Top 5 High Fibre Indian Foods
Created by Tanuja Sodhi Updated on Sep 20, 2013
I still remember my childhood days when my mom would give me and my siblings that stern and unrelenting ‘no-nonsense look’ which very distinctly indicated that we needed to polish off the ‘roughage’ served on our plates. Little did we analyze what roughage meant while we struggled to sponge the remnants on our plates, fearing our dear mommy’s chiding.
Well, it all makes sense to me today as a nutritionist and a discerning adult.
Dietary fibre or roughage comes from parts of plant food that is indigestible and assists the digestive system with processing foods and absorbing nutrients. There are two types of dietary fibre, namely: insoluble fibre and soluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre benefits those who struggle with constipation by promoting the movement of stool through the digestive system. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. A food item is considered to be high fibre if it contains at least 5 g of fibre per serving.
We need at least 25-35 g fibre daily for a healthy bowel. To be precise, the recommended amount of fiber for all individuals is 14 g per 1,000 calories ingested. Based on these recommendations, girls aged 4 to 8 need 17 g of fiber per day, boys aged 4 to 8 need 20 g, girls aged 9 to 13 need 22 g and boys aged 9 to 13 need 25 g.
Main Benefits of Fibre
1. High-fibre foods aid in digestion by acting like a sponge and aiding elimination. These foods provide satiety by adding bulk to our bowel and hence, prevent constipation.
2. Fibre reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol and unclogging arteries.
3. Fibre slows the absorption of sugar and keeps glucose levels in check. This helps prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes.
4. Eating fibrous foods aids in weight loss as these foods tend to have more volume and fewer calories, and stave off hunger pangs for much longer time.
Top 5 Fibre Rankers
While picking up the top five categories of fibrous foods, I focused on the ones that provide a lot of bang for the buck (i.e., those that keep us full and have high nutritional value with fewer calories). The 5 categories are: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes/lentils and nuts/dried fruits/seeds.
1. Whole Grains
a) Oats: These have highest level of soluble fibre amongst all grains. Review section has a whole write up about oats but the layout of the same needs to be revised. This review then should be hyper linked to the word oats her)Eating one cup of oatmeal provides 4.0 g of fibre and about 60 calories per serving.
b) Whole wheat or multigrain roti: A mixed-grain roti boasts of almost 4 g of fibre.
c) Barley (jau): A cup of cooked barley provides 6 g of fibre.
d) Brown rice: One cup of cooked brown rice gives 3.5 g of fibre.
e) Whole wheat or multigrain breads: These offer 1.9 g fibre and about 65 calories per slice.
a) Pears are very high in roughage amongst fruits. There is about 5.5 g of fibre and only 51 calories in a medium sized pear.
b) Apples provide about 4.4 g of fibre at roughly 55 calories in a small apple.
c) Strawberries: A cup of strawberries provides about 3 g of fibre and an average of 2 calories per strawberry.
d) Orange: A medium orange (100 gm) provides about 3.1 g of fibre with just 47 calories.
e) Bananas: One medium banana contains 3.1 g of fibre and around 100 calories.
a) Cooked peas top the vegetable list with a massive fibre content of 8.8 g and 67 calories per cup serving size.
b) Brussels sprouts offer 4.1 g of fibre through a cup of serving.
c) Raw carrots offer 1.7 g of fibre and 21 calories for a small carrot with about 88 % water.
d) Broccoli has 5.1 g of fibre and about 52 calories per cup.
e) Sweet potato: A medium sized sweet potato contains around 4 g of fibre.
4. Legumes and Lentils
a) Lima beans (Sem phali): There are 13.2 g of fibre in a cup of cooked lima beans.
b) Kidney beans (Rajma): One cup of cooked red kidney beans provides 13 g of dietary fibre.
c) Black-eyed peas (lobia): One cup of cooked black-eyed peas contains about 12 g of fibre.
d) Garbanzo beans (Kabuli chana): One cup of cooked Garbanzo beans or chick peas provides 10.6 g of fibre.
e) Lentils (dals) like arhar/masoor /chana: Lentils provide between 15 to 17 g of fibre.
5. Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruits
a) Seeds: 100 g of seeds like sunflower seeds 9 g, sesame seeds 12 g and pumpkin seeds 6 g are an excellent choice for fibre, as are naturally dried fruits.
b) Nuts like almonds and walnuts are good sources of fibre. While 100 g of almonds provide 12 g of fibre, 100 g of walnuts offer 7 g of fibre.
c) Dried figs: 100 g of dried figs provide about 11.6 g of fibre.
d) Prunes provide 7 g of fibre per 100 g.
e) Raisins provide 4 g of fibre per 100 g.
Keep offering a variety of fibrous foods to your little tykes to make them a part of their balanced diet. While your child would get habituated of eating healthy fibrous foods, you'll set the tone for a lifetime of healthy eating. So, clear out your kitchen cabinet of all chips, cookies and soda; and train your family, particularly your child, to snack on these top 5 food types which should definitely be kept handy in your pantry and refrigerator to be eaten daily.
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