Fiber – Why Do We Need It? Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb.
Fiber – Why Do We Need It?
Dietary fiber has many different functions and activities, such as delaying or increasing the speed of food moving through the gastrointestinal system or influencing the microbial activity in the large intestine. The functions and activities of dietary fiber depend on physical and chemical properties of dietary fiber, which include solubility, fermentability, viscosity and water-holding capacity.
Dietary sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables, beans, peas and other legumes, as well as nuts, seeds and whole-grains products like oats and brown rice. Fiber promotes a sense of overall well-being by maintaining healthy digestion, promoting regularity, improving nutrient absorption and supporting the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon.
The recommended dosage of dietary fiber is 25g for women and 38g for men. However, the average American consumes only 14g of dietary fiber daily, well below the recommended dosage. When reading the label, keep in mind “good source” means at least 3g of fiber per serving, while “excellent source” means at least 5g of fiber per serving. Meeting the daily recommended intake of fiber can best be achieved by eating a variety of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Other foods and dietary supplements that contain fiber can also be a healthy way to achieve the daily amount.
Did You Know?
You would need to eat between 21 and 32 cups of popcorn each day to meet the recommended daily intake of fiber.
- Essential to human diet
- Indigestible parts of plant foods
- Recommended daily intake is 25g to 38g
- Fiber content of food may change when processed, so eat fresh foods whenever possible and eat the peel
- Promotes a sense of overall well-being by maintaining healthy digestion
- Promotes regularity
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Supports the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon