We associate fiber being good for our health. But what are dietary fibers and what makes them so vital? Dietary fibers are substances that cannot be digested by enzymes in the digestive system. They are found in foods derived from plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Dietary fibers play important roles in reducing the risks of type-2 diabetes, constipation, and regulating blood glucose. They can be divided into soluble and insoluble fibers. The differences between them is soluble fibers are associated with protecting against diabetes and lowering blood glucose. They also enclose nutrients by deferring their movement along the digestive tract and therefore delay the amount of glucose the body absorbs. Ultimately, they reduce blood sugar spikes associated with the onset of diabetes.
Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, promote bowel movements by creating a bulk along the intestines and alleviating constipation. The recommendations for fiber intake are 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. The average adult only consumes about 15 grams daily. Fiber not only helps you reduce the chances of getting diseases, but also helps with weight reduction. Once consumed, they expand by absorbing water from your digestive juices creating the sensations of fullness and lowering food consumption. Fiber also has negative effects to the body. If taken in disproportionate quantities, it can provoke abdominal discomfort, bloating and flatulence.
High fiber foods also tend to be low in fats. They pack fewer calories, which promotes weight loss. Water is a key component for the consumption of fiber. It prevents constipation as it is absorbed by the fiber and it causes it to expand creating a bulk to push wastes along the intestine while softening stools. So, remember to meet your requirements of water throughout your day in addition to increasing your fiber intake.
By Eric Ortiz