Why should you eat high fibre fruits?
There are so many reasons to consume more foods high in fibre, and what is a more delicious way of doing so than eating high fibre fruits? Along with healthy fibre, fruits are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and medicinal compounds, providing extra benefits to a high fibre diet plan. Consume a wide variety of fruit with different flavors and colors, to make sure you get fruits high in fibre year-round. The American Cancer Society recommends 2 servings of fresh fruit daily, but remember that any cooking or processing will likely reduce the overall nutrition in fruit, including the dietary fibre.
High fibre fruits
Figs have the one of the highest fibre contents of the fruit-world, making up nearly 4% in fresh figs and 10% in dried figs. The majority of the fibre is water-soluble pectin, which has been well-researched in other fruits (like apples and pears) for improving digestion and reducing the risk of colon cancer. Several animal studies have also shown that figs included in the diet can be an effective treatment for constipation. Figs are very high in sugar, but the presence of good dietary fibre slows down the absorption of sugar into the body, so eating figs will have a lesser effect on blood sugar balance and weight gain. Some of the phytochemicals in figs, namely lupeol, have been studied in-depth for its beneficial effects on cancer, prostate health, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and malaria.
Apples & Pears
Apples and pears are two fruits that have a fantastic healthy fibre content – dietary fibre makes up approximately 3-4% of the weight of both fruit, with the primary dietary fibre being pectin. Just one pear or one apple will make up one of the two servings of fresh fruit that people are recommended to be consuming each day, and it is such a simple and delicious snack. The pectin in apples is known to reduce the risk of colon cancer, high cholesterol, rheumatism and diabetes. While apple juice is a popular choice as a natural beverage for many people, it requires the pectin fibre to balance out the fruit sugars naturally found in apples. Pectin slows down sugar absorption and improves insulin activity. Without the pectin, apple juice, and pear juice as well, is mostly just fructose, organic acids and some vitamins.
Cranberries are the fruit commonly thought of as a natural remedy to support urinary tract health in women, but they are also healthy high fibre fruits. Depending on where they are grown, these tart red berries can contain up to 7% dietary fibre. Along with high levels of vitamin C and health-promoting antioxidants, this makes cranberries a rare super food that should be consumed more regularly by everyone.
Studies have shown that these high fibre fruits improves blood sugar balance, cardiovascular health, and reduces the risk of some types of cancer. What makes cranberries a useful treatment for urinary tract infections also has other implications to the rest of the body. Antioxidants in cranberries known as anthocyanins prevent some species of bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract. Further research has confirmed that this effect is not localized to just the urinary tract, but the entire gastrointestinal system — from the mouth downwards. Because of this, cranberries can also support gum disease, stomach ulcers and some inflammatory gut diseases, working with their high fibre content to keep everything clean and regular.
A sweet and ancient fruit that provides important nutrition as well as dietary fibre. In dried dates the fibre content can be anywhere from 6% to 12%, varying depending on where it is grown and batches. It is also high in sugar, with a mixture of fructose and glucose making nearly half of the dried weight of a date — so eat sparingly. Unlike other fruits high in fibre, dates are also high in minerals, including potassium, iron, magnesium, boron, calcium, copper, manganese and cobalt. This rich array of minerals, most of which are unaffected by drying and cooking, make dates an excellent super food to support the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system. Eating a few dates a day can reduce muscle cramps and sore tummies, relieve constipation, strengthen bones, improve mental clarity, reduce blood pressure, and support sleep. It is also used traditionally in the middle east as a natural cure for alcohol intoxication and various types of infections.
It is hard to imagine raspberries as anything other than a sweet treat, but its medicinal compounds make it a useful high fibre fruit. Raspberries contain up to 5% dietary fibre, mostly made up of pectin. Raspberry pectins have been researched to improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity — important for anyone experiencing insulin resistance, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. But fresh is always best, especially when many raspberry products (jam, jelly, pastries, etc) are incredibly high in sugar. Raspberries are also the highest food source of ellagic acid — a compound studied for its anti-cancer and anti-mutagenic properties. In one animal study, ellagic acid was found to reduce breast cancer size by 75% and cellular multiplication by 44%. Combined with their excellent pectin fibre, raspberries can help to soothe and protect the digestive tract and defend the entire body from disease when including in a high fibre diet.
These high fibre fruits are some of the best and should be included in any high fibre diet plan.