Fiber is the roughage of the food that we consume. It is the undigestible part of the food, which mainly comes from the vegetable and grain sources such as polysaccharides, cellulose, pectin, and oligosaccharides. Fibers are subdivided into two groups through its solubility in water; soluble and insoluble fiber, which are related to whether they can dissolve in water.
When soluble fiber it passes through your stomach and intestine, it undergoes fermentation by intestinal bacteria and also it absorbs large quantities of water. Fiber then dissolves in the water medium and transform into a gel like structure. This soluble fiber attaches to the fatty acids in the digestive system and slows down the process of gastric emptying. This mechanism of the fiber helps the person suffering from the diabetes mellitus to prevent the rate of sugar released into the blood after a meal, and hence prevents the hyperglycemia after the meal. This hyperglycemia, cause adverse reactions in our body, which causes inflammation in the circulatory system and throughout the entire body. Therefore, slow gastric emptying, which is enhanced by fiber helps to prevent the sugar surge that provokes insulin resistance.
In addition, the soluble fiber helps to reduce the cholesterol level, especially low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which is known as the bad cholesterol. Hence, it has the direct effect on the cardiovascular system by eliminating the threat of developing dyslipidemia, which can cause atherosclerosis of blood vessels. Furthermore, by preventing the sugar spike and the quick insulin surge, fiber helps with weight loss.
The insoluble group of fibers helps our body by forming the bulk in our stool. The insoluble fiber helps eliminate toxins from the body, but also they can prevent one of the world’s most common problem; constipation. Constipation can be a sign of many other health related problems, including colon cancer. The insoluble fibers also function as maintaining the pH along the digestive tract, and also help in removing the toxins swiftly from the digestive tract. This helps in reducing the time, which these toxins spend in our body. In addition, the bacteria digest these fibers into butyrate, which also helps in the removal of these toxins. The toxins circulating in our body are carcinogens. Hence, the removal of these carcinogens and together with the relieving of the constipation can act to prevent colonic cancer. However, one of the important functions of the dietary fiber as a whole is in performing a significant role in weight loss. Fiber creates satiety and the feeling of fullness prevents you from overeating, hence promotes the weight loss. Also, because fibers slows down the uptake of food, there is a decrease in insulin surge, which prevents fat storage. In conclusion, the fibers can be useful in promoting weight loss, in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and in the prevention of the colon cancer.
Therefore, be sure to add vegetables, whole grains (fiber cereal such as Fiber One or Allbran) and fruits high in fiber (blueberries, blackberries, apples) in your diet.