Dietary fiber is an edible portion of plants (A type of complex carbohydrate) that resists digestion in stomach and small intestine but gets partially fermented in the large intestine.
Human body lacks such enzymes which can digest it completely. Dietary fibershave a very low caloric valuebut it occupies more space than other food stuffs within digestive tract which gives a sense of fullness & imparts early satiety.
Dietary fibers are classified into two broad categories;
- SOLUBLE FIBERS
- INSOLUBLE FIBERS
- SOLUBLE FIBERS:
- Within Large intestine the Soluble fiber attracts water& gets dissolved in it forming a gel like substance.
- It slows down theprocess of digestion,which delays and decreases the absorption of fats and sugars from digestive tract into the blood.
- Slowing down of digestive process provides enough time for the formation of sufficient volume of stools.
- Soluble fibers get fermented by the gut microorganisms. During this process, certain gases and products of fermentation like (Butyrate, short chain fatty acids) are formed.
- These products of fermentation contribute in the growth ofGood bacteria within the large intestine, which imparts positive effects on many bodily functions and health in general.
- INSOLUBLE FIBERS:
- Insoluble fibersdo not get dissolved in thewater within our digestive tract.
- They also do not get fermented by the gut bacteria.
- It acts as a bulk forming agent.
- It enhances the movement of stools through the digestive tract and speeds up the digestive process.
THE DAILY REQUIREMENT OF FIBERS IN DIET IS APPROX. 25-30gms/day.
WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF DIETARY FIBERS?
The sources of SOLUBLE FIBERS are,
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Oat meal
- Oat bran
- Dried figs
- Brussels Sprout
- Sweet potatoes
- Flax seeds
The sources of INSOLUBLE FIBERS are as follows
- Whole wheat, Wheat flour
- Wheat bran
- Nuts and Seeds
- Beans & Lentils
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, etc.
- Green peas
- Egg plant
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