Fiber, also referred to as roughage, is a natural, healthy carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that isn’t digestible in humans. Roughage can help you lose weight, improve your overall health, and keep you full.
It is recommended that women get between 21 and 25 grams and men between 30 and 38 grams of fiber per day.
There is insoluble and soluble roughage, and you need both for a healthy digestive tract. Insoluble fiber, such as whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran, speeds the passage of foods through the gut. Soluble fiber, by contrast, holds water and becomes gel-like in the intestines and stomach. Types of soluble fiber include beans, seeds, nuts, and bran.
Here are five benefits of roughage to encourage you to get your fill.
May help you lose weight
Fiber with a high viscosity is often believed to increase feelings of fullness, probably resulting from the gel it forms in the gut. And that makes it easier to consume fewer calories.
Besides, roughage has fewer calories compared to carbohydrates. So, individuals who consume foods rich in fiber are likely to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
But the role of roughage alone as a weight control tool hasn’t been established.
Cholesterol goes down
Soluble fiber reduces LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels by binding to it in your small bowel, and is especially effective when used in conjunction with medication. And once inside your small intestine, the roughage attaches to the circulating cholesterol and prevents them from traveling to other body parts and entering the bloodstream. Instead, ‘bad’ cholesterol will exit your body through the feces.
Helps lower your risk of certain cancers
Each 10g of fiber you consume is associated with a 5% fall in breast cancer risk and a 10% lowered colorectal cancer risk
Foods that contain fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, are also high in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which could further lower your odds.
Preventing and treating constipation
Constipation can often be prevented by increasing the fiber in your diet. It helps regulate bowel movements by pulling water into the large intestine to produce bulkier, softer stools, promoting better regularity.
Promotes heart health
The anti-inflammatory benefits of consuming fiber are fabulous for the heart, both in boosting health after a heart attack and keeping a strong heart healthy.
Promotes skin health
When fungus and yeast are eliminated via the skin, they typically trigger acne or outbreaks. Consuming roughage, especially psyllium husk, can flush toxins out of the body, boosting your skin’s appearance and health.
Blood sugar control
In individuals with diabetes, roughage – specifically soluble fiber – may slow sugar absorption and help control blood sugar. A healthy meal that includes insoluble roughage may also cut your type 2 diabetes risk.
5 easy ways to eat more fiber
#1 – Choose 100% whole grains over refined grains
Whole grains are a fiber-rich food (and a healthful) group that may help you meet your everyday fiber needs. They contain all three parts of the grain (the bran, endosperm, and germ) and are minimally processed. Examples of 100% whole grain foods include corn, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.
#2 – Eat more legumes, nuts, and seeds
Just like peas, nuts are a delicious way to get extra fiber in your diet. Nuts also offer a healthy dose of omega-3 fats and protein.
Almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, and peanuts are especially good sources of roughage. A quarter cup of almonds contains around 4g of fiber.
#3 – Include fruits and vegetables in meals, and consume them first
Top fiber sources in the fruit group include oranges, apples, pears, strawberries, and strawberries. Top fiber sources in the vegetable group include potatoes with skin, okra, turnip greens, sprouts, broccoli, and artichokes.
#4 – Include legumes in your diet
In addition to legumes being a good source of fiber and protein, they are also high in iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate. Fiber-rich legumes include black-eyed peas, kidney beans, fava beans, split peas, black beans, and soybeans.
Fiber-rich meals are great for your health. However, adding too much roughage too quickly may promote abdominal bloating, cramping, and intestinal gas. So take care and be sure to drink a lot of water.