Dietary fiber or fiber refers to the plant cell wall components that are indigestible to humans and other mammals, but it plays an important role in the human digestion process. It aids in the body’s absorption of glucose to facilitate a slow and even supply of sugar in the blood cells. It also produces acids that help to keep the lining of the colon in good condition.
A deficiency in fiber can lead to obesity. It also increases your risk to diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, and colon cancer. Fiber is an essential element that helps to keep our digestive system in good health.
Here are some of the most popular health benefits of dietary fiber:
1. It helps to prevent constipation and indigestion.
The most important role of fiber in the body lies in its ability to promote an efficient digestion process. It helps to soften stool to make it easy for the intestine to discharge.
2. It helps to lower your risk from heart diseases.
Soluble fiber can help to keep your cholesterol levels low to prevent the buildup of plaque in your arterial walls. This will help to lower your risk from heart problems.
3. It helps to lower your risk from cancer.
Fiber is believed to prevent the growth and development of cancer cells in the colon, breast, and ovary.
4. It helps to prevent diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by the body’s failure to regulate its own blood sugar levels. Fiber helps to facilitate an efficient supply of glucose into the blood cells, thus reducing the risk for diabetes.
5. It helps to prevent obesity.
Fiber foods are bulky and they make you feel fuller for longer periods. This helps to stop unnecessary food craving which is an important strategy for preventing obesity.
6. It helps to rid your body of toxins and other harmful substances.
Fiber helps to facilitate efficient excretion of wastes through the intestinal tract. This is the body’s way of cleaning the body to keep it free from harmful toxins and waste materials.
The body’s required daily amount of fiber is 30 grams per day for women and 40 grams per day for men. Good natural food sources of fiber include whole grains, bread, fruits, green vegetables, beans, cereals and nuts.