked soybeans has 7.62 grams of fiber, 3 tablespoons of Flax seeds have 6.97 grams and a cup of cooked garbanzo beans has 5.8 grams of fiber.
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Article Posted: April 26, 2012