Dietary fiber, sometimes called roughage, is the indigestible portion of plant foods which has two main components:
• soluble (pre-biotic, viscous) fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active by-products, and
• metabolically inert insoluble fiber which absorbs water throughout the digestive system and eases defecation.
Fiber acts by changing the nature of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract and by changing how other nutrients and chemicals will be absorbed. Soluble fiber absorbs water to become a gelatinous, viscous, substance which is fermented by bacteria in the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber has bulking action without being fermented.
Dietary fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, helping to keep your digestive system working correctly. Here are the top 20 sources of dietary fiber:
1. Dried beans, peas, and other legumes. This includes baked beans, kidney beans, split peas, dried limas, garbanzos, pinto beans and black beans
2. Bran cereals: All-Bran, 100% Bran, Raisin Bran
3. Fresh or frozen lima beans
4. Fresh or frozen green peas
5. Dried fruit: figs, apricots and dates
6. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
7. Sweet corn: on the cob or kernels
8. Whole-wheat and other whole-grain cereal products: Rye, oats, buckwheat and stone-ground cornmeal are all high in fiber. Bread, pastas, pizzas, pancakes and muffins made with whole-grain flours.
9. Broccoli-very high in fiber!
10. Baked potato with the skin: The skin, when crisp is the best part for fiber. Mashed and boiled potatoes are good too, not french fries, which contain a high percentage of fat.
11. Green snap beans, pole beans, and broad beans: These are packaged frozen as Italian beans, in Europe they are known as haricot or french beans.
12. Plums, pears, and apples: The skin is edible, and are all high in pectin.
13. Raisins and prunes: Not as high on the list as other dried fruits (see #5) however valuable.
14. Greens: Spinach, beet greens, kale, collards, swiss chard and turnip greens.
15. Nuts: Especially Almonds, Brazil nuts, Peanuts, and Walnuts (Consume these sparingly, high fat content).
19. Coconut (dried or fresh-sparingly, both are high in fat content).
20. Brussels sprouts
Your friend in health,
Coach Adam Cobb