An Abuja-based nutritionist, Zainab Abdullahi, has advised Nigerians to add fibre rich foods in their diets in order to reduce the risk of developing life-threatening illnesses.
Speaking with NAN on Tuesday, Abdullahi stated that consuming foods high in fibre helps combat diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, among others, from deteriorating.
She explained that such foods also help to prevent constipation, prevent stroke, control sugar level, as well as colon cancer.
Describing fibre as a part of plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans that passed through the body undigested, Abdullahi said that fibre leaves the digestive system clean and healthy.
She noted that foods rich in fibre help ease bowel movements and as well help in flushing bad cholesterol and harmful carcinogens out of the body.
Differentiating the types of fibres as soluble and insoluble fibre, the nutritionist says soluble fibre dissolves in water and helps control blood sugar level as well as reduces cholesterol, while the insoluble does not dissolve in water but helps prevent constipation as well as boost the immune system.
Abdullahi also said that eating foods high in fibre helps reduce the risk of inflammation of the intestine, haemorrhoids, gallstones, kidney stones and provides relief on individual with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
She revealed that research has shown that diets high in fibre could help lower the risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disorder, ulcers and some cancers.
The expert described soluble fibre as an important element for a healthy heart and also helps improve the cholesterol level as well as lower bad cholesterol.
“Consumption of foods such as tomatoes, leafy green, carrots, flaxseed, beans, watermelon and pawpaw, among others, are high in fibre and helps fight certain diseases.
“A high fibre diet helps reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation and help shed excess weight especially around the abdomen.
“Eating high fibre diets can help prevent colorectal cancer, stomach, mouth as well as helps flush toxins out of the body.
“It also aid digestion and key in maintaining healthy weight,’’ she said.
Abdullahi, therefore, called on individuals to start adding high fibre into their diets and increase their water intake in order to avoid uneasiness.
However, she recommended consumption of 21 to 38 grams of fibre per day for optimal health.