Importance of Fiber in Diet

Fiber has many health benefits. These benefits of fiber are evident from various research and observations. Dietary fiber is basically that portion of foods that are not digestible. These fibers are derived from plants. Fibers or dietary fibers can be of two types. These are known as insoluble fibers and soluble fibers. As the name suggests, water-soluble fibers absorb water during digestion. These fibers increase stool bulk and may decrease blood cholesterol levels. On the other side, water-insoluble fibers remain unchanged during digestion. They promote normal movement of intestinal contents.


According to the Harvard School of Public Health, dietary fibers of both types are important to good health. Therefore, you need to make sure you get more dietary fiber overall. Eating more fruits and vegetables and switching to whole grains can gradually increase fiber-rich foods intake. You can find dietary fibers in seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals and beans. In this article you will read about high dietary fiber foods, their classifications and important roles in good health.


Fiber In Diet

Recommended Daily Fiber requirement for men is 35-40 grams and for women it is 25 grams. Therefore, it is important for you to build a good diet plan that can include all kinds of fiber based foods. Keeping high dietary fiber based foods in breakfast, lunch, and dinner can help you meet the daily requirements. Just as an example, fresh fruits can be taken in breakfast. In lunch, you can keep black been chili. And in dinner, baked miso salmon along with brussels sprouts and warm quinoa salad can be taken. This example diet plan can provide with almost 70 grams of fiber for you each day.


Importance Of Fiber


After you take foods, you will notice that the processed food is slowing inching its way through the digestive tract when a certain period of time has been elapsed. Sometimes the movement of this processed food is fast but sometimes it is very slow. In fact, between the small and large intestines, food and other waste products has to travel more than 25 feet digestive tract to get to the end of the path. The process of food movement inside the digestive tract is controlled by muscle movement. Whenever there is food inside the digestive tract, the muscle movement happens. In this way, presence of foods in our intestine can influence the muscle movement rate.

Fibers that are of insoluble type remain intact inside our small intestine and they can absorb a lot of waters. As a result insoluble fibers play a big role in maintaining a consistent food movement in our digestive tract. These fibers also control the pace at which processed foods move. When the food gets digested, the other type of fiber, the soluble fiber helps to pace and regulate the passage of food out of the stomach and along to the small intestine. In this way, soluble fibers slow down the gastric emptying which is the name of this digestive process. Fibers also ensures steady pace of processed food movements.

Weight Loss

An important health benefit of insoluble fiber is that they can help fight weight loss. These fibers have no calories. After consumption, these fibers keep you feeling full for long period of time. The reason is that fibrous food remains in the digestive tract for longer periods. This process prevents the brain from signaling the body to eat food. This keeps a person away from overeating and helps to loss extra weight.

Colon Health

Fiber based foods help to create fermentation process and grow more friendly bacteria. Some of these bacteria can digest specific subtypes of fiber. In this way fibers assist the digestive process to digest foods, which is otherwise not possible by human body to do. Bacteria can produce specialized digestive enzymes which human body cannot produce. The fibers greatly help to maintain an adequate number of friendly bacteria in the intestine which in turn helps to maintain a healthy colon. The intimate and mutually supportive relationship between fiber in the diet and populations of bacteria in large intestine is important. These bacteria perform best when dietary fiber intake is at best.

Another matter is that, bacterial digestion of fiber inside intestine help to provide with the cells that form the lining of the colon. The risk of colon cancer is also reduced with regular intake of high dietary fiber foods.

Heart Health

Blood pressure can be lowered with fiber based diet. If you have high blood pressure then it will cause strain on your heart and arteries. This condition can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Dietary fiber has been found to be associated with a rearkable reduction in diastolic blood pressure. Also, a lesser reduction in systolic blood pressure was also observed. Both kinds of blood pressure (diastolic and systolic) affect heart health. Researchers have found that if a person consumes increased number of fiber for 8 weeks in a row then he will achieve a significant reduction in blood pressure.

Moreover, research shows that a person can lower the risk of stroke by almost 36% and the risk of type-2 diabetes by almost 30%. All he needs to do is to replace the refined grain foods with fiber-rich whole grain food. Prepare your diet accordingly and you will get the result. It is important to note that these two conditions are tied to getting heart disease.


The fibers that are of soluble type, is able to bind with cholesterol in the intestine. These fibers can prevent the uptake of cholesterol into the body. Soluble fibers allow cholesterols to be eliminated in the stool. Fiber rich foods like barley, oats, sea vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, and other foods, such as the skins of cherries, grapes, berries, citrus fruits can lower the cholesterol. Improved cholesterol levels are good for heart health and blood circulations. Moreover, blood pressure reduction and less heart disease are also the positive effects of fiber based foods.

Glucose Control

High dietary fiber foods intake on a regular basis can improve blood sugar control. You will be amazed to know that fiber-rich meal can often extend its blood sugar effects throughout the day. A fiber-rich breakfast can steady our blood sugar levels up to dinner. As mentioned earlier, fibers slow down release of food from the stomach. High dietary fiber foods increase production of a hormone that can reduce blood sugar levels. Moreover, with the help of bacteria in the large intestine this hormone significantly reduces blood sugar levels. In this way, the risk of adult onset, type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance are also decreased with healthy fiber intake.

Constipation And Other Diseases

This fiber helps to get relieved and to prevent constipation. These fibers bind water as it passes through the digestive tract. It reduces the risk of constipation inside the body. Another disease is Diverticular Disease. The symptoms of this disease are inflammation and infection of pouches in the walls of the intestine. Eating adequate amount of insoluble fiber is necessary to prevent this disease. Colon cancer is a worldwide problem. Insoluble fiber has important role in preventing cancer in the areas of human colon.

Last update: March 23, 2017 08:48:04 pm

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