Dietary fiber is one of the most essential nutrients. It plays a major role in improving your heart health and gut health. Studies have shown that including fiber-rich foods in your vegan diet is very helpful in managing your body weight. Statistics show that only 5 % of Americans are getting an adequate amount of fiber daily. Not getting adequate fiber through the diet may lead to many health problems.
Here are some of the health benefits offered by fiber-rich foods.
Maintain Healthy Bodyweight
One of the main advantages of eating foods rich in fiber is that it helps you to avoid gaining extra weight. If you are obese or overweight, taking a high amount of fiber-rich foods can help in losing extra weight by reducing your calorie intake. Fiber helps in slowing down the absorption of nutrients and thus increases the feeling of fullness. When you have a prolonged feeling of fullness, it will prevent overeating. Some people even consider fiber supplements like glucomannan for promoting weight loss.
Promotes Healthy Gut Bacteria
Your intestine is home to more than 500 different species of bacteria. These bacteria are very important for many aspects of your health. Studies have found that good gut bacteria can help in blood sugar control, improved immune function, weight management, and improved brain function. Fiber helps in promoting the growth of good gut bacteria and thereby improving many of your body functions. Good gut bacteria can also help in producing long-chain fatty acids like butyrate, acetate, and propionate, which offer a lot of health benefits.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Many studies have shown that viscous, soluble fiber can help in reducing the levels of cholesterol in your blood. High cholesterol levels are one of the major risk factors of heart disease. That is one of the main reasons why a high-fiber diet is often recommended to people with heart problems. According to some recent studies, taking 2-10 grams of fiber daily can help in reducing LDL cholesterol by 2.2 mg/dl.
Improves Heart Health
Many studies over the years have looked at the effects of eating foods rich in fiber on your heart health. It was found that dietary fiber can help in reducing high blood pressure, one of the major risk factors of cardiovascular disease. A study conducted in 2017 showed that the risk of cardiovascular disease is lower in people who eat a high amount of fiber-rich foods. Many health experts are also linking the heart health benefits of fiber to its ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Let’s take a look at some of the fiber-rich plant foods that you can include in your vegan meals.
Just one cup of raw avocados can provide around 10 grams of fiber. In addition to fiber, avocados contain several other healthy nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, and B vitamins.
This popular fruit is also one of the most nutritious fruits available in the market. You will get around 3 grams of fiber from just one cup of fresh strawberries. Eating strawberries regularly can help in preventing many chronic diseases because they are rich in antioxidants. In addition to that, strawberries also contain manganese and vitamin C.
This delicious fruit is a great plant-based source of fiber. Every 100 grams of pears contain 3.1 grams of fiber or a medium-sized pear provides 5.5 grams of fiber.
This highly nutritious fruit contains around 8 grams of fiber per cup. Raspberries are also packed with essential nutrients like vitamins C and manganese. Eating raspberries regularly can help in improving your immune function.
Apples are probably one of the most popular fruits available in the market. In addition to being delicious, they also provide a lot of nutrients, including fiber. One medium-sized apple can provide around 4.4 grams of fiber.
This tasty and crunchy root vegetable provides a lot of healthy nutrients, including fiber, magnesium, beta carotene, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. You will get around 3.6 grams of fiber from just one cup of raw carrots.
Bananas are famous for their potassium content. They are also rich in several other nutrients and one of them is fiber. One medium-sized banana can provide around 3.1 grams of fiber.
This popular cruciferous vegetable is a great vegan source of fiber. Every 100 grams of broccoli provides 2.6 grams of fiber. Broccoli is also loaded with nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, manganese, and several antioxidants.
Beetroot is packed with nutrients like fiber, manganese, potassium, iron, copper, and folate. It also contains nitrates, which can help in regulating your blood pressure. Just one cup of raw beets can provide 3.8 grams of fiber.
Brussels sprout is another cruciferous vegetable that is rich in fiber. You will get around 3.3 grams of fiber from just one cup of raw brussels sprouts.