Does a Diet High in Fiber Help with Digestion
The fiber has originated from the word fibra, a Latin word used to denote the nutrients present in the diet (vegetables, fruits and grains), which is not digested by the enzymes present in our gastrointestinal. Fiber is commonly referred as roughage. It consists of the non-starch polysaccharides and glucose molecules such as pectins, waxes, cellulose, lignin, insulin and beta-glucans.
There are two categories of fiber, which are:
1. Soluble fiber: It changes its form when it passes through the digestive tract of the body. Soluble fiber breaks down into a gel and dissolves in water. It is present in nuts, apples, prunes, sprouts, and oatmeal.
2. Insoluble fiber: It does not break down in the intestine. In other words, the insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract of the body without changing its form. Fruits skin, corn barn, and root vegetable skins are the main food sources of insoluble fiber.
Need to know the benefits of fiber? Check out here:
1. Prevent Heart Diseases: The consumption of fiber has many health benefits. Mucilage, a soluble fiber present in soybeans, berries and beans, lowers the bad LDL cholesterol. Likewise, Pectin and gums, a soluble fiber found in fruit and seeds, help to lower the blood cholesterol. Fiber, thus, works to reduce the cholesterol levels and thereby protects the heart from many diseases. The risk of developing various other diseases such as cancer, hemorrhoids, constipation and colitis reduces with the intake of fiber.
2. Reduces the Intake of Insulin: Beta–glucans, a soluble fiber found in berries, apples and carrots is very useful for diabetic patients as it reduces the requirement of insulin to their body.
3. Helps in Reducing Weight: Resistant starch a soluble fiber found in unripened bananas and legumes increases the fullness in the stomach, while eating these fruits. The starch fills up your stomach without adding calories to it and, thus, it helps one to reduce weight. Insoluble fiber, which is found in whole grains, brown rice and nuts, helps to reduce weight.
4. Prevent Constipation: Polydextrose polyols, a soluble fiber present in processed foods and Cellulose an insoluble fiber present in nuts, whole grains and bran helps to prevent constipation. These fibers also add bulk to the stool.
5. Increases Immunity: Inulin Oligofructose, a soluble fiber, and Lignin an insoluble fiber found in flax and some vegetables enhances the immunity of the body and make it strong to fight heart diseases.
Undoubtedly, eating fiber offers many distinctive health benefits. The soluble and insoluble fibers are essential to be included in diet for healthy living. Fiber rich diet provides plenty of minerals and vitamins to the body. However; for maintaining general digestive health, it is recommended to consult a physician to know the appropriate amount of fiber, which should be included in the diet. Excessive fiber intake is harmful as it causes health concerns such as bloating. Start with a low fiber diet and increase its quantity gradually and make it an inert part of your overall diet every day.