By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director
Recent Arizona State University nutrition student Kat Brown defines fiber as forming the support structure of leaves, stems, and plants. “It is the part of foods that are hard to digest, or that the body cannot digest at all. This is because humans do not have the proper enzymes to break down the bonds that form fiber. Important
properties of fiber include solubility in water, water holding capacity, binding ability, and fermentability. Fiber is usually classified as either soluble or insoluble.”
Brown also points out that “fiber is our friend.” And there are a variety of fiber sources.
Soluble fiber is associated with keeping cholesterol and blood glucose levels consistent, while insoluble fiber is linked to digestive health. Registered dietitian nutritionist Brookell White in the publication Mashed says dietary fiber adds “viscosity or bulk in the intestines,” which can promote satiety.