Thursday, September 27, 2012

Knowing the Dietary Fiber

illustration of dietary fiber
In my previous articles, I have often mentioned the word fiber, fiber that we will discuss is dietary fiber.   According to the American Association of Cereal Chemist (AACC, 2001), dietary fiber is the edible parts of plants or analogous carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine with complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine.

Dietary fiber is the part of food that can not be digested by digestive fluid (enzymes), so it does not produce energy or calories. Dietary fiber is included in the class of carbohydrates consisting of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and gum. Cellulose and hemicellulose is to be found in the rice bran, nuts, and nearly all fruits and vegetables.

Dietary fiber found in many of our daily diet such as fruits, vegetables, and cereals, such as rice, wheat, maize, and sorghum. Based on the solubility, dietary fiber can be grouped into two, namely:
  • Soluble dietary fiber. The soluble fiber is including pectin, gum, musilase, and some hemilselulosa because it can dissolve in hot water. These fibers found in many fruits, vegetables and cereals, while the gum, found in many Acacia
  • Insoluble dietary fiber. Cellulose, lignin and some other hemilselulosa are insoluble in water. These fibers found in many vegetables, fruits and nuts.
In the past, dietary fiber is only considered to be non-available energy source and is only known to have a laxative effect stomach. However, various studies have reported an association between fiber intake and the incidence of emergence of various diseases including colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Here are a few examples of the benefits of consuming dietary fiber : 

Preventing constipation
Dietary fiber increases the mass and size of the stool and make it soft, so it is more easily removed and lowers your risk of difficult bowel movements. On average, people in Asia and Africa more frequent bowel movements than those of Europe and America. This shows an indication of fiber consumption in Asia and Africa higher.

Reduce the risk of digestive disorders
A diet high in fiber can reduce your risk of specific disorders such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel or wound with a lump in the colon (diverticulitis).

Helping in lose weight
High-fiber foods generally absorbed more slowly, allowing time for your body to adjust when you are full, it can keep you full longer, so you avoid overeating. And also, high-fiber diets also provide fewer calories. As I said, complex carbohydrates usually contain a lot of fiber.

Lowering blood cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease
Insoluble fiber can help lower total cholesterol levels in the blood by lowering the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Decrease in cholesterol levels in the blood reduces the likelihood of blockage of coronary arteries that lead to coronary heart disease.

Controlling blood sugar levels
Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, for diabetic patients, the fiber may fix blood sugar levels. High fiber diet can also lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Preventing colon cancer
The presence of dietary fiber in the feces causing feces can absorb a lot of water so that it make a large volume and a soft texture. The existence of a large volume of stool for intestinal contraction will accelerate faster bowel movements. Large stool with soft texture can dilute the carcinogenic compounds (cancer triggers) contained therein, so that its concentration is much lower. Thus will occur contact between carcinogenic substances with a low concentration of the large intestine, and this contact takes place in a shorter time, thus not allowing the formation of cancer cells.

Compacting muscle
High fiber vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, contains a subtance called indoles. Indoles may slightly reduce the level of estrogen in males and slightly increased levels of testosterone. this will make the muscles look harder and denser, and a better protein synthesis for muscle formation.

Seeing the many benefits of fiber, making us are obliged to seek the intake of foods which in high fiber. High fiber foods to be a daily needs that must be met by the body because without high-fiber foods, it will increase the risk of rising the disease, particularly gastrointestinal disorders. So,let's suffice the needs of dietary fiber, it will be your outset to be healthy.


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