Dietary fiber or fibre is also known as roughage. It is the indigestible part of plant-based food. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is fermented in the colon and gets converted into gas & fecal byproducts. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by our body and is expelled. Our diet must include both types of fibers to aid our digestive system in processing and maintaining a healthy gut. However one must not go overboard with insoluble fiber as it can cause IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. Always eat insoluble fiber with more of soluble fiber than on an empty stomac as this will help in keeping your gastric reflux stable. Dietary fiber is made of non-starch polysaccharides including cellulose, and arabinoxylans. It also contains wax, inulin, lignin, resistant dextrin, pectin, chitin, oligosaccharide and beta-glucan. Try to get about 20-25 grams of fiber per day in your diet. Sounds like a lot but adding these by eating whole grains and eating soups from beans and legumes(not the canned ones), adding more fresh vegetables during lunch and dinner along with a bowl of wholegrain pasta,brownrice or whole wheat breads will easily add up to the number.
Processed grains must be replaced with whole grains. It has twice the fiber than refined products. Choose whole-grain pasta or spaghetti or over refined-grain versions. Unpolished rough grains like rye, oats, millets, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice, barley, and sorghum have higher levels of fiber. Choose fiber fortified breakfast cereals to boost roughage intake. Avoid artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, high maltose corn syrup or processed honey. Consume 4-5 servings of vegetables in a day. Eat salads made from cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, carrots, beets, onions, zucchini, and brussels sprouts tossed with herb seasonings and vinegar every day. Eat 3-4 servings of fruits to increase daily dose of dietary fiber. Legumes including dried peas, lentils and beans are the richest sources of dietary fiber. Boiled legumes along with steamed or sautéed vegetables can be served as a healthy side-dish. Baked potatoes (with crispy skin) add fiber to your regular diet.Unpeeled fruits such as coconut, tangerines, berries(blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries), dates, and figs are great fiber sources. Boiled, steamed, baked, or grilled vegetables retain fiber. Creamy-style or deep-fried vegetables should be avoided. Nuts such as almonds, pecans, and pistachios contain more fiber.