Health Benefits of Fiber

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Last Updated On :
  • 01/02/2024

Fibre, a necessary component of a well-balanced diet, provides a slew of health advantages that contribute to general well-being. Fibre is commonly found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, and it is widely known for its ability to prevent or treat constipation. Moreover, eating a diet high in fibre can help you maintain proper weight and prevent the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and several cancers.

In this blog, learn about the fibre foods benefits, foods which are fibre-rich and how much you need for a healthy life.

What is Fibre?

Fibre is a part of plant-based foods that supports digestive health. Divided into soluble and insoluble types, it plays an important role in maintaining daily bowel movements and overall well-being.

Soluble fibre, found in foods like oats and legumes, helps manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibre, present in fruits and vegetables, adds bulk to stool, preventing constipation.

A diet rich in fibre, obtained from sources like whole grains, nuts, and fruits, promotes digestive regularity and aids in weight management. Furthermore, it prevents the danger of chronic health issues such as diabetes, digestive issues and heart disease. Incorporating fibre into one's diet is key to maintaining optimal health.

Fibre Health Benefits

Dietary fibre, found in plant-based foods, offers a wide range of health benefits. Here are some dietary fibre benefits you must know:

Weight Management: Fibre plays a pivotal role in weight management. High-fibre foods induce a feeling of fullness, reducing overall food intake. Additionally, these foods often have fewer calories per volume, contributing to effective calorie control.

Blood Sugar Control: Soluble fibre, present in foods like oats and legumes, helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of glucose. These types of fibre foods benefit individuals looking to stabilise their blood glucose levels.

Improves Immunity and Mental Health: Fibre is a potent prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria that colonise our gastrointestinal tracts to form the gut microbiome. Improvements in gastrointestinal health and reduction in anxiety, depression, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked to healthy gut flora.

Digestive Health: Plant-based diets are the main source of fibre, which has several advantages for digestive health. Dietary fibre benefits for digestive health include making the stool more substantial, encouraging frequent bowel movements and helping avoid constipation.

Moreover, consuming enough fibre keeps tiny pouches from forming in the colon, which helps manage diverticulitis.

Good Heart Health: Fibre contributes to heart health by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre binds to cholesterol particles, aiding in their elimination. Furthermore, some studies suggest that a high-fibre diet may contribute to lower blood pressure levels.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease: Meals high in fibre may lower the incidence of type 2 diabetes by enhancing the body's sensitivity to insulin and controlling blood sugar levels. Additionally, fibre's anti-inflammatory properties contribute to a reduced risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Reduced Risk of Certain Cancer: In a study, it was discovered that fibre consumption inversely correlates with the incidence of colorectal cancer and offers preventative advantages against the disease.

It has been found that people with previous colorectal cancer had lower overall mortality rates when they consumed more fibre. Additionally, it was discovered that dietary fibre was linked to a lower chance of developing pancreatic cancer.

**Hormonal Balance: Fibre may play a role in hormonal balance, particularly in women. It may help promote more regular menstrual periods and has been linked to a lower incidence of hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Skin Health: While not often highlighted, fibre's impact on skin health is noteworthy. A well-balanced, fibre-rich diet can help manage conditions like acne and promote overall skin radiance. This effect is partly attributed to the elimination of toxins through improved digestion.

Promotes Healthy Bones: Certain fibres, such as oligofructose and inulin, may have a beneficial effect on how well minerals like calcium are absorbed, which could lead to improved bone health.

Recommended Daily Intake of Fibre

Now that we know the dietary fibre benefits, it is important to know the recommended daily fibre intake. Here's a general guideline for daily fibre intake:

Age Group Gender  Daily Fibre Intake (grams)
1-3 years  Both  19
4-8 years Both  25
9-13 years Both  31
14-18 years  Male 36
14-18 years  Female 26
19-30 years Male 38
19-30 years Female 25
31-50 years Male 38
31-50 years Female 25
51 years and older Male 30
51 years and older Female 21
Pregnant Teens Female 28
Pregnant adults Female 28
Lactating teens Female 29
Lactating adults Female 29

Tips for Increasing Fibre Intake

Increasing your fibre intake is a smart and health-conscious decision, as it offers numerous benefits for digestion, heart health, and overall well-being. If you are looking to fit in more fibre into your diet, here are some tips to help you achieve that goal:

  • Always go for whole grains over refined ones. High in dietary fibre are whole grains such as barley, quinoa, brown rice, oats, and whole wheat. They have more nutrients and fibre since they still have the bran and germ that are removed from refined grains.

  • Consume a variety of fruits, especially those with edible skins, such as apples, pears, and berries. The skin is often rich in fibre. If you're not a fan of whole fruits, consider adding them to smoothies or as toppings for cereals and yoghurt.

  • Vegetables are abundant in minerals, vitamins, and fibre. Try to include a range of raw and cooked vegetables in your meals. Carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens are all great options.

  • Nuts and seeds that are high in fibre and healthy fats include flax seeds, chia seeds, and almonds. Eat a handful of dry fruits, including nuts, as a snack or add seeds to your muesli, salads and yoghurt.

  • When selecting cereals, opt for those with high fibre content. Look for whole-grain cereals or those specifically labelled as high-fibre. Always ensure to take a look at the nutrition label for the grams of fibre per serving.

  • Learn to read food labels to identify the fibre content in different products. Choose foods with higher fibre content and be mindful of added sugars or unhealthy fats.

  • If it is difficult to obtain enough fibre from your diet alone, consider taking fibre supplements if recommended by a doctor or medical practitioner. Psyllium husk and glucomannan are examples of soluble fibre supplements that can be mixed into water or other liquids.

  • Fibre absorbs water, so it's essential to stay hydrated when increasing your fibre intake. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help prevent constipation and promote healthy digestion.

About Tata AIG Health Insurance

In a world where our health can take unexpected twists, eating a high-fibre diet is essential for general wellness. Sudden health changes frequently illustrate the value of a healthy lifestyle.

While a fibre-rich diet is important for bolstering our immune systems, it is also critical to have a safety net that can provide financial assistance for unexpected medical situations. This is when medical insurance comes in as an invaluable asset. Individuals can protect their physical and financial well-being by purchasing comprehensive health insurance coverage.

Tata AIG Health Insurance is a dependable insurance provider that goes above and beyond in providing complete coverage, including the highly sought-after cashless health insurance option.

Our health insurance plans stand out amongst others in the realm of health coverage. With a commitment to prioritising the well-being of its policyholders, we offer a range of health insurance plans designed to meet diverse needs.

Tata AIG's expansive network of healthcare providers allows policyholders to access quality medical care without the worry of managing financial transactions at the time of treatment.

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Can I get enough fibre from supplements, or should I focus on whole foods?

While fibre supplements can be beneficial, it is recommended to obtain fibre primarily from whole foods. Whole foods provide a variety of nutrients along with fibre, promoting overall health.

Are there any side effects of consuming too much fibre?

Consuming excessive fibre without adequate fluid intake can lead to bloating, gas, and constipation. It's important to gradually increase fibre intake and stay hydrated to minimise potential side effects.

Can fibre be helpful for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Fibre, especially soluble fibre, may benefit individuals with IBS by helping regulate bowel movements. However, the type and amount of fibre should be tailored to individual needs, as some people with IBS may be sensitive to certain types of fibre.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on the health benefits of fibre. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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