Dietary fiber also referred to as fiber. It is the part of the food that usually remains undigested. This component of food is not digested in stomach and small intestine but is fermented in the colon (large intestine ).
According to the recommendations of regulating bodies, a person should eat 20 to 35 gram dietary fiber daily. The intake of dietary fiber in Pakistani diet is below the average recommendation. Keeping in view this situation, there is a dire need to spread awareness among the general public on the use of dietary fiber.
Food Sources of Dietary Fiber
Fiber is present in edible part of different plants. It is mostly obtained from raw fruits and vegetables. It is always recommended to use fruits instead of fruit juice as juice has fiber removed. Some common sources of dietary fiber are as under;
Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber
There are a lot of health benefits of dietary fibers. A lot of research is being carried out all over the world on the health benefits of dietary fibers. Dietary fiber prevent and cure certain diseases. A list of benefits given by dietary fiber are given as under.
- Dietary fiber in food help relieve constipation. This is the major benefit of fibrous foods. They produce short chain fatty acids in large intestine and help relieving constipation. Constipation is a wide spread disease now a days and by using food we can make our body safe from it.
- The second major benefit of dietary fiber on health is that fiber reduces the level of lipids in our body. The cholesterol level is reduced and chances of heart diseases are reduced.
- Foods rich in fiber act as prebiotics. It means that act as food for useful bacteria in our body. The growth and multiplication of useful bacteria is favorable for normal functioning of our body.
- Evidence from research has shown that dietary fiber maintains the sugar level to its normal limit. So, chances for getting diabetes are reduced which is also a major disease in the world nowadays.
- The absorption of minerals is enhanced by using fibrous foods. You wont suffer mineral deficiency if you start adding fiber in your diet.
- Dietary fiber boosts the immunity and help us fighting diseases.
- Fiber in food provides less calories than normal carbohydrates. So, they are very useful for weight watchers and diabetics.
- Consuming dietary fiber generates a feeling of satiety (fullness). You feel that your appetite is fullfilled. Ultimately you consume less food and get less calories which is also beneficial in many respects and also for weight watchers.
- Risk from certain cancers like colon cancer is reduced by consuming dietary fiber.
Safety concerns and Side effects of dietary fiber
Research is in progress in this regards. No visual side effects in normal consumption. Dietary fiber may cause flatulence, stomach problems when consumed in excess amount. Excess of every thing is bad. It is also advised that one should drink adequate amount of water along with dietary fiber. Otherwise one may suffer from problems instead of getting health benefits.
After reading the above post, you must add adequate fiber in your diet. Because food itself is the best medicine.