FIBER, WHAT IS IT AND WHERE CAN BE FOUND?
FIBER, WHAT IS IT AND WHERE CAN BE FOUND?

Tip. Fiber, what is it and where can be found?

Fiber it is a substance naturally found in plants. Vegetable fiber or edible one, is found in fruits and vegetables and grains; and it is a very important portion into a healthy diet.

Some of the fiber functions are listed below:

Vegetable fiber adds volume to diet, and so it allows us to feel full quickly; it can help to weight control. Fiber also helps to digestion and to prevent constipation, and sometimes is even used in the treatment of diverticulosis and diabetes and heart disease.

Food sources:

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns it into gel during digestion process making it slow. Soluble fiber is naturally found in fruits and vegetables, in oat bran and barley in nuts and seeds and in beans and in lentils. It is scientifically tested that, this type of fiber can help to reduce cholesterol levels, which also helps to prevent heart disease.

Insoluble fiber is naturally found in such foods as wheat bran and vegetables, and in whole grains. This type of fiber appears to speed up the passage of food in the stomach and bowels.

Secondary effects:

Consuming high levels of fiber in a short period can generate intestinal gas, distension and even abdominal cramps which normally disappear once the natural bacterias inside digestive system gets use to the increasing level of fiber in our diet.

Too much fiber can interfere with the mineral absorption such as the iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. However, this shall not causes much concern since normally, high-fiber foods are rich in minerals.

To guarantee a good ingest of fiber, try consuming a wide variety of food, such as the following:

  • Fruits,
  • Vegetables,
  • Grains,
  • Dried beans and peas, and
  • Whole grains

Try adding fiber bit by bit into your diet in a few weeks in order to avoid abdominal discomfort. Water can help in the process of the fiber through the digestive system. Drink plenty of fluids (approx. 8 glasses of warm water or noncaloric fluids a day).

To consume high fiber food such as fruits and vegetables, either raw or cooked, it is very beneficial and very recommended to achieve a good health.

Whenever you make any changes in your diet, it is recommended to first consult a health specialist.

References:

Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.

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