Most health experts nowadays are encouraging consumers to eat more fiber. This is a result of the evidence that inadequate levels of fiber in the diet can result in several diseases. Common among these diseases are diabetes, constipation, obesity and colon cancer. These diseases are life threatening diseases you would not want to associate with.
Eating high animal fat is liked to raise risk of colon cancer. High intake of fiber however protects against colon cancer. This is carried out by the speeding up the passage of food through the digestive tract, thus prolonging the time of exposure of the cells to agents in food that might possibly cause colon cancer. Insoluble fibers hold much water in the colon (large intestine), thus providing bulk which excite the muscles of the digestive tract so they can retain their health and tone. By so doing, the toned muscles can more easily move waste products through the colon for excretion.
Fibers bind cholesterol compounds and remove them from the body alongside feces, and inhibit the production of cholesterol in the body as well as improving the clearance of cholesterol from the blood. The result of this is that, the risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis is lowered. Fiber fights or averts the risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar tolerance and reducing insulin secretion thus delaying glucose absorption. Fiber also lowers the energy density of the diet thus reducing the chance of obesity.
Forms of Fiber
Fiber has two forms that are; soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. These two forms of fibers found in diet helps prevent many diseases. Insoluble fibers don’t dissolve in water and contain fiber types called cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Soluble fibers on the other hand dissolve or swell when placed in water. They include fiber types like pectin, gums and mucilage.
Dietary sources of insoluble fibers include fruit sources such as bananas, apples, peaches, pears and strawberries. Other sources are rice bran, brown rice, seeds, plums, wheat bran, nuts, corn bran, legumes, whole-grain and cereals.
Fruit sources of soluble fibers are citrus fruits, apples, bananas, pears and grapes. Other dietary sources include beans, sweet potatoes, apricots, barley, corn, potatoes, prunes, oatmeal, oat bran and vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and carrots.