Fibers – An Overview

Fibers are an important part of our daily diet. They contribute to various processes inside like the tempering of blood cholesterol, laxation and the attenuation of blood cholesterol. Fibers have been classified historically as soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers include whole grains like oats. Insoluble fibers include resistant starch which has been known to contribute to bulking. Several other fibers are attained from animal as well as plant sources.

Studies have shown that whether soluble or insoluble, every fiber is necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. Fibers provide a range of health benefits. While some help in regularity through bulking, other fibers are known to be beneficial to the human body by helping in lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels. The small intestine has been known to play an important part in fermenting fibers.

Viscosity, Bulking and Fermentation are the three main benefits fibers grant to the human body. Three benefits the human body cannot live without. And hence Fibers are an important part of our diet.

Studies have shown that women should consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day in their diet, whereas men should consume at least 38 grams. Research by the American Heart Association has shown that more than half of the Americans consume much less than this estimated figure. As a result of this, major food companies have started fortifying their food products with Fiber. The Fact that Fiber can withstand the processing of food products makes the process much easier.

It is important to consume fibers from a wide variety of sources, not just fortified food products, to maintain an optimum state of health.