Dietary Fiber

Fiber is important to our well being because:

  • it lowers the blood cholesterol, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
  • undigested fiber helps to increase stool bulk.
  • it slows down the speed at which food passes through small intestine and hence helps the absorption of nutrients from food.
  • it can help passing motion by preventing water from being removed from stools.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Most plant foods contain both.

Soluble Fiber

There are a few types of soluble fiber:

  • Pectin (found in citrus fruits and apple)
  • Beta-glucans (found in oats, barley and rye)
  • Arabinose (found in pulses)

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber could be foud in wheats, corn, rice, vegetables and pulses. Because our body has no enzyme that can break down the fiber into smaller pieces for absorption, undigested fiber can relieve constipation. Dietery of insoluble fiber could also help to prevent bowel cancer, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Good Sources of Fiber

Food / 100g Amount (g)
Bulgur, dry 18
Barley, pearled, raw 16
Oat bran, raw 15
Wheat flour, whole-grain 12
Navy beans, boiled without salt 10
Pinto beans, boiled without salt 9
Black beans, boiled without salt 9
Artichokes, (globe or french), cooked 9
Turnip greens, boiled without salt 9
Split peas, boiled without salt 8
Lentils, boiled without salt 8
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), boiled without salt 8
Baked beans, canned, with franks 7
Red kidney beans, boiled without salt 7
Soybeans, boiled without salt 6
Couscous, dry 5
Blackberries, raw 5
Roasted chestnuts 5
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 5
Raspberries, sweetened 4
Tomato paste, without salt added 4
Asian pears, raw 4
Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 4
Prunes, without added sugar 3
Pumpkin, canned, without salt 3
Winter squash, baked without salt 3

How Much Vitamins You Need?

Dietary reference intake (DRIs): recommended intakes for infants, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding moms.

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