What is fiber?
When we think or plan a balanced diet for ourselves, our main focus is on the gains. We make lots of effort on selecting our sources of protein, carbohydrates and minerals. But, we often miss out on the dietary fibers or roughage. This can exact a heavy toll on our overall health. Fibers consist of carbohydrates that the enzymes secreted by our digestive system cannot break down completely.
In Qatar there is a huge variety of fiber rich foods available. You can easily get hold of several types of seeds, fruits and vegetables that will supply the necessary fiber to your daily diet.
The function of fiber in our daily diet is very simple yet crucial. Along with keeping our stomach, intestine and colon clean, it also helps regulate our blood sugar level.
There are mainly two different types of fibers, soluble fiber and Insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber -
This type of fibre dissolves in water. This property enables it to form a gel-like substance that enables slower digestion which does not let us feel hungry soon and helps in balancing our blood sugar level. Soluble fiber also helps maintain low cholesterol levels.
Insoluble fiber -
This type of fibre, since insoluble in water travels through the digestive tract getting rid of any clogged food particle. This makes the effective excretory system more efficient.
15 fiber rich food to include in your diet
There are several food items available that will supply your body with ample amount of fiber to keep yourself healthy -
Pears are a very popular fruit in Qatar. They are sweet in taste and have a decent amount of fiber content ( 3.1g per 100g).
Bonus tip - You can eat this after any daytime meals.
Chickpeas are very popular in Qatar. They are widely used in Middle-Eastern dishes like humus. Chickpeas are full of protein, minerals and fiber. It is a tasty way to include necessary fiber in your diet. Its fiber content ranges from 7 - 7.6g per 100g.
Bonus tip - You can cook up chickpeas in the form of curry or humus for breakfast or dinner. Chickpeas are very versatile as food and can also be eaten during lunch.
It is full of several nutrients, with protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and antioxidants. Fiber content - 5.2 g per cup of quinoa, or 2.8 per 100 g.
Bonus tip - You can consume quinoa after any meal like breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It is a root vegetable that is crusty and very nutritious. It is very rich in vitamin K and vitamin B6. Fiber content - 3.6 g in 1 cup of carrots, or 2.8 g per 100 g. In the salads made in Qatar, carrots are a popular ingredient. Carrots are a good choice for garnishing since they also supply a good quantity of fiber.
Bonus tip - Carrots can be consumed raw or in the form of salad with breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It is composed of healthy fats. They also have numerous health benefits. Avocados contain high quantities of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and various B vitamins. Fiber content - 10 g in 1 cup of raw avocado, or 6.7 g per 100 g. Avocados are very popular in Qatar. They are a good source of important nutrients and preferred during breakfast.
Bonus tip - You can consume avocado with some eggs during breakfast or with any dry meals like sandwich or wraps during the daytime.
It is composed of high-quality vitamins, potassium, iron, and manganese and cancer-fighting nutrients. Fiber content - 2.4 g per cup of broccoli.
Bonus tip - Broccoli can be cooked or boiled before eating. It can be eaten as a salad as well as curry. Breakfast and dinner is the most preferred time to have broccoli.
Apples is a fun and tasty way to gain some added dietary fiber in your diet. When consumed with its peel, your fiber intake is even more. Serving size: 1 medium apple can provide 4 g of fiber.
Bonus tip - Apples can be consumed during breakfast or after lunch. Replacing it with your typical dessert can bring good health results.
Also Read: Qatari Diet Plan For Weight Loss
These are arguably considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They contain a potent soluble fiber called beta glucan, which has key beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Fiber content- 16.5 g per cup of raw oats, or 10.1 g per 100 g.
Bonus tip - You can eat it in your breakfast or during the night as dinner for best results. Since oats contain a lot of fiber and less calories, it is a very good choice for dinner as you do not need to consume lots of calories during dinner.
9. Sesame seeds
Largely considered as a good source of fiber. Three tablespoons (30 g) of unhulled sesame seeds provides 3.5 g of fiber. In Qatar, sesame seeds are very popular for garnishing dishes. They are a good choice to get some extra fiber while making your dish look elegant.
Bonus tip - You can add sesame seeds to any meals you have for some necessary fiber intake.
Widely regarded as one of the best sources of fiber, Artichokes are also very rich in several other nutrients. They contain upto 5.4g of fiber per 100g of serving.
Bonus tip - You can steam or bake an artichoke before eating them after any meal.
11. Chia seeds
These are tiny black seeds that are massively popular in the natural health community. Chia seeds might also be arguably the best source of fiber on the planet. Fiber content - 9.75 g per ounce of dried chia seeds.
Bonus tip - It is best to consume them in the morning before or with breakfast.
These nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin and a decent source of dietary fiber and phosphorus. 1 ounce (23 nuts) can provide 3.5 g of dietary fiber.
Bonus tip - It is recommended to consume a few almonds after breakfast or lunch for gain some necessary fiber and other nutrients.
13. Kidney beans
These are a common type of legume. Like any other legumes are rich in plant-based protein and several nutrients. Fiber content - 12.2 g per cup of kidney beans, or 6.8 per 100 g. In Qatar, kidney beans are very popular in several dishes. They taste great and are also a good source of necessary nutrients.
Bonus tip - You can cook some kidney beans and consume them during your lunch or dinner.
It is a red vegetable that contains several important nutrients, such as folate, iron, copper, manganese, and potassium. Beets are also laden with inorganic nitrates, which have countless benefits related to blood pressure regulation. Fiber content - 3.8 g per cup of beetroot.
Bonus tip - You can eat beetroot raw or cooked. If raw, you can eat it in the form of salad with any meal. If you are cooking it, you may have it with any meal.
15. Brussels sprouts
These belong to the group of cruciferous vegetables, very similar to broccoli. They have cancer-fighting properties and are full of various antioxidants. Fiber content - 3.3 g per cup of Brussels sprouts.
Bonus tip - It is recommended to have brussels sprouts during dinner in order to add the necessary fiber in your diet.
What are the added benefits of fiber?
- Reduces chances of cardiovascular diseases and prevents cancerous formation.
- Improves bowel movement and prevents constipation by adding bulk and retaining water.
- Keeps the colon healthy and prevents hemorrhoids.
- Soluble fiber helps lower the levels of cholesterol along with reducing high blood pressure and inflammation.
- Makes it easier to have low calorie intakes without getting hungry often.
Even though needed in small amounts, fiber can be life saving when included in your diet regularly. For the proper functioning of our body, specially our digestive system, fiber intake is a must. It is recommended to include a couple of different sources of fiber in your daily diet. This shall ensure a better and healthier lifestyle in the hot climate of Qatar.