They have health-protective benefits!
Tasty ways to cut your cholesterol and counter cancer!
Unless you’re sitting under the apple tree, fibre isn’t likely to simply drop into your lap. The typical diet does not provide enough to reap fibre’s crop of health-promoting benefits – benefits like possible protection against colorectal cancer.
When scientists compare populations that eat fire-rich diets with those that don’t, they find that the high-fibre eaters get less of this disease. That’s part of the reason why nutritionists recommend a fibre intake of 20 to 30 grams a day.
One key seems to be insoluble fibre – the indigestible stalks and peels of fruits and vegetables and husks of whole grains. This roughage bulks up stool and speeds it through the colon. So experts theorize that cancer-causing agents are swept quickly away with the stool. And it’s also this bulking action of insoluble fibre that may help relieve constipation, hemorrhoids, anal fissure, anal fistula and diverticular disease.
When it comes to lowering cholesterol, soluble fibre is the hero. The balance in most fibre foods tips toward insoluble fibre, but a few (like oat bran and beans) have an equal amount of soluble fibre. Studies show that some people can drop high cholesterol levels by eating soluble-fibre-rich foods while also decreasing total calories.
So, to help you cash in on all the health value in fibre, we’ve designed the following chart.
If your fibre intake has been low so far, build it up gradually. Start by adding only a few extra grams of fibre per week. Drink plenty of water, since fibre soaks up fluids.
Also, limit intake to 35 grams of fibre a day. Too much fibre may interfere with nutrient absorption and cause intestinal upset.
DIETARY FIBRE (grams)
|Figs, dried||5 fruit||8.7|
|Apple, with skin||1 fruit||3.0|
|Apricots, dried||10 halves||2.7|
|Cherry, with skin included in edible portion||100 gms||1.24|
|Peaches, with skin included in edible portion||100 gms||2.28|
CEREALS & CEREAL PRODUCTS
|Whole-wheat bread||2 slices||4.5|
|Oatmeal flakes||1 cup||6.0|
|Oat bran||1/3 cup||5.0|
|Oatmeal, cooked||¾ cup||1.6|
|Wheat bran, toasted||30 gms||14.1|
|Barley, raw||30 gms||4.9|
|Oat bran, raw||30 gms||4.5|
|Wheat flour, wholegrain||30 gms||3.6|
|Wheat germ||30 gms||3.0|
|Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked||½ cup||1.7|
|Baked beans, canned||½ cup||9.8|
|Kidney, cooked||½ cup||9.0|
|Black-eyed peas, cooked||½ cup||8.3|
|Miso (soybeans)||½ cup||7.5|
|Limas, cooked||½ cup||6.8|
|Lentils, cooked||½ cup||5.2|
|White, cooked||½ cup||5.0|
|Green peas, cooked||½ cup||2.4|
|Sweet potato||1 potato||3.4|
|Corn, cooked||1 ear||2.8|
|Parsley, chopped||1 cup||2.8|
|Potato, with skin||1 medium||2.5|
|Carrots, raw||1 carrot||2.3|
|Turnip greens, boiled||½ cup||2.2|
|Spinach, boiled||½ cup||2.1|
|Asparagus, cut||1 cup||2.0|
|Cauliflower, cooked||5 florets||2.0|
|Cabbage, raw, shredded||1 cup||1.7|
|Green beans, string, cooked||½ cup||1.6|
|Tomato, raw||1 medium||1.5|
NUTS AND SEEDS
|Almonds, oil-roasted||¼ cup||4.4|
|Pistachio nuts||¼ cup||3.5|
Note: Top sources of soluble fibre include oat and barley products, legumes and fruit.