Apart from treating constipation, fiber helps our body in many ways. Knowing about the functions or uses of fiber will convince you to include it in your daily diet.
In the fast food era, the daily diet of most of us comprises carbohydrates and fats. Fiber is largely ignored or forgotten. As it is a common knowledge that fiber is obtained from green vegetables, it is hated. However, you may not be aware but fiber is also found in many other interesting food sources. Secondly, if you take a detailed look at the functions of fiber, you will find that it is very essential and should be a part of our daily diet.
Dietary fiber, often known as roughage or bulk as it cannot be digested in our body, is obtained from plants. It is divided into two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers slow down digestion and are believed to lower cholesterol. On the other hand, insoluble fibers help in moving stools through intestines quickly. Including fiber in your daily diet has many health benefits.
Functions of Fiber in the Body
Fiber is primarily needed for proper digestion. However, apart from it, it also performs various other functions, weight loss being one of them. NutriNeat provides detailed information on the benefits of having a high-fiber diet.
Controls Blood Sugar Level
Fiber helps in controlling your blood sugar level. As compared to other food types, it takes a fairly longer time for fibers to get digested in the body. As fibers slow down the process of digestion, it takes a longer time for sugar or glucose to enter the bloodstream. This consequently helps in maintaining a proper level of sugar in the body. Therefore, people suffering from diabetes are also advised to follow a high fiber diet plan.
Prevents Diseases of the Intestines and Colon
Aids in Weight loss
Sources of Fiber
Fiber is found in a variety of fruits (apples, bananas, dates, figs, oranges, prunes, raspberries, red currants, strawberries, etc.), vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, black beans, carrots, cauliflower, Lima beans, potatoes, peas, soybeans, sweet corn, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens, etc.), grains (barley, brown rice, oat bran, rye, whole-wheat, wheat bran, etc.), and nuts (almonds, pistachios, pecans, raisins, etc.).
You may also come across fiber supplements in the form of pills, powder, etc. However, natural fibers in the form of fruits and vegetables should be preferred over supplements as natural foods usually do not have any side effects (when eaten in proper amounts). In case you want to consider using supplements, you should consult the doctor.
The daily requirement of fiber depends on age, gender, and the amount of calories you consume throughout the day. You can consult a nutritionist or a doctor to know your daily required intake of fiber.
Lastly, as a caution, you should remember that although very useful, fiber (in any form) should not be consumed in excess, or it can lead to side effects. What is expected is to include proper amounts of high-fiber foods in your daily diet. It is recommended to consult the doctor before making any significant changes in the diet or before going for supplements. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for proper medical advice.