Fiber Health: The importance of dietary fibers for your health

February 1, 2010

Diets & Nutrition

Fibers are compounds found in foods that have an important role in maintaining the body’s health. Dietary fibers have many health benefits. Fibers are complex carbohydrates and are found in vegetarian foods such as whole wheat, fruit, legumes, nuts, beans, peas, and seeds. Animal originated products- meat, cheese and eggs don’t contain fibers.

Two types of dietary fibers

Fibers have a low caloric value in your daily diet because they’re not dissolved in digestive enzymes. They’re classified on how they react with water. Thus we have insoluble fibers which are found in cereal flake covering, they’re tough and don’t dissolve in water, they combine, increasing their volume and soft fibers. These form a gelatinous substance when they’re in contact with water which help the transportation and elimination of bodily toxins.

Fibers keep the body healthy

Both soluble and insoluble fibers are important for preventing intestine cancer. Their role is to speed up digestive transit, thus quickly eliminating the body’s unnecessary substances.

Soluble fibers help lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of infarctions. Also fibers help lower the risk of afflictions such as diabetes and digestive system diseases. Fibers are essential for a weight loss diet because they create the sensation of fullness and since they’re not digested they don’t supplement the body’s caloric intake.

How much fiber should our daily diet contain?

According to some foreign nutritionists an adult should consume at least 0.7 ounces of fibers a day. For this eating as many fruits, legumes, whole cereal, nuts and seeds as possible is recommended. Children should consume at least 0.4 ounces daily.

How can you make sure you have the optimum amount of fibers in your diet?

  • Eat whole cereal with milk or yogurt daily
  • Replace white bread with bread with whole grain
  • Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible

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