system and absorbs water.

Function of Fiber:
Dietary fiber plays an important role in the treatment of conditions such as
constipation, gastrointestinal disease, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease,
and diabetes. There are two types of fiber --soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber
readily dissolves in water and forms a gel in the digestive tract.  It slows digestion and
lowers the rate of nutrient absorption (such as starch and sugars) from the stomach
and intestine.   Soluble fiber reduces cholesterol levels, which helps to prevent heart
disease and stroke.  Some studies show that ingestion of soluble fiber may also
improve glucose tolerance in those who have diabetes.  Insoluble fiber does not
readily dissolve in water.  It helps to increase bulk, soften stools and shorten transit
time through the intestinal tract.  

Examples of soluble fiber include: psyllium husk; pectin; and the soft parts of fruits,
beans, and peas.  Examples of insoluble fiber include: the peels of fruits and
vegetables; the peels of beans, lentils, and peas; whole grain foods; bran; nuts and
seeds; and vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, and celery.  To
avoid extreme constipation, it is important to always ingest fiber with water and to
drink water throughout the day.

Deficiency of Fiber:
Fiber deficiency contributes to several conditions including: constipation, obesity,
atherosclerosis, diabetes, gallstones, varicose veins, diarrhea, diverticulosis, irritable
bowel, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above.  Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.

Toxicity (Fiber Overdose):
The best source of fiber is from natural foods.  If taking fiber supplements, it is
important to take them with an adequate amount of liquids.  Without adequate liquids
the fiber supplements will swell and, in extreme cases, cause choking.  Do not take
fiber supplements if you have difficulty swallowing.  Individuals who have esophageal
stricture (narrowing of the esophagus) or any other narrowing or obstruction of the
gastrointestinal tract should not take fiber supplements.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following after taking
fiber supplements: chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in fiber is the safest and healthiest way to
get an adequate supply of the nutrient.  Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should
always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting doses of
supplements.  Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first
consult with their pediatrician.  Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications.  If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements.  All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.

Fiber Food Chart (List of Foods High in Fiber):
To avoid extreme constipation, it is important to always ingest fiber with plenty of
water and to drink water throughout the day.

Navy beans, cooked from dried, 1 cup - (19.1 g)
Split peas, cooked from dried, 1 cup - (16.3 g)
Lentils, cooked from dried, 1 cup - (15.6 g)
Kidney beans, canned, 1 cup -  (13.6 g)
Refried beans, canned, 1 cup -  (12.1 g)

Cereals and grains  
100% (wheat) Bran Cereal  1/2 cup - (12.5 g)
Bulgur, cooked, 1 cup - (8.2 g)
Pearled barley, cooked, 1 cup - (6.0 g)
Oat bran, cooked,  1 cup - (5.7 g)
Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup - (5.2 g)
Instant oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup - (4.0 g)
Rice, long-grained brown, cooked, 1 cup - (3.5 g)

Artichoke hearts, cooked, 1 cup - (14.4 g)
Spinach, frozen, cooked, 1 cup - (7.0 g)
Brussel sprouts, frozen, cooked, 1 cup - (6.4 g)
Winter squash, cooked, 1 cup - (5.7 g)
Mushrooms, cooked from fresh, 1 cup - (3.4 g)

Prunes, uncooked, 1 cup, pitted - (12.4 g)
Asian pear  1 pear - (9.9 g)
Guava, fresh, 1 cup -  (8.9 g)
Raspberries, fresh, 1 cup -  (8.0 g)
Blackberries, fresh, 1 cup -  (7.6 g)

Nuts and Seeds  
Almonds  1 ounce ~23 kernels - (3.5 g)
Pistachio nuts  1 ounce ~49 kernels - (2.9 g)
Pecans  1 ounce ~19 halves - (2.7 g)
Peanuts  1 ounce ~33 kernels - (2.4 g)


American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH

University of Maryland Medical Center -

Linus Pauling Institute -

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in fiber
can help to prevent conditions
such as cardiovascular disease,
type 2 diabetes mellitus,
colorectal cancer, diverticular
disease, and IBS (Irritable Bowel
Syndrome).  Eating foods high in
fiber can also help with weight
control.  Foods that are high in
fiber include: legumes,
vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole
grains, and seeds.       

What is Fiber?
Fiber is indigestible.  It moves
food through the digestive
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