Dietary fibres (soluble and insoluble) help in staying fit, healthy and energetic. Soluble dietary fibres include barley, pulses, oats and psyllium. Insoluble dietary fibres are derived from vegetables and whole grains. Dietary fibre is an integral part of a healthy diet and helps people lead a healthy life. Few benefits of dietary fibres include lowering the risk of heart diseases, lowering chances of diabetes, preventing constipation, reducing the chances of certain types for cancer and also stabilising and regulating blood sugar levels. Soluble fibres help in slowing the absorption of sugars thereby stabilising blood glucose levels. Insoluble fibres help in preventing cancer by stopping microbes to generate carcinogenic substances and they also help maintain the pH value of the colon. Each type of dietary fibre provides a certain heath benefit and the intake of these fibres depend upon their offerings and the necessity to accept these; for example, a man with lower weight will not consume fibres that help in reducing weight, instead he will prefer the intake of those fibres that help in regulating and maintaining the body’s metabolism; as higher the metabolism, lower is the effect of the nutrition that is taken in and vice versa causing increased fat production. The intake of fibres has a proportion to be followed. For women under 50 years of age, 25g per day is the recommendation by health experts and for men under 50 years of age, almost 38g-40 g per day is suggested; and for men and women above 50 years of age, it is recommended that there should be an intake of 30g and 21g respectively. Increasing health awareness among the public and general awareness regarding the advantages of natural foods are facilitating the intake of dietary fibres on a large scale.
One of the major problems that today’s youth is facing is increased weight and obesity. The best solution to weight reduction is exercise, but along with that one has to embark on a correct diet regimen. For weight loss, Lagenaria siceraria, often called bottle gourd or lauki (in India) is suggested. It is almost 95 percent water and helps in hydrating the body. It also helps in lowering the cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy heart. It is a mix of both soluble and insoluble fibres and is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K along with minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium and zinc. It facilitates smooth digestion, cures constipation, flatulence and piles. Apart from these benefits, Lagenaria siceraria is essential to help in weight loss (intake quotient reflects: 100g of Lagenaria siceraria contains 15 calories and hardly 1 g of fats). Bottle gourd juice is fast gaining popularity for its numerous health benefits. It also helps in ensuring sound sleep, stimulates hormones and regulates metabolism.
There are several ongoing studies conducted globally regarding dietary fibres. Recently, the University of Alberta sought about 200 volunteers to participate in a six week long study on dietary fibres, to deep dive into their inherent characteristics from a nutritional standpoint. Extended research pertaining to dietary fibres has gained enough attention and acceleration in the recent years and research on dietary fibres will only keep surprising researchers with the potential vast benefits of these fibres. If you are looking for a healthy and fit body, try indulging in some fibres today!