Dietary fibre

Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, refers to the indigestible carbohydrates found in plant-based foods. These fibers are mainly polysaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by the human digestive enzymes.

Dietary fiber is divided into two main categories: soluble and insoluble.

  • Soluble fiber, such as inulin, pectin, and xylose, dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the stomach, which slows down digestion and absorption of glucose from food.

  • Insoluble fiber, such as cellulose, chitin, resistant starch does not dissolve in water and adds bulk to stool, promoting regular bowel movements.

Resistant starches is a type of starch that is classified as a dietary fiber, as it passes through the small intestine undigested and ferments in the colon, providing food for beneficial gut bacteria. With regular starches, the digestive enzymes in your small intestine immediately break these carbs down into glucose.

Advantages of dietary fiber include promoting regular bowel movements, removing excess cholesterol from the body, reducing the occurrence of colon cancer, and providing a feeling of fullness for longer periods. A diet rich in fiber can be achieved by consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

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