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Fiber Research

A person’s lifestyle in food intake may influence his health status. In this aspect, it is always important to consider the major components of the foods which are taken regularly for they constitute to the overall health attribute of an individual. One of the interesting components of food which is seen to have beneficial health effects is fiber. Fibers are material components which are primarily found in foods. They are resistant to the chemical or digestive juices produced by humans. Basically, cell walls of the plants included in a person’s daily diet correspond to dietary fibers such as pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose.

There are so many food items in which dietary fiber can be found. However, before one can identify them, it is important to first define the two major types of fibers; the soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers are components which bind with fatty acids (Tsang, 2005). This enables sugar to be released in foods and be absorbed more slowly. Soluble fibers also lower total cholesterol which reduces heart disease risks (Tsang, 2005). Some of the major sources of soluble fibers are nuts, carrots, barley, oranges, apples and beans.

On the other hand, insoluble fibers move in bulk amounts in the intestines while maintaining the balance of acidity inside them (Tsang, 2005). They are responsible in promoting regular bowel movement (Tsang, 2005). The main sources of insoluble fibers are wheat, corn, green vegetables and seeds and nuts. Fiber intake requirements differ according to the age of individuals. For children, the “age plus 5” rule is adopted (Horn, 1997). This means that for a four year old child, a total of 9 g of fiber per day is recommended.

This may gradually increase as the child grows and will be able to take larger volumes of calories. As with the adults, the designated normal intake is estimated to be regulated in the 6 g increment as the individual ages. This rate is intended to reduce possible risks of heart diseases and other related ailments. On a personal aspect, I wasn’t aware of the two types of fibers. All I know is that fiber components of foods are generic substances which can be found in all types of plant-based food sources. After reading the article, I found out that there are two types of dietary fibers-soluble and insoluble.

Knowing the components of foods will provide greater opportunities to combat diseases. In terms of this notion, dietary fiber may simply be considered to be an important element in increasing the chances of a person to live a healthy life. References Horn, L. 1997. Fiber, Lipids, and Coronary Heart Disease. American Heart Association. Retrieved February 7, 2008 from http://circ. ahajournals. org/cgi/content/full/95/12/2701. Tsang, G. 2005. Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber. HealthCastle. Retrieved February 7, 2008 from http://www. healthcastle. com/fiber-solubleinsoluble. shtml.

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