A Comprehensive Overview of Fiber Sources, Benefits and Side Effects

What is Fiber

Fiber is a form of carbohydrate which can’t be digested by the body. It is also known as bulk or roughage and it’s mostly derived from plant-based foods. Fiber is classified under two categories soluble fiber which dissolves in water and insoluble fiber which doesn’t dissolve in water.

Why Do People Take Fiber

girl taking fiber

This nutrient is an essential part of a well-balanced diet. Fiber provides a consumer with a lot of benefits which can be witnessed externally and also experienced internally. Some of the benefits of fiber include:

Promoting Bowel Movements and Bowel Health

Fiber can’t be digested in the stomach. It mainly increases the bulk of the stool. In addition to that, it also softens it. When the stool is bulky, it becomes easier for it to be excreted thereby reducing the risk of constipation. Apart from that, this nutrient helps to reduce the risk of certain diseases by promoting good bowel health. It reduces the chances of an individual contracting diverticular disease, hemorrhoids among others.

Enhancing Weight Loss

Fiber helps to curb hunger pangs. It reduces food cravings and promotes the feeling of satiety which can last for long periods of time. A fiber-rich food reduces the dieter’s overall calorie intake which leads to the conversion of fat to energy or fuel.

Regulating the Blood Sugar Levels

Fiber, especially the soluble fiber is great for diabetics. This is because it helps to slow down sugar absorption to the bloodstream. It also regulates the blood sugar levels. Note that a healthy diet that is rich in soluble fiber helps to reduce the risk of diabetes type 2.

Moderating the Blood Cholesterol

Soluble fiber can significantly lower blood cholesterol. This nutrient helps to lower the density of the low density “bad cholesterol” lipoprotein. Reports from research studies show that it can provide other health benefits which includes lowering the blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improving heart health.

Note that soluble fiber is responsible for lowering the blood sugar levels and cholesterol. On the other hand, insoluble fiber forms the bulk of the stool. It reduces the risk of digestive problems such as irregular bowel movements and constipation.

The Recommended Daily Fiber Intake

bowl of Fiber

According to the Institute of Medicine, it’s recommended that men and women over the age of 50 should take about 30g and 21g of fiber daily. Men and women under the age of 50 should take 38g and 25 g of fiber respectively. Younger people need more fiber in order to facilitate growth and development.

Foods with High Fiber Content

Foods with High Fiber Content

There are various foods which are rich in fiber. If you are consuming foods with inadequate fiber, you might end up experiencing a deficiency that causes side effects. Some of the foods which can help you to increase your fiber intake include:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Whole-grain products
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes such as peas and beans.

Tips on How to Increase Fiber Intake

women with bowl of fiber

  • Take cereals which contain a whole grain as the first ingredient for breakfast.
  • Replace your weekly meat intake with beans or peas.
  • Avoid fruit juices and substitute them with whole fruits.
  • Eat whole grains and brown rice in place of pasta, bread or white rice.
  • Avoid snacks such as chocolate bars, crackers, and chips and replace them with raw vegetables.

How Does Protein & Fiber Work Together

full of fiber element- apples, bananas, raisins, candied fruit and nuts

Any healthy diet must have both fiber and protein. They work together to provide the consumer with the necessary nutrients that are required for growth as well as weight loss. Protein, for instance, helps to promote the growth and maintenance of muscles. It enhances thermogenesis which leads to the production of heat. Additionally, this nutrient also increases the rate of metabolism leading to a healthy weight. Fiber, on the other hand, isn’t digestible and it promotes the feeling of satiety without providing the dieter with any calories. Fiber and protein work together to maintain a healthy weight.

Side Effects of Fiber

Side Effects of Fiber

Most people might actually fail to meet their daily fiber requirements however, some people may end up taking fiber in excess amounts which can be very dangerous. The most common side effects of fiber include:

  • Constipation
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • People with crown’s disease might end up with an intestinal blockage
  • Weight gain which can be temporary

In case you end up experiencing nausea, fever, inability to pass stool or gas as well as vomiting, ensure that you consult with your health care provider as soon as you can.

