One of the main reasons why dieticians and health experts recommend you to add more vegetables and fruits to your food is because of the fiber content. Many studies conducted over the years have proved that adequate fiber intake will improve your digestion and prevent many chronic diseases.
Dietary fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate and it can be categorized into two based on its solubility in water. The first one is the soluble fiber that dissolves in water. The water-soluble type of fiber can be easily metabolized by the good bacteria that reside in your gut. The other one is the insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water.
The dieticians often recommend adding fiber-rich plant foods in your vegan meal plan because men have to consume 38 grams of fiber and women have to consume 25 grams of fiber each day.
Health Benefits Of Fiber
Promotes Weight Loss
There are different types of fiber and some of them can reduce your appetite and thereby promotes weight loss. Some of the recent studies are showing that a high intake of dietary fiber will promote weight loss by reducing the calorie intake automatically. Another benefit of fiber is that it slows down the nutrient absorption in the intestine and prolongs the feeling of fullness. Glucomannan is an effective fiber supplement that promotes weight loss.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
One of the main advantages of high-fiber foods is that they have a very low glycemic index. If you have a high-carb diet, it could lead to a significant rise in blood sugar levels. Therefore, including fiber-rich plant foods in your vegan diet will help in lowering the spike in blood sugar levels. Also, you need to ensure to cut down the intake of foods that are high in carbohydrates.
Increased intake of fiber-rich food helps reduce constipation because of the ability of fiber to absorb water. This will help increase the bulk of the stool and ensure a faster movement of stool through the intestine. However, there are some other forms of fiber that may have a negative effect on digestive health. Therefore, you have to talk with a health expert before starting to take fiber supplements for constipation.
Feeds Good Gut Bacteria
The dietary fiber can function as prebiotics and feed the good bacteria that live in your gut. This will have numerous positive impacts on your digestive health. Good gut bacteria produce many short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, which can feed the cells of the colon. This will ensure a significant reduction in gut inflammation and prevent many digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk
As per the statistics, the third leading cause of cancer deaths around the world is colorectal cancer. Some of the recent studies on dietary fiber are showing that fiber-rich foods may be very effective in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. High-fiber foods also contain many antioxidants and other nutrients that help in reducing the risk of cancer.
Best Plant Foods Rich In Soluble Fiber
Also called butter beans, lima beans are a great source of soluble fiber along with protein and carbs. The soluble fiber pectin that is present in lima beans can effectively reduce blood sugar levels. It is important to know that you need to soak and boil lima beans before you eat them because the raw lima beans are toxic.
Avocado is a popular fruit in most parts of the world. An average-sized avocado contains around 13.5 grams of dietary fiber and the soluble fiber content is around 2.1 grams. When compared to other fiber-rich foods, the antinutrient content in avocados is very low. This is the reason avocados are one of the main ingredients in many of the vegan recipes.
This popular vegetable is loaded with many healthy vitamins and minerals and also contains many compounds that can fight cancer. Many studies show that the soluble fiber present in Brussels sprout is very beneficial for the good gut bacteria.
This cruciferous vegetable is also a great source of soluble fiber. It is high in vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, etc. One other benefit of broccoli is that it possesses anti-cancer properties. Just 100 grams of broccoli contains 2.6 grams of dietary fiber and about half of it is soluble.
Carrots might probably be the most eaten vegetable around the world. They are one of the main ingredients in many vegan dishes. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A that could improve your night vision. Around 4.6 grams of dietary fiber is present in just one cup of chopped carrots. The soluble fiber content of carrots comes around 2.4 grams per cup. Carrots are easily available and for most people, they are the easiest source of fiber.