Researchers in Spain report that a cup of coffee can deliver a significant portion of daily dietary fiber. The drink hadn't been known to contain any fiber.
Like the cholesterol-lowering substances found in oat bran, fiber in coffee consists of carbohydrates that the body can't digest, but which dissolve in digestive fluids. However, unlike oat bran's soluble fiber, the fibrous constituents of coffee haven't been proven to benefit health, notes food scientist Fulgencio Saura-Calixto. His team at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid recently developed a technique to isolate fiber from various drinks, including those assumed to have none.
Coffee's fiber molecules are small enough to easily pass through most coffee filters, Saura-Calixto and team member M. Elena Díaz-Rubio report in an upcoming Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Per unit volume, liquid coffee made using freeze-dried crystals contained 60 percent more fiber than conventio