The food, we eat has many components like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Fibers are basically carbohydrates that are used to be called bulk, roughage, fiber, bran, or undigestible carbohydrates.
Dietary fibers are types of carbohydrates that are used in food like salads. They are also called bulk, bran, and roughage. They mostly consist of polysaccharides like pectins, cellulose, lignins, and gums. They are not digested by the human. They slow down the speed of food at the time of passing of food from the small intestine so that it could be absorbed easily.
Benefits of dietary fiber:
- Water-soluble dietary fibers
- Water-insoluble dietary fibers
Water-soluble dietary fiber:
There are many benefits of dietary fibers if they are used in the diet. Fibers like pectins, mucilages, and gums are part of the water-soluble fraction of the dietary fibers. They form a gel in the GIT. They perform the following functions in the human body.
- They slow down the food passage in the intestinal tract.
- They decrease glucose absorption therefore they are recommended to diabetic patients.
- Help in the delay of gastric emptying time.
- They also control/reduce the plasma cholesterol therefore these are also recommended to cardiovascular diseased patients.
- They are also helpful for hypertension patients.
Water-insoluble dietary fiber:
Water-insoluble fibers are consist of lignins, hemicellulose, and cellulose. They absorb a large amount of water while passing through the digestive tract. They have the following functions.
- Accelerate the transit time.
- They slow the carbohydrate hydrolysis.
- They also increase the fecal bulk.
- They delayed glucose absorption.
Due to these qualities, they are recommended for diabetic patients.
Physiological Benefits of fiber:
Fiber possesses many physiological benefits depending on the physical and chemical properties of the individual source of fiber intake. They are used to treat the following conditions.
- These fibers are also used to control diverticulitis ( inflammation of the curvatures of the intestine)
- Control the appendicitis.
- Use to control the cancer of the colon.
- Helpful for the treatment of CVDs.
They bind with the extra bile and excrete it from the body and thus it lowers the cholesterol level therefore helpful in the treatment of CVDs. As we have discussed earlier that it also delayed the absorption of glucose and help in the treatment of diabetic patients and reduces insulin requirement.
Excessive intake of Dietary fibers:
The excessive use of dietary fibers has many disadvantages like some minerals becomes unavailable to the body. Thus their deficiency of such minerals occurs that may be dangerous. It decreases the bioavailability of the nutrients. Inorganic minerals such as iron and calcium are excreted as salt from the body. Therefore the normal amount of dietary fibers should be eaten.
The recommended intake of dietary fibers:
At this time there is no recommended intake of dietary fiber but it is suggested that an average intake of about 20g/day would be adequate.
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