How dietary fibre relieves constipation and aids longevity; which Indian foods have high-fibre content?
If we are asked what's our favourite food, most of us would think of soft and creamy ice creams or calorie-rich pastries, pasta, doughnuts etc. Very few, if any, will say oats, Dalia, chia seeds, turnip etc. which are high fibre foods that help us fight the bloat, relieve us of constipations, and help fight obesity.What is dietary fibre? Dietary fibre helps us maintain a healthy weight while lowering our risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Dietary fibre is also called roughage or bulk. This is the part of the plant foods that we ingest but cannot pull into the bloodstream fully. We can't digest it wholly or absorb it and so must allow it to pass through the digestive tract to eliminate it as a part of our bowel movement. Other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates get broken down by our body and absorbed into the bloodstream and from there to the entire body. The fibre that we cannot digest passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and gets eliminated from the body.There are two types of dietary fibres: Soluble fibre: The soluble fibre in our food dissolves in the water and forms a gel-like substance that helps keep blood cholesterol and glucose levels in check. Oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium etc contain soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre: This is the kind that does not fully dissolve in the water though it does absorb water to gain weight and bulk. In the process, it promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. No wonder then that when you include some of this kind of fibre in your diet, stool movement is relatively easy and one does not have to struggle with constipation or irregular stools. You can find insoluble fibre in whole-wheat flour (do not remove the chokar or bran from the atta), wheat bran, dalia, sooji, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans, turnips, and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fibre.According to experts at Mayo Clinic, US, adding high fibre food items to your diet has several benefits: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983Make sure you have planned lots of fibre-rich foods for your week ahead. Do add whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and other legumes, as well as nuts and seeds to your shopping list.Lessen or avoid refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — which are low in fibre. As per the Mayo Clinic report, the reason for that is "The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fibre content.And finally, do not forget to drink plenty of water as fibre works best when it absorbs water.Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.