Nutritionists say that consuming food rich in dietary fiber is very important for maintaining good health. Almost every day we see and hear claims to eat more dietary fiber. But do you know why it is so good for your health?
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Today the diet of almost every person consists of refined and purified products, which are almost completely devoid of fiber. According to the statistics, most people do not consume even a half of the daily norm of dietary fiber. Therefore, nutritionists highly recommend sticking to a diet that includes products with high content of dietary fiber. Such diet can improve your health and also help to lose weight.
Dietary fiber for your health
Dietary fiber refers to carbohydrates; however they are resistant to digestion and, thus, they are not digested in the gastrointestinal tract. Dietary fiber contributes to the mechanical filling of the stomach, because it has an ability to expand when interacting with water. So, daily consumption of high-fiber food prevents you from overeating. Also, dietary fibers help stimulate peristalsis. They contribute to the accelerating of the passage of digested food through the intestinal tract, and also help to remove toxins from the body.
The source of dietary fiber is plant food. For a long time dietary fiber was considered to be unnecessary substance. But at the end of the last century fiber was claimed to be useful for our health. In 1980s an Irish physician Parsons Burkitt studied the importance of fiber and its influence on our health and body. Some years later, Audrey Eyton suggested a diet with high fiber content was an effective method of combating overweight.
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. When soluble fiber approaches stomach, it changes into a special gel-like substance and stimulates the progress of food in the intestinal tract, absorbs salts of heavy metals, cholesterol and many other harmful substances. Products containing soluble fiber include legumes, citrus fruits, carrot, plum, etc. Insoluble dietary fibers remain unchanged. Their role is to improve intestinal peristalsis. Products with insoluble fiber are leafy vegetables and cereals. Most of the fruits and vegetables include both types of fiber.
Benefits of eating products with high fiber content
Helps to lose weight
Usually products with high fiber content are tough and more time is required for chewing it. Thus, you spend more time having a meal and your mind tries to stop you because you are eating longer than usual. Moreover, fiber requires more time for digestion and you do not feel hunger for a longer period of time. Another interesting property of food with high content of dietary fiber is its low caloric value.
It can prevent heart disease
Various researches showed that consumption of high fiber products can help you to prevent many diseases, such as diabetes, constipation, and even heart diseases. Harvard University research proved that eating food with high content of dietary fiber helps to reduce the risk of getting a heart disease by 40 per cent for both man and women.
It helps you to age healthily
Australian researches found out that high fiber food helps us to “age successfully” as they call it. By “successful ageing” they mean ageing without having any disease including cancer and disability.
Dietary fiber is a universal means of not only “successful ageing” but of successful life too. If you want to lead a healthy life, or to lose some extra kilograms you certainly have to try dietary fiber. It will normalize your digestion, improve your intestinal microflora, and just let you feel better.
NCBI – materials
Dietary fiber intake tied to successful aging, research reveals – Science Daily
Fiber – Harvard T.H. Chan
Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet – MAYO CLINIC
What is dietary fiber – Megazyme