Fruits With the Most Fiber
When I was a kid my mom always told me to eat grapefruits other citrus fruits and vegetables so I would grow healthy and strong. Back then I believed my mom so I gladly ate sweet oranges and grapefruit not only because I was told they were good for me, but because I loved the taste.
Now that I have grown older (and hopefully wiser) I value the lessons I learned as a child. But now I do my own research and seek expert opinions when it comes to health and nutrition. So when I wanted to learn more about the benefits of fiber in a daily diet I decided to look into the subject. I did some research, talked with specialists in the field, read studies, and here is what I found.
All About Fiber
So what is fiber? Fiber is found mostly in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and is generally acknowledged for its ability to facilitate proper digestion. However, aside from a healthy bowel, fiber also has other benefits like help in maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
Unlike most food components such as protein, carbohydrates, or fats, fiber does not get digested by the body and it remains intact as it travel through the stomach, intestine, and colon. Fiber is classified as either soluble or insoluble.
- Soluble Fiber – This type of fiber becomes dissolved in water and forms into a gel-like substance. Soluble fiber helps regulate blood cholesterol levels and lower glucose levels that may result in a reduced need for insulin since it inhibits the blood glucose level from rising too fast. Good sources of soluble fiber are the different grapefruit varieties like ruby red grapefruit and Rio Red Texas Grapefruit, and navel oranges like Cara Cara Navel Oranges.
- Insoluble Fiber – Many types of plants including fruits like pears, Fuji apples, and red grapefruit contain insoluble fiber found mostly in the outer skin. Insoluble fiber is made up of cellulose and lignin molecules, which do not absorb or dissolve in water. This type of fiber passes thru the digestive system and sweeps away waste in the intestine very much like a broom.
Benefits of Fiber
- Fiber slows down the speed at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. This translates into reduced insulin intake, prevents overeating, and reduces the risk of diabetes.
- Eating foods high in fiber like Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit can lower blood cholesterol levels because it brings down low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels.
- Fiber normalizes and helps maintain bowel health.
- Foods high in fiber take longer to digest. The result is that you feel more full with less food. In this way, fiber aids in weight control or weight loss since the food we intake is reduced.
Citrus fruits are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Luckily, citrus fruits are already a great option for breakfast and even snacks. We can choose from Navel Oranges, Valencia oranges, good grapefruit like the sweet Texas Ruby Red, or the more acidic white and pink grapefruit cultivars.
Orange vs. Grapefruit
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