Information on Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber is a certain type of nutrient which is derived from various different types of plant based food sources and it does not get digested by the digestive tract located in the intestines of the human body. There are certain parts of dietary fiber which can be metabolized in the lower gut, due to the presence of certain types of bacteria. Different plant based sources provide the human body with different kinds and amounts of dietary fiber. The types of fiber which are the best known include lignin, hemicelluloses, cellulose, mucilage, gum, pectin and several others. Gum and pectin are among the water soluble types of fibers which are known for slowing the passage of food through the intestines without affecting the amount of fecal bulk. They are also very efficient in decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the blood and reducing the glucose levels in the blood. The best sources of water soluble fiber include vegetables, fruits, oat bran and beans. Lignin, hemicelluloses and cellulose are the water insoluble types of dietary fibers. They are known for accelerating the passage of food through the digestive tract and increasing the fecal bulk as well. Various types of fruits and vegetables may contain such types of dietary fiber, but the best sources are still whole grains and wheat bran.
Benefits of Fiber
The main benefit of insoluble types of dietary fiber is that they make the stools much bulkier and softer simply by binding water throughout the entire digestive tract within the human body. Such types of dietary fiber which can be found in different types of whole grain products may also be of great help when it comes to prevention and treatment of certain medical conditions such as diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and constipation. Diverticulosis is a medical condition in which the pouches of the intestinal wall become inflamed and painful. Since these types of dietary fiber are known for reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood they may also be associated with reducing the risk of certain types of heart diseases. Dietary fibers are also highly beneficial because they reduce the risk of various different types of cancer. They may also come in very handy for all those who want to lose certain amounts of excess weight. Dietary fiber can only be found in plant based food sources, which should be consumed in their fresh, raw form as much as possible.