What is Fibre?
There are two types of fibre- soluble and insoluble but most fibre-rich foods contain some of both. It is also considered either dietary or functional. The dietary kind of fibre is the indigestible part of plants that we eat, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts. This is obtained naturally from whole foods. The functional kind of fibre is extracted or prepared in a lab. It’s the type of fibre that is found in supplements or fibre-enriched foods.
Experts say that it’s best to aim for a balanced diet rich with plenty of fibre-laden foods. According to them, it is the whole pattern that seems to have an effect so it is hard to pick out exact foods as food is a complex thing.
Fibre is mostly associated with a healthy digestive system, but research has shown that it can do a lot more than just keep you regular. Scientists are still trying to figure out how exactly fibre works in the body. Some ways by which it helps your heart are given below:
Lowers cholesterol: Soluble fibre reduces both bad (LDL) and overall cholesterol by binding with cholesterol particles in the digestive system and by driving them out of the body before they are absorbed.
Protects against strokes and diabetes: Stroke and diabetes lead to an increased risk of heart diseases. Fibre-rich whole grains lower the risk of a stroke by up to 36% and the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 30%, as per research.
Reduces blood pressure: In another study, researchers put some people on a high-fibre diet that included lots of whole wheat and whole oats. After 12 weeks they found that the participants had a drop in blood and pulse pressure.
Encourages a healthy weight: Fibre can also become a weight loss weapon as it keeps you full by staving off hunger for a long time.
Longevity: All these benefits add up not only to better heart health but also to a longer life. In a study, researchers had observed a group of people for 9 years. They came to this conclusion that eating lots of fibre lowered the risk of early death among men and women.
Experts say that women under the age of 50 years must get about 25 grams of fibre a day and men must get about 38 grams of fibre. Knowing how fibre guards your heart, you must eat a balanced diet comprising of fibre rich foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables and other nutrients on a regular basis to stay healthy always.