Posts tagged ‘fibre’

Whole Is Health!

On one hand with chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, coronary heart diseases on a rise like never before and on the other hand increasing health and nutrition awareness, its easy to infer how a lot of us are going in for wiser choices when eating both at home or dining out. Life’s suddenly all about eating right and low-cal!

Every roadside corner now has a fruit juice corner ( yeah…apart from the juices, the painted pictures of filmstars on their hoardings really fascinates me!). But, though fruit/vegetable juice is ofcourse a desirable substitute for other aerated drinks, alcohols (or for that reason even the diet colas) etc. the goodness of whole fruit/vegetable or grains can never be got from a glass of strained fruit/vegetable juice which definitely has ample minerals and vitamins but is devoid of another very essential component of our diets – Dietary Fiber! Hygiene is another aspect to be considered.

This potential health booster “ Fibre” is actually the roughage found in grains, vegetables and fruits….nil in animal foods. It gives shape and rigidity to trees, shrubs, grasses and herbs.The fiber composition of plants varies based on plant species but, generally, all plants contain all kinds of fiber. The 2 main categories are:

  • Insoluble Fibre, including cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin;
  • Soluble Fibre, including pectin, gums, and mucilage. Water-soluble fiber is considered the most health-benefiting type of fiber, especially mucilage fiber.

Insoluble fibre is found in the hulls and outer covering of grains, seeds, skins of most fruits and vegetables. It makes the stools bulkier and decreases the transit time of food traveling through our digestive tract. Faster transit time means less contact time for toxins and a reduced risk of colon problems, fewer infections. And, with less straining required to pass a softer stool, chances of haemorrhoids too are reduced.

Soluble fiber ,found in foods like oats, psyllium, barley, bran portion of grains, and many fruits and vegetables, unlike its insoluble counterpart, delays stomach emptying and reduces the rate of sugar absorption, thus aiding blood sugar control. Fiber also binds cholesterol and bile in the digestive tract, preventing their re-absorption and re-circulation. See how fibre reduces blood cholesterol and keeps your heart fit and fine?

The benefits of both kinds of fiber are many.

  • Fiber can be a useful ally in weight loss as fiber hardly contributes to the calorie intake, takes longer to chew hence slowing down our eating speed which gives the brain more time to register feelings of fullness. This means lesser overeating as well as snacking and binging.
  • By regulating the sugar and cholesterol levels, fiber helps keep a tab on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and is also protective against many other chronic degenerative diseases including preventing colon cancers and infections of the intestines.
  • Fiber helps regulate smooth bowel movements and reduces the occurrence of constipation and Irritable bowel syndrome

Having discussed the benefits of fiber in the diet, hopefully the revolution of going “whole” will now gain momentum -Whole grains instead of polished and milled ones and whole fruits and vegetables, peeled minimally (Unlike many new processing methods leading to fibre and micronutrient losses).

                                             

So next time remember, Choosing fruit and vegetable juice over colas and synthetic juices is smart…..but grabbing a fruit instead of a glass of juice, is Smarter!! ‘Coz the glass of juice can never do the job of the whole fruit/vegetable itself!! 🙂                                 

 

May 30, 2008 at 2:08 pm 1 comment


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