One of the most important components of any diet, fiber, is a hugely important substance for the human body. A diet that gives our body the necessary amount of fiber is helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease, obesity, some cancers and in maintaining digestive health. Fiber rich foods are peas, lentils, broccoli, and a few vegetables and fruits.There are basically two different types of fibers that the human body needs.

Soluble fiber

bananas-soluble fiber

   Image credit: Wiki Commons

Water soluble fibers are found in foods such as oats, fruits such as bananas and apples, vegetables such as carrot, potato and cucumber, as well as some seeds. Water soluble fibers dissolve in water and are reduced to a gel like consistency.This helps slow down your digestive process and makes your stomach feel full for a longer duration, thus helping you avoid excessive eating. It can help in reducing the harmful cholesterol levels in your blood and also aid in digestion.

Insoluble fiber

The fact that insoluble fiber cannot be broken down by the body’s digestive process is the best argument for making it a part of your diet. It helps the material in your digestive system keep moving and helps make the process easier for the body. However, those suffering from reflux, diarrhea, flatulence, stomach pains or any other gut trouble should try and limit their intake of fiber.

whole-wheat-bread

                                  Image courtesy: Freestockphotos

Here are some ways that fibers benefit your body:

  • Your body houses over five hundred varied types of bacteria, totaling to more than the number of cells your body possesses. These bacteria are a part of our body and share a symbiotic relationship with it. They aid in a lot of bodily functions and are important for a number of reasons, especially for the intestine. Fiber is good for these healthy bacteria and helps them function at their optimum. These bacteria are important for brain function, weight control,blood sugar control as well as immune function.
  • It has been shown through studies that those eating a high fiber diet have a 40% lower risk of heart diseases than those who eat comparatively lower fiber in their diet.
  • Fiber, especially pysillium husk, can help in keeping your skin healthy. They move yeast and other fungi out of your body, which are usually excreted through the skin causing acne or rashes.
  • Eating more fiber in your diet can also help you feel full for a longer period of time and help you control your diet better, thus aiding in weight loss.
  • A high fiber diet is considered, in some circles, to lower the risk of hemorrhoids and ease the excretory functions.
  • A fiber rich diet can also help keeping stroke at bay. Research indicates that your stroke risk reduces by up to seven percent for every one gram of dietary fiber that you consume.
  • Fiber is also a great help for irritable bowel syndrome, however make sure you consult your physician or dietician about the same.

The jury is still out as to the exact nature of the purpose that fiber has in the human body, but it is indubitable that it is important. Gradually increase the fiber content in your diet, a regular seven gram increase till you reach an average of about 25 grams a day should make a significant difference to your body.

Featured Image: RA blogs

 

What do you think?

comments