Many things have been said about fiber and its benefits, yet not too many people actually understand. You can find a lot of food supplement products in the market that claim to promote health through their high fiber content. People also buy these products even while knowing little about how the food element helps them. Understanding fiber and how it helps is not a hard task, however. It only takes a few minutes of reading and relating the knowledge one has gained to day-to-day nutrition.
Fiber is an indigestible element that is found in vegetables such as broccoli and potatoes , fruits such as apples and papaya and food processed from plants, including bran cereal and wheat bread. It is indigestible in that it is not broken down during digestion and offers no nutrients for the blood to absorb. But this does not mean that it has no health benefits. In fact, it is true that fiber offers a myriad of health benefits through the unique ways that it works.
Understanding how fiber helps us achieve good health requires us to first differentiate between its two types – soluble and insoluble. The kinds of fiber that dissolves in water and allows the stomach to empty over a longer period of time so that glucose can be absorbed into the bloodstream gradually and more efficiently is soluble fiber. This fiber also binds with ingested fluids and fatty acids, forming a gel that helps regulate glucose absorption and block unwanted or harmful elements from entering the bloodstream. On the other hand, insoluble fiber is that which does not dissolve in fluids and functions to help bulk pass through the small intestine. The primary job of this type of fiber is to help facilitate the digestive process.
In general, fiber is innately water-absorbent and naturally softens stools so they are passed more easily. This is one of the more popular and most helpful functions of the food element. We know how a high-fiber diet helps us relieve ourselves when we are constipated. It can take from hours to weeks, but the effect is the same. Fiber aids the digestive system so that it is able to function normally and keep the body generally healthy. Most illnesses are a result of harmful substances that our bodies absorb through the food that we eat. With the right amount of fiber in our diet, we can help our digestive system weed out the bad stuff and keep only those that will be good for us. Among the illnesses fiber help prevent are colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
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