What is dietary fiber and why we need it?
Health benefits from the dietary fiber may include a decreased risk of death, and lower coronary heart disease; physiological effects include laxation, attenuation of blood glucose, normalization of serum cholesterol. There are over a dozen significant identifiable beneficial effects of increased dietary fiber consumption on human health and body function. Here talk about what is dietary fiber and & health benefits of dietary fiber.
What is dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber is an umbrella term for a heterogeneous mixture of plant food components that are indigestible in the small intestine. The typical dietary fiber includes cellulose, non-starch polysaccharides, hemicellulose, lignins, pectins, and various gums and mucilages. All of these except lignins are polysaccharides. It has two major fractions: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber consists mainly of cell wall components such as cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose present primarily in wheat, most grain products, and vegetables.
Soluble fiber consists of noncellulosic polysaccharides such as pectin, gums, and mucilages found in fruits, oats, barley, and legumes. Soluble fiber delays gastric emptying, slows glucose absorption, enhances immune function, and lowers serum cholesterol levels.
Why we need dietary fiber?
Increased concern about diet and chronic disease has led to an increased interest in functional food products for risk reduction. Research has shown that diets naturally high in fiber may benefit our health in several different ways, include:
1) fiber-containing grain products, fruits, legumes, and vegetables, help reduce the risk of cancer;
2) fruits, vegetables and grain products that contain fiber, particularly soluble fiber, help reduce the risk of heart disease;
3) lowering of blood lipid levels (oat bran, barley bran, psyllium);
4) attenuation of blood glucose (guar gum, psyllium);
5) weight management – satiety, lower fat absorption, weight loss;
6) gut environment – microflora, fermentation, transit time;
Daily dietary intake for healthy adults
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended dietary fiber intakes of 25 g/day
FDA approved levels are 25– 38 g/day
British Nutrition Foundation recommended 30 g/day.