It’s easy to get caught up in counting calories and grams of sugars, fats, proteins and carbohydrates when you’re trying to eat well. But there’s one nutrient that is often forgotten: dietary fibre.
Fibre is essential for the proper functioning of the body. We mostly look to fruits and vegetables for fibre and tend to overlook foods like pulses which are an excellent source of dietary fibre. In this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of fibre in our diets, the different sources of dietary fibre and the unique benefits of the nutrition of pulses.
The Importance of Dietary Fibre
Dietary fibre is edible plant material that is resistant to enzymatic digestion and may be either water soluble or insoluble. Both these types have important roles to play in our overall health. However, fibre does so much more than just regulating bowel movements. It adds bulk to the diet and keeps you feeling full for longer. Soluble fibre attracts water and forms a gel-like substance that traps carbohydrates and slows down the absorption of glucose, thus maintaining blood sugar levels. Fibre also helps to regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Further, insoluble fibre balances intestinal pH and undergoes fermentation in the large intestine which supports the growth of healthy microflora.
High-Fibre Foods for Every Kitchen
The typical adult requires a daily intake of about 30 grams of fibre per day on average. Listed below are some fibre-rich foods that can help you meet your daily intake goals.
1.Vegetables Vegetables like bitter gourd and beetroot are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Other fibre-rich vegetables include methi (fenugreek), paalak (spinach), ladyfinger, carrots, broccoli and brinjal.
2.Fruits Oranges, plums, apples, guavas and strawberries are a good source of soluble fibre, while mangos, bananas and pineapple are higher in insoluble fibre content. In any case, it’s a good measure to include a mix of fresh produce into your daily diet.
3.Grains and Cereal Wheat, barley, oats and corn are all important sources of fibre.
4.Nuts and Seeds While nuts like peanuts, cashews and almonds are all good sources of fibre, flaxseed in particular is notable for its high fibre content of 22.33%.
5.Pulses and Legumes Lentils, kidney beans and soybeans are all good sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Other high-fibre legumes include moong and peas.
Nutrition of Pulses
Pulses are truly an indispensable part of every diet as they are rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre too. While cooking may bring about a decrease in their overall fibre content, one study showed an increase in the total fibre content of pulses like chana and moong upon soaking, with a marked increase in soluble fibre content. Hence, it’s a good idea to incorporate sprouts as part of a balanced diet, in addition to traditional lentil preparations such as dal or chhole.
As it is important to have a balance of nutrients in your diet, it is also necessary to incorporate a mix of the different sources of fibre. Every food has its own unique benefits. Try Tata Sampann’s range of carefully sourced, unpolished dals to make the most of the natural goodness and nutrition of pulses. Eat smart, stay healthy!
The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website