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Fiber- All about the benefits of Fiber and the ways to Increase Fiber Intake!

What is fiber?

They are complex carbohydrates found in foods that the human body cannot digest or absorb in the bloodstream. There are 2 types according to their physiological effects;

  • Soluble fiber(soluble in water)
  • Insoluble fiber (insoluble in water)

Soluble and insoluble fiber types are often found together in foods. Usually, the shells form water-insoluble fibers, while the inner and soft parts are water-soluble fibers.
So what are the sources of fiber? It is divided into two as those found as natural fiber content and those obtained by producing dietary fiber concentrates from natural foods with technological processes.

Natural fiber sources and fiber content

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  • Dry legumes 11-26%
  • Nuts 5-14%
  • Whole grain products 4-7.5%
  • Fibrous Vegetables (Green beans and peas have a high fiber rate) 3-4%
  • Fibrous Fruits (Shelled fruits have more fiber) 1-2%

Foods containing soluble fiber; Oats, lentils, apple, pear, oranges, nuts, beans, peas, strawberries, flax seeds, cucumbers, carrots, blueberries, celery, prunes, grapefruit, peaches, bananas.

Foods containing insoluble fiber; whole grains, almonds, corn bran, walnuts, barney, brown rice, pumpkin, celery, cabbage, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark green leafy vegetables, grapes.

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What are fiber concentrates?

  • Gum Arabic, guar gum, kanob bean gum, oat husk, psyllium seed pod 90%
  • Citrus fiber, pea fiber, corn bran, soy polysaccharides 60-85%
  • Wheat bran 40-50%
  • Barley bran 15%
  • Rice bran 20-30%
  • Oat bran 15-20%

Benefits of fiber consumption

  1. Soluble fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol by preventing the absorption of bile acids in the intestine.
  2. It prevents sudden increases in blood sugar by reducing the absorption of glucose, which is called sugar.
  3. Insoluble fiber foods adhere to harmful substances, allowing them to pass faster without harming the intestines. Therefore, it provides a positive effect in preventing colon cancer.
  4. Insoluble fiber is effective against constipation by increasing stool volume, amount of stool and number of defecation.
  5. Since it swells in the stomach and takes up more space, it gives a feeling of satiety and allows you to eat less.
  6. Soluble fiber foods slow down the formation of arteriosclerosis.
  7. It prevents the formation of gallstones.
  8. It has positive effects on the treatment of hemorrhoids.
  9. Fiber has ammonia binding properties in the large intestine. This helps to reduce blood and urine ammonia.
  10. It regulates your blood pressure.

How much fiber should we get daily?

Most people lack the amount of fiber they should get. Fiber should be consumed for health. On the other hand, eating too much fiber can cause bloating, gas, and constipation. Fiber intake varies according to gender, weight and nutritional requirement. It is recommended that you consume more than 25-30 grams of fiber per day for health.

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10 easy ways to increase your fiber intake

  1. Plan to consume legumes 2 or 3 times a week.
  2. Consume at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
  3. Consume vegetables and fruits that can be eaten without peeling the peel without peeling.
  4. Prefer to eat the fruit itself instead of the juice.
  5. Change your cooking method to increase the fiber.
  6. Check food labels for pulp content.
  7. Choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread.
  8. Include cereals for breakfast.
  9. Add dried fruits, fresh fruits, chickpeas, green lentils, dried beans to your salads.
  10. Add foods high in fiber such as dried fruit, nuts, almonds, and fresh fruits in yogurt.

A few recipes with fiber you can prepare

Nacho Roasted Chickpeas

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Banana Maple Tigernut Muffins (Top 8 Free & Coconut-Free)

Author: Nutritionist Sevenur Sarikaya