In a September 2016 global market report by Zion Market Research, the global dietary fiber market is poised to take a leap from USD 2.3 billion (2015) to a whooping USD 4.8 billion by 2021. This is not surprising at all. As life spans now stretch longer and medical developments are able to exert a control over most medical conditions, a healthy life style is being aggressively pursued. Fiber supplements, together with others, are heading to a higher level of consumption, thus leading to the leap of the global dietary fiber market.
Dietary fiber is categorized into 2 classes:
- Soluble fiber – Soluble in water. Can be fermented into gases or other active byproducts.
- Insoluble fiber – Insoluble in water. Causes bulking. Also absorbs water through the digestive system and thus aiding in bowel movement.
Both types of fiber work in their various ways so you should include foods of both types equally. If you have inadequate fiber in your diet, you may be prone to constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, piles, and even cancer. There is also increased risk to obesity and heart disease.
For soluble fibers, they can be found in the following foods:
- Barley and oats
- Fruits such as apples, pears and bananas
- Vegetables (root) such as carrots and potatoes
For insoluble fibers:
- Wholemeal bread
- Nuts and seeds
In one June 2016 study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, researchers found that there is a link between fiber and successful aging. They looked at more than 1600 participants aged 50 years and older, and examined the relationship between carbohydrate nutrition and successful and healthy aging. Among the glycaemic index, sugar intake etc, they discovered that the total fiber intake had the greatest impact on the ability to live healthily. This refers to the absence of the following factors: cognitive impairment, chronic disease, disability etc.
So you can see the importance of fiber in your diet! According to this, the average Singaporean consumes about 13g of dietary fiber on a daily basis. The recommended amount is 30g daily. If you find that you have not been consuming an adequate amount of fiber, it is high time you start!
Whole foods like grains and beans release their sugar very, very slowly because of the fiber in them, and they don’t give you a sugar rush. They feed your cells as needed, and as a result, you have loads of stable energy that powers you through the day.
© LOOMI Group 2016
This article is first published on loomigroup.com
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