By Dr Harold Gunatillake Health Writer
When you suffer from regular constipation it is no fun. You lose your concentration and the ability to perform your regular duties at work, and you may not relate cordially towards your family and friends. Eating high fibre foods can make you feel like a whole new person. The main reason being that high fibre foods cleanse and detoxify your body naturally.Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested in our gut due to lack of specific enzymes. Drinking more water also cleans the bowels.
Eating foods rich in high fibre, such as whole grains, including whole grain bread, brown rice, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds fruits will not only move your bowels regularly and relieve your constipation, also decrease your risk of high blood sugar, diabetes, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol in blood, heart disease, over weight and many others.
What is Fibre? – Roughage
Our gut can't digest fibre unlike animals, not having the required enzymes to break down. Chewing the cud by cattle is part of that process. The fibre that we eat in food such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates, is not digested, passes though the small bowels into the large bowel and out in the faeces. These high fibre foods clean or sweep the bowels, especially after drinking plenty of water.
Soluble and Insoluble Fibres - There are mainly two types of fibre in our food. Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It is found in dried beans, carrots, barley, peas, and oats, and oats bran, flaxseed and psyllium husks. It is also found in citrus fruits and vegetables. These soluble fibres bind with the fatty acids in the small bowel and prolong digestion. This is especially beneficial to regulate blood sugar among diabetes.
Insoluble fibre is found in whole wheat, wheat bran, vegetables such as cauliflower and green beans and in the skins of fruits and root vegetables. These fibres remove toxins from the colon and balance intestine acidity as well as promote the movements of food through the digestive system and increases stool bulk benefitting those who struggle with constipation and hard stools.
Women should eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fibre a day, while men should eat for 30 to 38 grams a day.
Low fibre foods - Refined and processed foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, white bread and pasta and non-whole grain cereals are lower in fibre content. Always stick to whole foods.
More detailed Benefits
High fibre gives you more chewing time and also do not make you hungry soon. Low fibre foods like meat and white rice, being digested and absorbed quickly make you hungry sooner than you should.
Eating a High Fibre Diet - A high fibre weight loss diet is a healthy, natural way to reach and maintain a healthy weight, in conjunction with moderate exercise. There are a few basic tips to follow which can help you get plenty of fibre in your diet through food sources. Try switching white flour products to whole grains. Eat brown rice instead of white rice. Snack on nuts and seeds and fruits and vegetables during the day.
Substitute beans or tofu for animal sources of protein two or three times a week. Consume a variety of sources of dietary fibre and enjoy the health benefits of a well-balanced diet.
Too much fibre
Barley high fibre diet- Barley Pilaf (Parve) GioraShimoni, About.com Guide
Uncover and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and lemon peel.Serve hot with a poultry dish.
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