IMPORTANCE OF FIBER IN DIET
Fiber is that part of the plant food that is unable to digest; however, bacteria present in the colon partly digests fiber through a process known as fermentation. You cannot find fiber in food of animal origin (meats and dairy products). Here you can see the importance of fiber in diet in your daily life.
TYPES OF FIBER:
Plant food contains a mixture of different types of fibers. Depending on their solubility in water. Fiber can be of soluble or insoluble form.
1. Insoluble fiber : –
(Examples include cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin)
The importance of fiber in diet can be seen as these fibers generally make up the structural parts of the cell walls of plants. Fiber absorb many times their own weight in water, creates a soft bulk to the stool and hasten the passage of waste products out of the body. These insoluble fibers promote bowel regularity and aid in the prevention and treatment of some forms of constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis. These fibers may also decrease the risk of colon cancer by diluting potentially harmful substances that are present in the colon.
2. Soluble fibers: –
(Examples include gums, pectins, and mucilages) found within the plant cells. As these fibers form a gel, which slows both stomach emptying and absorption of simple sugars from the intestines. This process even helps to regulate the blood sugar levels, which is particularly helpful in diabetic patients and is helpful in controlling weight in non-diabetics. Soluble fiber assist in lowering blood cholesterol by binding with bile acid and cholesterol. Cholesterol gets eliminated through the intestinal tract before absorbing in the bloodstream.
Weight control is aided by the slower emptying the stomach when you ingest soluble fibers. This causes a feeling of fullness and a decrease in hunger, causing fewer calories to be consumed. For an example, eating an apple will keep you feel fuller due to the high fiber content as compared to eating a cupcake, which has no fiber and which is the of same weight and size of an apple. In fact, approximately three cupcakes are required to satisfy your brain’s hunger center before you realized that you were full. Well, until then you would already have consumed 480 calories and 16.5 grams of fat. Flax seeds, fruits, vegetables, oat bran, dried peas, beans, barley, and psyllium.
3. Resistant starch: –
Food contains 15% starch, tightly bound to fiber. Which resists the normal digestive process. Our colon has bacteria which helps in the fermentation of this resistant starch and change it into short-chain fatty acids, which are important to normal bowel health and help to protect the colon from cancer-causing agents. Foods which consist of resistant starch include bread, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, and legumes.
4. Dietary fiber: –
Dietary fiber is the fiber content which you can easily found in your diet. Therefore, it is one of the most accurate measurements of the fiber content of foods. The dietary fiber content consequently has a higher numerical reading than grams of crude fiber. Fiber, well known as bulk or roughage. Complete digestion of fiber is not there. Hence it passes through the digestive tract intact. Therefore, dietary fiber is the fiber content of food, which is resistant to human digestive enzymes.
The function of fiber: –
An important function of dietary fiber is to bind water in the intestine, in the form of a gel. This gel prevents its over-absorption from the large intestine. It ensures that the stool content is both bulky and soft. There is no delay in the passage of gel. The importance of fiber in diet has a great effect on its metabolism, absorption, and reabsorption of bile acids and cholesterol. Dietary fiber is attached to both cholesterol and bile acid. Consequently it decrease the absorption from the bowel. It concludes that number of disease is due to lack of dietary fiber. Some of the diet-related diseases can be classified as follows which clarifies the Importance of Fiber in Diet : –
1. Gastrointestinal disorders: constipation, diverticulosis, appendicitis, hiatal hernia, hemorrhoids, cancer of the colon.
2. Metabolic disorders: Obesity, diabetes, gallstones.
3. Cardiovascular disorders: Arteriosclerosis (coronary artery disease), varicose veins, high blood pressure, and strokes.
4. Degenerative disorders: Breast and prostate cancer and neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease.
A recent study reveals that these diseases are now becoming prevalent in non-European communities, which have introduced western dietary customs. An inverse relationship is establish between the amount of fiber consumed and prevalence of disease in different country. The higher the intake of dietary fiber, the lower the incidence of the above-named disorders.
Latest medical report on medical high fiber foods indicates that there are cancer-protecting substances called phytonutrients actually contained in some dark green and dark yellow vegetables and fruits. Beta-carotene is a nutrient present in our body converts into vitamin A. You can find beta-carotene in spinach, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, winter squash, cabbage, oranges, grapefruit, apricots and peaches. They also contain a good quantity of vitamin C. Both vitamins may possibly be protective against cancer of the lung, esophagus, stomach, large bowel and skin.