You have probably heard from your doctor that you need to eat more fiber. Dietary fiber is mainly found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. But why is fiber is good for the health? Here are the top fibrous fruits and the health benefits that they can offer.
- Pinto beans
Oats definitely have a lot of significant sources of dietary fiber. The total amount of fiber contains a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers. Beta-glucans, one of the main components of soluble fiber is very effective in lowering the cholesterol levels in blood. Tocotrienols, a compound that can also be found in oats are powerful antioxidants that form vitamin E. They inhibit cholesterol synthesis and that is why they are also effective in lowering blood cholesterol. In general, they prevent various types of cardiovascular diseases. Three grams of soluble fiber can decrease the number of total cholesterol by 2%. This correlates to a 4% decrease in coronary diseases.
They are not only high in fiber but they also are good sources of protein. One cup of cooked pinto beans offers about 14.7 grams of dietary fiber. It takes about 60% of the recommended daily intake. Assistant Professor Donna Winham from the Arizona State University stated that daily consumption of pinto beans can significantly lower cholesterol levels by 8%. This makes pinto beans more effective than oatmeal. The Idaho Bean Commission states that one-half cup of pinto beans only contain .5 grams of dietary fat. The rest is considered to be polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fat is very effective in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Is it true that an apple a day can keep physicians away? Researches of Florida State University conducted a test to determine how effective apples can be when it comes to health. The test involved 160 who were either assigned to eat apples or prunes. This daily diet of apple or prunes lasted for a year. At the end of the year researchers found out that those who ate apple were able to lower their cholesterol levels for about 14%. Bad cholesterol levels decreased by 23% while the good ones increased by 4%. Those who ate prunes also improved their cholesterol levels but not as effective as those who consumed apples. There is more to apples than just fiber. Pectin and polyphenols, substances which re-present in apples, can enhance metabolism and even reduce the risk of inflammation.
Daily consumption of a half-cup of almonds can result to 10% deduction in LDL cholesterol. One-fourth cup can result to 5% deduction. The only problem is that almonds are very high in calories. Therefore, it is not advisable for any person to consume more than a cup in just a single day. Anybody who is consuming almonds in a daily basis should always keep track of their cholesterol levels.
Broccoli contains huge amounts of soluble fiber. After all, fiber can be derived from plant foods. It plays a very essential roll when it comes to weight loss. The World’s Healthiest Foods website states that the soluble fiber in broccoli can help the liver to produce bile. Bile is important in the fight against LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. It carries the bad cholesterol out of the body and through the intestines. Broccoli, if consumed on a regular basis, can reduce the total number of cholesterol levels by as much as 30%. The bad cholesterol levels can decrease by as much as 40%. It is advisable for broccoli to be eaten fresh. Frozen broccoli that is found in grocery stores is very recommendable. It is packed at its peak and that is why it does not lose its nutrients in the delivery process. The American Dietetic Association recommends that broccoli should be cooked until it is tender and crisp. It should not be over cooked because it can lose a lot of its nutrients.
Proper Amount of Fiber Needed Daily By The Body
How much fiber do people have to consume in a day? The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine states that the daily recommended intake varies between men and women. Men are required to consume thirty-eight grams of fiber while women are only required to consume twenty-five grams. People are definitely encouraged to increase their fiber intake.