Bottom Line

Fiber has a lot of benefits and that’s why it’s an essential part of a healthy diet. It promotes weight loss and the overall wellness of the consumer. However, this nutrient should be consumed in moderation for it to be effective. This is because a very high fiber content in your diet can result in serious side effects. If you want to increase your fiber intake, ensure that you do it gradually.

References

  • sfgate.comprotein-fiber-work-together-1317.html
  • healthline.comhealthfood-nutritiontoo-much-fiber

Overview of Strawberries: Nutrition Facts, Benefits and Side Effects

About Strawberries

They are the most recognizable type of fruits thanks to their amazing taste. Strawberries have a distinct aroma and texture. Additionally, they are also regarded as fruits which are highly nutritional. Although the term berries have been attached to their name, strawberries actually belong to the rose family as because they are found in groups or clusters. Moreover, their seeds are usually out of their bodies. Outlined below is an overview of strawberries.

The Strawberry – Nutrition Facts

Strawberry Nutrition Facts

These fruits are usually consumed in their raw state. They are rich in antioxidants as well as other plant-based compounds which provide the consumer with a wide range of benefits. These fruits can be used in different types of desserts, jams, and jellies. In addition to those, they can also be used in food flavoring. Below is a breakdown of the strawberry – nutrition facts of 100g of raw strawberries.

Carbs

These fruits contain 7.7g of carb per 100g. Because of their high water content, raw and fresh strawberries contain few carbs. These carbohydrates are derived from simple sugars which include sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Note that the net digestible amount of carb content is not more than 6g per every 1000g of strawberries.

Fiber

Strawberries contain 2g of Fiber per 100g. About 25 percent of the carb content in strawberries is from Fiber. They contain both soluble & insoluble fibers which help to improve the gut health. The high fiber content in strawberries is the reason why they are used in weight loss products because they effectively enhance the feeling of satiety.

Protein

A 100g of strawberries contains 0.7g of protein. These fruits aren’t great sources of protein. Note that protein should make about 10 – 35 percent of the daily calorie intake and the amount of protein content in them is much lower.

Vitamins and Minerals

These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals which help to enhance the health of the consumer. These fruits are great sources of:

  • Vitamin C: strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C which help to enhance the body’s immunity as well as the health of the skin.
  • Vitamin B9: this vitamin helps to enhance the cell function and the growth of tissues. Vitamin B9 also known as folate is vital for the elderly and pregnant women.
  • Manganese: this is a trace element which is used to promote various body functions.
  • Potassium: potassium supports various functions in the body including moderating the blood pressure.
Sugar

Strawberries are among the sweetest fruits thanks to their high sugar content. 100g of these berries contain about 5g of sugar. However, the body easily processes natural or organic sugar. Note that overweight or obese people are usually advised to replace their sugary foods with raw fruits such as strawberries because they are natural and healthier.

Metabolism Boosting

The Strawberry- nutrition facts show that these fruits help to enhance the process of metabolism. They contain anthocyanins which enhance the production of adiponectin, a hormone that stimulates metabolism. Moreover, these fruits help to regulate the blood sugar levels and suppress appetite. The metabolism boosting characteristic of strawberries is what leads to weight loss.

Other Plant-Based Compounds in Strawberries

Strawberry Plant

These fruits are loaded with various antioxidants as well as other plant-based compounds which provide the consumer with a lot of benefits. They include:

Ellagic Acid: they are found in high amounts in these fruits. Ellagic acid contains the polyphenols antioxidants which help to eliminate free and harmful radicals from the body.

Pelargonidin: this is the main source of anthocyanin that’s found in strawberries. Pelargonidin is responsible for the red strawberry color.

Procyanidins: they are antioxidants which are mainly found in the seeds. Procyanidins provide the consumer with numerous health benefits which include improving the level of immunity.

Ellagitannins: they are related to the ellagic acid. Ellagitannins are usually converted to ellagic acid once they reach the gut. Note that Ellagitannins and ellagic acid help to fight disease-causing bacteria and they also help to reduce the risk of cancer.

