How Fiber is Digested by the Body


Posted On Nov 6 2014 by

Dietary fiber consists of nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants. “Added Fiber” consists of isolated, nondigestible carbohydrates that have beneficial physiological effects in humans. Bulking fibers absorb water as they move through the digestive system, easing defecation. These foods are particularly high in roughage, but many other whole foods can help you increase your fiber intake too.

Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber. Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber isn’t difficult.

Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label and have at least 2 grams of dietary fiber a serving. Experiment with brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur wheat. Whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better. Fiber supplements – such as Metamucil, Citrucel and FiberCon – don’t provide the variety of fibers, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that foods do.

The legumes family are very good source of fibres in addition to being nutrient-dense foods, and the same can be said for nuts and seeds. Roughage, also known as fiber or bulk, is a fibrous indigestible compound that your body can’t absorb. It aids in the passage of food and waste products through the gut. Fiber is usually associated with bowel regularity, intestinal disorders and decreased risk of developing diverticulitis, but roughage is beneficial to overall health as well. Fiber is found in many fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds.

Humans are not forgut fementors and do not posses a ceacum. This limits microbial fermentation to the large intestine; yet, most nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. The large intestine does use bacteria to ferment fibers to an extent. Fiber fermentation leads to the production of gases (H 2 ,CO 2 , and sometimes CH 4 ) and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA). These SCFA can have different effects including being used as energy, and having a productive role on mucosal cells and systemically interfere with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (Bobin-Duigeon et al, 1997).

fiber or roughage indigestible

It is estimated that dietary factors (including energy, fan and fiber) contribute to 35% of all cancers. Fiber, of all of these dietary factors, is more closely related to overall cancer death then any other individual factor (Anderson and Akanji, 1993). In the Netherlands cancer deaths were three folds higher in individuals with low fiber diets compared to individuals with high fiber diets (Kromhout et al., 1989). Related are studies that correlate the higher cancer rates with the development of countries. Diets in “western” countries contain more processed foods and overall less fiber then diets of countries studied, such as Nigeria and Uganda (Spiller and McPherson, 1980).

Consuming the fruit in a controlled environment allows the bat to be more selective and precise in consuming of the fruit. There are three steps in avoiding the high seed content of many of these fruits. First, bats tend to only consume the most edible part of the fruit. Consuming in small bites allows the bat to then spit the fiber and seeds out.

Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Suddenly adding a large amount of fiber to your diet can sometimes cause side effects such as abdominal cramps, intestinal gas, bloating, or diarrhea. These should go away once your digestive system becomes used to the increase in fiber, but adding fiber gradually and drinking plenty of fluids can help avoid discomfort.

As a result, a person on a high-fibre diet can consume the same amount of food, but with fewer kilojoules (calories). There is good evidence that soluble fibre reduces blood cholesterol levels.

Look for whole grain cereals to boost your fiber intake at breakfast. Simply switching your breakfast cereal from Corn Flakes to Bran Flakes can add an extra 6 grams of fiber to your diet; switching to All-Bran or Fiber-One will boost it even more.

Last Updated on: September 26th, 2019 at 11:01 pm, by


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