Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What exactly is Dietary Fiber ?

We have often come across the word " Fiber " whenever we read an article on heart health or general well being. But do we exactly know why the right kind of fiber is necessary in our daily diet ?

Here, lets take a look at some of the basic facts on fiber :

As we all must have read in our Biology books in school, dietary fiber is mostly known as roughage or bulk. It mainly forms the part of the plant body that human body can not absorb or digest. Hence, it is the "extra" bulk. All other food categories like fats, carbohydrates, proteins are digested by our body but the fiber moves out of our body. Hence, it is essential for our bowel movement.

There are two kinds of fiber: Soluble and insoluble fibers

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel like material and mainly helps in lowering blood cholesterol. They are mainly found in oats, apples, citrus fruits,peas etc

Insoluble fiber helps in the movement of undigested food through our systems and relieves constipation. It is mainly found in Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes.

Apart from ensuring good bowel movement and bowel health, it plays a major role in lowering cholesterol as the bad cholesterol gets dissolved.

 It is also proven that they help lower blood pressure and contributes majorly to maintain a healthy weight as it makes you feel full for a longer time.

So be sure to include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain food stuff in your diet.

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