Vitamins and Minerals are a group of naturally occurring nutrients found in food and supplements that are required for good health, growth, recovery, performance and metabolic functioning. They are often called ‘micronutrients’ because your body needs only in tiny amounts to work properly.
The amount of vitamins and minerals present in a food depends on many factors such as the growing conditions, environmental factors, chemical preservatives, food processing, storage and cooking methods involved.
Various vitamins have been identified to play key roles in the metabolism of the healthy body. Vitamins are required in very small amounts and can be obtained from a variety of food sources.
They are required in our diet in small amounts and are necessary for building strong bones and teeth, turning the food you eat into energy, regulating heartbeat, transporting oxygen from lungs to the tissues and controlling the body fluids inside and outside the cells.
Fiber is the indigestible portion of foods that only plants contain. It is never found in animal foods. It basically refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested or absorbed. Its general purpose is to move through your digestive system, pick up general waste, absorbing water, leading to bowel movement thereby keeping the digestive system healthy.
Eating food that is high in fiber helps in reducing body fat. It does not metabolize fat quicker or more efficiently but it helps you by decreasing the intake of calories. Since fiber makes you feel full for longer, and is less energy dense you end up eating fewer calories without feeling hungry.
Fiber also contributes to other processes such as stabilizing glucose and cholesterol levels thereby preventing diabetes and heart disease. Fiber prevents colon cancer. Fermented fiber provides nutrition for friendly bacteria in the gut helping in digestion.
Excess Fiber Intake Risk: While fiber has a number of benefits, too much can backfire. If you consume excess fiber you may experience cramping, bloating, gas and abdominal discomfort as your body attempts to work through the bulk. And if you are not drinking enough water to help move the bulk, constipation can occur leading to intestinal blockage. When intestines become blocked, food and waste can no longer move through leading to hindrance in absorption of nutrients and a dangerous accumulation of toxins in the body.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. Therefore, maintain an adequate daily intake and do not go overboard with fiber.
The Bottom Line: For overall health, each nutrient is as important as the next. They each have a unique role and a deficiency in any will impact your wellbeing. Eating a diet with a variety of food groups is your best protection against nutrient imbalance.