Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fibers, Function and kinds of dietary fiber

Dietary fibers are structural components of plants. The type and amount of fibre in plants vary from species to species. Examples:

  1. Cellulose
  2. Hemicelluloses
  3. Lignin
  4. Pectin’s
  5. Mucilage’s
  6. Gums

Kinds of dietary fiber

Soluble fibre : It forms gel in the presence of H2O
Insoluble fibre :
It is a natural laxative. It absorbs H2O, helps in feel full after eating It stimulates intestinal walls to contract and relax. This contraction is called peristalsis. It helps to prevent digestive disorders. It bulks up stools and makes it softer, reducing risk of developing hemorrhoids.

Functions of dietary fiber

In the mouth, fiber stimulates the flow of saliva. In the stomach and small intestine, fiber dilutes the contents and delays the emptying of food and the absorption of nutrients; this promotes a feeling of fullness. In the large intestine, fiber dilutes the contents and provides a place for bacterial growth and digestion. The water-holding capacity of insoluble fiber in the lower intestine softens the stool and increases stool size, so that the process of elimination is easier and faster. In the large intestine, fibre also acts to bind certain chemicals. when fiber binds cholesterol-like compounds, it lowers cholesterol, a healthy result; when fiber binds minerals, it decreases their absorption, a less desirable result.

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