Health benefits of fiber include relief from heart problems, constipation, cancer, diabetes, obesity and toxins. Fiber plays a very important role in human digestion process. It makes the food bulkier and further aids in glucose absorption so that sugar enters the blood cells at a slow and even pace, maintaining normal blood sugar level. Fiber produces vital organic acids that nurture the lining of colon.
The benefits of fiber are mainly associated with human digestive tract. Fiber is an indigestible matter of plants. It is a form of carbohydrate that cannot be broken into nutrients. It passes through our human digestive tract without any changes. Fibrous substances slow down the eating process, and prevent us from over indulgence in food. According to Harvard School of Public Health, fiber is one of the most nutritional ingredients for human diet.
Deficiency Symptoms: Deficiency of fiber is a major cause of obesity in US citizens. It also increases the risk of diabetes and heart strokes. Whole grains and cereals are known to reduce the risk of major heart problems by almost 30 to 40%. Include fibrous substances in your diet intake and prevent host of chronic illnesses from affecting your body. The Food and Drug Administration has evaluated fiber for regulation of bowel function.
There are two kinds of fiber:
Insoluble fiber that is made of plant cells is indissoluble in water and can be used as a laxative.
Soluble fiber that is made of carbohydrates is soluble in water and helps cholesterol and blood sugar level in human body.
Health benefits of fiber
Fiber is a plant produce. It is not found in animals. Fibrous substances are vital for human body and digestive tract. It also aids in prevention of many illnesses. Some of the health benefits of fiber are as follows:
Indigestion and Constipation: The most important use of fiber is in digesting food. Fibrous substances add considerable bulk to the stools. The stools become big and soft, thus making it easier to pass through the intestine. Eating fiber rich foods can cure constipation.
Heart Ailments: Foods that contain soluble fiber like barley, beans, lentils, etc have good effect on cholesterol level and normal functioning of the heart. Citrus fruits have similar effect on human body system.
Cancer: Medical experts suggest that fibrous food helps in protection against colon cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Significant research is yet to confirm these findings.
Diabetes: Normalized blood sugar level is mandatory for reducing the risk of diabetes. Diabetic people have found subsequent reduction in their glucose levels through intake of fiber rich foods.
Obesity: High fiber foods are more bulky than other food items. Taken under dietary expert guidance, fiber foods give the feeling of a full stomach and curb the urge to eat more. This helps people who would like to reduce their weight and control their eating habits without staying hungry!
Toxins: Fiber speeds up the passing of food through the intestinal tract, thus preventing constipation or diverticulosis disorders. Toxic waste materials are also easily bundled out of the system through soft and easy stools.
Women usually need 25 to 30 gm of fiber intake on daily basis, whereas men generally need 30 to 40 gm of fiber intake every day. So, make sure you have your fill of high fiber food for maintaining good health.
References: Harvard School of Public Health and Food and Drug Administration