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Benifits of Fiber
Fiber rich food choices become very important to maintain proper bowel functions and prevent constipation. Fiber is the indigestible part of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. It contains no calories, vitamins or minerals but it is essential for good health. It keeps the digestive tract healthy and may lower blood cholesterol. Adults need 20-35 grams of fiber each day. You can accomplish this by eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole-grain foods. Foods that are rich in soluble fibers are oats, oat bran, beans, fruits and vegetables. Also, drink plenty of fluids (try to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday) and maintain regular physical exercise. Breads and crackers made from whole grain flours (whole wheat, oats, corn) are high in fiber, as are bran breads and muffins. Dried fruits are another good source of fiber.
Types of Fiber : You should try to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods on a daily basis because different foods offer different types of fiber with different health benefits. The two main types of fiber are
Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber gives plants their structure. It does not dissolve in water. Common sources are wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains.
Soluble fiber: This type of fiber forms a gel in water. It is in oatmeal, barley and kidney beans . Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol, particularly in people with elevated cholesterol.
How to Lose Fiber : Fiber is lost through food processing, such as milling whole wheat into white flour; peeling skins from fruits (apples, pears) and vegetables (potatoes, cucumbers); pureeing, straining and juicing. You'll get more fiber by choosing unrefined foods.