Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that our bodies cannot break down. Dietary fiber comes in two varieties: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibers are found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery and tomatoes. Soluble fiber sources include barely, oatmeal, beans and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears. Once consumed, fiber passes relatively intact into the large intestine. As it travels along the gastrointestinal tract, it helps to maintain the health of the digestive system.
Dietary fibers have a number of beneficial physiological properties when ingested. Below are the general benefits of having a balanced diet that is supplemented by fiber.
- Fiber protects against Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Dietary fiber lowers blood glucose levels and normalizes serum cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Fiber decreases the risk of developing colon cancer. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to stool, allowing it to move through the large intestine more swiftly and thereby reducing the colon’s contact with potential toxins.
- Dietary fiber helps to slow your stomach’s emptying. This prolongs your feeling of fullness and influences the overall amount of food you eat. This will also reduce blood glucose concentrations and can have a beneficial effect in diabetic patients.
If you are among the estimated 80% of Canadians who don’t get the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber, you are missing out on a wide range of health benefits!
Contact Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic today to book an appointment and begin your healing journey. Call us at 604-235-8068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cho, Susan, and Almeida, Nelson, eds. Dietary Fiber and Health. London, GBR: CRC Press, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 6 March 2015.
- Marshall JR. Nutrition and colon cancer prevention. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. 2009; 12:539.
- Slavin JL. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Health implications of dietary fiber. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2008; 108:1716.
- Nelson JK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 22, 2012.