The Flavor of Strawberry

A LADY WITH Strawberry

Naturally, these fruits are sweet. They have an enticing flavor, a texture that’s juicy and a beautiful aroma. The bright red fruit which has a seed-studded external surface. The sweet taste and enticing aroma that’s distinct greatly influences the oral sensory organ.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

Health Benefits of Strawberries

These fruits have a wide range of benefits. Strawberries are beautiful and attractive physically. In addition to that, they are free of sodium or fat and they have low-calorie content. Some of the main benefits of strawberries include:

Sources of Antioxidants

Strawberries are antioxidant-rich fruits which help to protect the body cells against harmful free radicals. They help to reduce the effects of harmful molecules which are produced from sunlight, pollution, and smoke. Additionally, they also help to ease the effects of prolonged or intense workouts.

Improves Heart Health

These fruits help to reduce chances of heart disease. The anthocyanins which are found in these fruits help to improve the heart health. Medical research studies show that an ingredient such as anthocyanin greatly reduces the risk of myocardial infarction. The polyphenols in these fruits also help to reduce chances of cardiovascular disease.

Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Consuming high amounts of inorganic foods can easily trigger the free radicals and enhance their presence in the body. When the harmful radicals accumulate in the body and they stay for too long, they become cancerous. Strawberries contain quercetin flavonoid and polyphenols which help to reduce the growth of cancer tumors. Besides that, they also help to reduce inflammations.

Regulation of Blood Sugar

These fruits are rich in fiber which help to slow down the digestion of glucose. Furthermore, they also help to reduce spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal that’s rich in the carb. Because of this, strawberries can be useful in preventing diabetes type 2 and also metabolic syndrome.

Regulation of Blood Pressure

Strawberries have high amounts of potassium which help to reduce high blood pressure. Apart from bananas, these fruits are the best sources of potassium and they help to negate salt which accumulates in the body over time leading to an increase in blood pressure. Potassium helps to balance the salt in the body, reducing chances of blood pressure.

Promotes the Skin Health

The antioxidants which are found in these fruits help to enhance the skin health. Strawberries help to enhance the elasticity as well as the appearance of the skin. It contains antioxidants which help to protect the skin against free radicals which can lead to wrinkles and premature aging. You can eat it, use it as a mask by rubbing it on the skin. There are also research reports which show that they can be used in beauty products such as sunscreen. High amounts of antioxidants help to improve the skin’s natural elastic state. You can rub it on your skin as a mask or simply eat it.

Side Effects of Strawberries

Side Effects of Strawberries

Although these fruits are sweet and they are well-tolerated, some people may end up experiencing allergic reactions. Those who are sensitive or allergic to apples or birch protein may end up suffering from an allergy called the pollen-food. Additionally, the antihistamine that is found in the fruits can cause dizziness, itching, and nausea. Moreover, the antihistamine can cause intolerance to food as well as other digestive problems.

Be aware that these fruits are usually grown in environments that are protected, for instances, greenhouses. This means that they may contain residues of harmful pesticides. Other common side effects of strawberries include:

High Blood Sugar

As stated above, these fruits have high sugar content in form of glucose, sucrose or fructose. This can result in significantly high blood sugar levels. Note that high blood sugar can be very harmful to diabetics or prediabetes. If you have diabetics, ensure that you consult with your healthcare provider first.

High Fiber Content

The high number of carb in these fruits are rich in fiber. Most meal replacement supplements for weight loss use strawberries due to their rich fiber content. Not that high fiber content can result in harmful side effects including digestion problems such as constipation, gassing, bloating and stomach cramps. In addition to those, excess fiber in the stomach could lead to hardening of stool or cause pain around the digestive tract.

A Burning Sensation in the Mouth

A half-ripened or a raw strawberry can cause a burning sensation in the mouth. If you are going to consume them, ensure that you exercise a lot of caution.

Final Thoughts

Overall, strawberries are some of the best fruits that you can consume if you want to stay healthy. For those who are struggling with weight loss, these fruits are among the best ingredients that anyone can take as snacks or to prepare meal replacement shakes. They contain high fiber content that helps to reduce hunger pangs while promoting the feeling of satiety. Furthermore, they contain minerals, vitamins, protein as well as other ingredients which help to improve the health of the consumer. What is great about strawberries is that they are low-calorie fruits which have a sweet taste and a unique, attractive aroma.

References

  1. https://www.healthypirate.com/strawberry-side-effects.html
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-galland-md/strawberries-for-weight-loss_b_859578.html
  3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutritional-benefits-of-the-strawberry