Why is dietary fiber important?
|Though indigestible in humans, dietary fiber
is important physiologically. It is found in vegetables, fruits
and grains. It has a special property of soaking water and consequently
swells up. Thus, dietary fiber prevents constipation.
People who are habitually constipated benefit
from taking fresh fruits and vegetables (in the form of salads etc.)
with every meal. Also, ready-made preparations of vegetable fibers
(isabgol) are proven remedy for chronic constipation.
|Dietary fiber is mainly non-starch polysaccharide.
Animals like cow (and other herbivores) can digest it to produce
energy. In humans, most of it is undigestible, but some dietary
fibers are degraded by the bacteria in our large intestines
into sugars! This is of negligible amount, though.
Since dietary fiber forms bulk of the meal while
giving no calories at all, it can also help in losing weight.
Keep your diet high in dietary fiber. That way, your appetite will
be satiated with less calories.
Dietary fiber has been proven to reduce the
risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly
cancer of the large intestine.