Also known as bulk and roughage, dietary fiber is an essential element in a person’s diet. fiber consists of plant cellulose and other indigestible materials in foods, along with pectins and gums. Unlike other food components, it can’t be digested by the human body. Such characteristic makes fiber make an important part of our diet.
The chewing fiber requires stimulates saliva flow, and bulk it adds in the stomach and intestines during digestion provides more time for absorption of nutrients. Diets with sufficient fiber produce softer, bulkier stools and help to promote bowel regularity and avoid constipation and other disorders. They may also aid in the prevention of some colon cancers and diseases of the colon and help lower blood cholesterol levels. High fiber foods are generally low in fat and cholesterol and rich in nutrients.
Fiber may come as water-insoluble or as water-soluble. Water-insoluble fiber promotes regularity and is an important aid in normal bowel function. It may help reduce the risk for colon cancer. Water-soluble fiber promotes a full feeling and helps control blood sugar levels by showing down the rate food is absorbed from the digestive tract. These fibers show promise in the treatment of obesity and diabetes. Water-soluble fiber has also been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Good sources include oat bran, oatmeal,beans,peas , rice bran, citrus fruits,apple pulp, and strawberries.
If you must , gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet over several months. This lessens the likelihood of intestinal gas and digestive comfort. Dietary fiber intake from food sources should be about 25-30 grams a day. Too much fiber can affect absorption of some nutrients including iron, calcium and zinc.
Good sources of dietary fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grain, nuts, and beans. It’s not found in animal or animal products. Unpeeled fruits contain more fiber than fruit juices. For example, one orange contains about three grams of fiber, one cup of orange juice; about 0.5 gram.
Bran cereals are concentrated source of fiber. Depending on the cereal, one serving can provide five to 11 grams of fiber. Died fruits such as dates, figs, raisins, prunes, mangoes, pineapples are good sources of fiber (two or more grams of fiber per serving).
Legumes such as kidney beans, red beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, and lima beans are excellent sources of fiber(four or more grams of fiber per serving). Brown rice contains more fiber and nutrients than highly processed white rice ( and may lower blood cholesterol levels).