Our body needs a wide intake of nutrients, such as vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber.
You must often hear that fiber is a good intake for our digestion.
Fiber is a type of material in the form of pieces that form an elongated tissue that is intact or compound. The most common fibers found around us are the fabrics. This material is very important in our lives, both animals and plants as the needs of our own body.
Humans use fiber in many ways, such as: making ropes, fabrics, paper etc. Fiber can be classified into two types, namely natural fiber and synthetic fiber (man-made fiber). Synthetic fibers can be produced cheaply in large quantities. Natural fibers have advantages, especially in terms of comfort, because it is made of plants and animals.
Dietary fiber is a component of complex carbohydrates cannot be digested by digestive enzymes, but can be digested by the micro-digestive bacteria. Dietary fiber is a good breeding vessel for the intestinal microflora. Dietary fiber is also called a non-nutritional component that must be fulfilled in order for the body to function properly.
Food Fiber definition
The physiological definition of dietary fiber is the rest of plant cells after being hydrolyzed human digestive enzymes. This includes plant cell wall materials such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and lignin; also intracellular polysaccharides such as gum and mucilago. But this definition does not describe the indigestible leftovers that can reach the colon.
The chemical definition is polysaccharides instead of starch from plants plus lignin.
The definition of dietary fiber is not the same as coarse fiber. What is meant by coarse fiber is a residual substance of plant origin that is commonly eaten that is still left behind after being extracted with solvents, diluted acids and alkalis.
Thus the value of coarse fiber substances is always lower than the food fiber, approximately only one-fifth of the total value of dietary fiber. The walls of plants contain a larger percentage of fiber, usually consisting of two walls. The first wall is an immature cell wrapper composed of cellulose. The second wall is formed after mature cells consisting of cellulose and non-cellulose (polysaccharides).
Fiber is a part of plants that can be consumed and composed of carbohydrates.
Well, fiber has properties resistant to digestive processes and absorption in the small intestine.
After that, the fiber will ferment in the colon. Well, this is what then helps the digestive process in our body every day.
Broadly speaking, fibers are divided into two types, namely water-soluble fibers, and insoluble fibers.
Water-soluble fibers will create a gel, which can smooth the digestive system. Meanwhile, insoluble fibers, can draw water into the stool and make it softer, as well as easier to pass through the digestive tract.
You do not need to be worry about the types of foods with fiber content that is soluble in water, or that is not. Because, foods rich in fiber, usually already contain both types of fiber.
As the name implies, soluble fiber is a fiber that can dissolve while in or exposed to water.
Because it is easily soluble in water, the food containing soluble fiber will be easy to digest.
When absorbing water, the fiber in the food will change into a thick gel in the stomach that will be digested slowly by the body.
Well, this fibrous gel will then be broken down by bacteria in the colon, which process produces only a small amount of calories.
The function of soluble fiber is to withstand the absorption of some types of content that can cause negative effects if the levels are too high or react too quickly to the body.
An example is helping to prevent blood glucose levels from rising too high after a meal.
In addition, the fiber will absorb fat and cholesterol, by sticking to the cholesterol present in the food.
Later cholesterol and fat will not be absorbed by the body, but instead released together with soluble fiber consumed.
Well, the opposite of soluble fiber, insoluble fiber will not blend with the existing water of our gut nature.
When consuming fiber is not soluble, then the fiber will go directly through the digestive system without sticking to various substances in the intestines.
When we consume insoluble fiber, then this type of fiber will form a mass or a harder object in our feces, thus helping to smooth defecation.
Insoluble fiber consumed will not turn into gel because this type of fiber will remain the same shape when removed from the body.
Since it cannot be digested properly, then this process of insoluble fiber digestion will not produce calories.
List of foods rich in fiber
Fiber is a nutrient that is only contained in plants. So it is not wrong, vegetables and fruits become an excellent source of fiber. Food sources rich in fiber are:
- Banana fruit
- Red beans
- Black beans
- Vegetable broccoli