Taking fiber and reduces cholesterol ,glucose levels and the risk of diverticulosis, colon cancer, irritable bowel or ulcerative colitis.
Functions of the fiber
Why are some carbohydrates themselves metabolized and others not? For the enzymes that our body has. Enzymes are molecules that help in breaking down food and turn them into nutrients that we can take advantage of . But the human body does not have the enzymes needed to break down the fiber . That does not mean that fiber is not important in our diet, rather the opposite.
Alimentary fiber , although it cannot be metabolized in the human body , does suffer alterations along the digestive route, especially in the final part. The fiber collaborates closely with the intestinal flora giving consistency to the feces and favoring the intestinal transit. In addition, it reduces the absorption of cholesterol, glucose and bile acids. A diet low in fiber prolonged over time can trigger serious problems such as chronic constipation , diverticulosis , colon cancer , irritable bowel or ulcerative colitis .
Types of fiber
There are two types of fiber depending on their solubility:
It is a type of fiber whose components retain a large amount of water and create a kind of viscous gel inside the body. They are easy to ferment by microorganisms of the intestine and create gas and flatulence in delicate intestines. The foods most rich in soluble fiber are some cereals (such as brown rice , millet, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.), legumes and fruits . This type of fiber slows down the absorption of fats and simple sugars , which helps in case of diabetes and cholesterol .
The insoluble fiber is formed by substances that have no capacity to retain water and, therefore, are not as attractive to be fermented by microorganisms in the gut. This type of fiber is the most beneficial to eliminate toxins from the intestine and to regulate intestinal transit . It works like a brush that drags the waste material from the intestinal wall and increases the volume of the stool, decreasing the time of travel and favoring its expulsion. This fiber can be found in wheat bran, whole grains of cereal, flax seeds and vegetables and cereals in general.
Benefits of dietary fiber
A recent study by the National Cancer Institute US Published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, says that regular consumption of fiber from whole grains is associated with a decline in mortality from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases in both men and women. There are numerous studies that demonstrate the beneficial impact of regular fiber consumption. Here are some of its advantages :
- Fiber is essential to keep the intestine healthy and clean , something crucial for overall health.
- Fiber favors intestinal transit and prevents constipation and accumulation of toxins in the body.
- Fiber lowers the absorption of fats and sugars, so it regulates cholesterol levels and blood glucose.
- Fiber collaborates closely on the health of the intestinal flora .
- Fiber avoids diverticulosis, a disease caused by too much effort from the intestinal walls to evacuate inconsistent feces.
- The fiber is essential for controlling obesity , since a diet fiber is more satiating , contains fewer calories, reduces the absorption of fats and sugars and helps slow absorption of nutrients.
- Although science has not established a rigorous cause-and-effect relationship, there are studies that point out that populations that consume the most fiber-rich foods have a lower incidence of colon cancer.
Foods rich in dietary fiber
- Wheat, as well as its derivatives (especially wheat bran) are a very efficient source of fiber (yes, remember that wheat has the problem of gluten and its genetic transformations that make it difficult for enzymes to cause all types Of inflammatory diseases).
- Oats in the form of flakes or bran also effectively helps intestinal transit and provides good amounts of fiber .
- Another fantastic trick to constipation is to add a spoonful of crushed flax seeds to every meal of the day.
- The agar-agar algae is another very rich source of fiber. We can incorporate it in any meal or make agar-agar gelatine mixed with fruits, highly recommended for children.
- Prunes and figs are high-fiber foods that will accelerate intestinal transit, especially if left to soak in water for a few minutes before consuming them.
In general, a diet rich in fiber and essential nutrients consists of the abundance of whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables and various vegetables, seeds and nuts with moderation and reduction of animal protein, saturated fats and processed industrial products.