Know Why Is Fiber Important In Your Diet?

Nutrition is anything that nourishes our body. Good nutrition plays a vital role in the human body as it not only causes lack of nutrients in that body, but could lead to development of chronic diseases. The body highly depends on the nutrition as it allows the normal functioning of the body organs. Every nutrient has its own functions and lack of any nutrient in the body can result in the occurrence of health problems. The human body requires more than 40 different nutrients to stay healthy and some primary nutrients for the body include:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Fatty acids

 Know Why Is Fiber Important In Your Diet

Fiber plays an important role in the body. Fiber belongs to nondigestible carbohydrates which means a food that our body can’t digest or absorb. Dietary fiber is primarily categorized into two:

1. Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber can dissolve in the water and forms a substance that passes through the digestive system. This substance plays an important role in the body and prevents the absorption of too much starch and sugar in the body. In other words, it controls blood sugar level and cholesterol level in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber can be found in oats, beans, peas, and lentils.

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2. Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of material in the digestive system and this type of fiber plays a great role for people who suffer from problems like constipation or irregular bowel movements. Insoluble fiber helps to clean a bowel. Insoluble fiber can be found in vegetables like cauliflower, beans, and potatoes.

Why is fiber important?

Adequate intake of fiber is extremely important for the body as it offers high nutritive value to the body. Lack of dietary fiber could lead to the development of various types of health problems that could be chronic if left untreated. Some of the health problems that could be the result of fiber deficiency in the body:

1. Constipation

Constipation is a common problem and almost each one us must have had experienced it at least once in the life. Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems which have many causes, including a lack of fiber in the body. Constipation is categorized as a condition in which a person experiences problems with bowel movements. When there are fewer than three bowel movements in a week, it is considered to be constipation.

Constipation can be categorized into two: Acute constipation and chronic constipation. Acute constipation occurs suddenly and lasts for a short period of time. Acute constipation is not dangerous. Chronic constipation lasts for a long period of time and is often dangerous.

Too little fiber in the diet is the most common cause of constipation and this is because fiber allows the stool to stay soft such that it can move smoothly to the colon. Inadequate amount of fiber in the body makes it difficult for the stool to reach the colon.

2. High blood sugar level

High blood sugar level refers to one of the common metabolic disorder which is known as diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder which occurs when the glucose level in the blood becomes too high and starts to affect other organs in the body. The glucose level in the blood rises due to lack of production of insulin, ineffective use of insulin or both.

Dietary fiber helps to control the sugar level in the blood. It prevents the body from absorbing too much sugar in the blood and as a result, it prevents the development of diabetes mellitus. Lack of fiber could lead to high glucose level as its availability in the body regulates glucose level and fiber deficiency can cause significant increase it. It has been noticed that most of the food items that are recommended to diabetic patients are high in fiber that helps to normalize the sugar level in the blood.  

3. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are another complication of fiber deficiency in the body. Hemorrhoids are defined as a condition in which is categorized as swollen veins or abnormal swelling of blood vessels in the anal canal. Hemorrhoids are categorized into two: Internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids

  • Internal hemorrhoids remain along the anal wall and remain unrecognized until it breaks through the anus. In such cases, it is accompanied by symptoms like bleeding, and pain.
  • External hemorrhoids occur around the anal opening which are generally skin in color but it may turn blue and cause symptoms like pain and itching.

Having soft stool is one of the easiest ways to prevent the occurrence of hemorrhoids and adequate amount of fiber plays a vital role in keeping the stool soft. Fiber allows the stool to move the colon smoothly. Constipation is another common cause of hemorrhoids which is strongly associated with a lack of fiber in the diet.

4. Change in weight

Lack of fiber in the body is also associated with a change in weight, primarily weight gain. Unexplained weight gain could be the cause of fiber deficiency in the body. The body mass index which is the tool that checks the weight and fat in the body, tends to increase in people who consume low fiber diet.

The body mass index of the body depends on the total intake of calories and total energy expenditure and lack of fiber makes an individual eat more, resulting in an increase in calories. High fiber diet requires more chewing and makes an individual feels less hungry. Whereas, diet that contains no or very less fiber increases the hunger in a person after some time, resulting in unnecessary calorie intake.

5. Colon cancer

Colon cancer is one of the commonly occurring cancer in people worldwide. Colon cancer is cancer which occurs when the cells in the inner lining of the colon become uncontrollable. High fiber diet is essential for the prevention of cancer and this is because fiber contains an antioxidant property which fights against the free radicals and prevents the damage caused by them. The antioxidant property in the foods having high fiber prevents the damage caused to DNA. Damage to DNA leads to the development of cancer.

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