dietary fiber and fruits and vegetables

Dietary Fiber: Why Do We Need It?

Fiber is a fundamental nutrient for our organism, especially for our digestive system. That is where it will play the primary role. A correct dietary fiber intake in our diet will facilitate digestive transit. In addition, it will have very beneficial effects on your health.

Fiber is nothing more than a carbohydrate that is not digested by digestive enzymes. Therefore, it is not absorbed and passes through the digestive tract in its entirety. The most important components of fiber are cellulose, pectin, agar, mucilage gums, and lignin.

Dietary Fiber

It is an essential nutrient that helps keep your intestines healthy and can help prevent certain medical conditions. Dietary fiber foods are a group of different substances of vegetable origin. They are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine. But they undergo partial or total digestion in the colon.

The intake of fiber is essential not only for its benefits at the level of intestinal transit. But also those related to other metabolic processes.

Types Of Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber comes in two forms: insoluble and soluble. Each has different characteristics, functions, sources, and benefits.

  • Insoluble Fiber

This type of fiber is found in a more significant proportion of foods and vegetables containing fiber. Its primary function is the maintenance of regular intestinal transit. Because it has a laxative effect, thus avoiding constipation and the negative consequences it entails, such as abdominal pain, hemorrhoids, and diverticular disease.

In turn, the intake of insoluble fiber causes a more incredible feeling of satiety what favors that an excess of food is not consumed. Through this method, it prevents overweight and obesity.

  • Soluble Fiber

This fiber, upon reaching the large intestine, is fermented and generates fatty acids. These have beneficial effects on the microflora of the colon. Soluble fibre attracts water and turns to gel during digestion.

Microflora is defined as a group of microorganisms that are usually found in the human body. In this case, in the large intestine. Their function is to help maintain the state of health. It does this through the maintenance of tissues, protection against infections, and the secretion of vitamins.

Prebiotics, such as inulin, are found in the group of fermentable fibers. They are in foods such as yogurt, some cheeses, and others like cookies.

In addition, it slows down gastrointestinal transit. It favors the absorption of nutrients. In addition, it improves blood glucose control by lowering glycemia after eating. That is especially important in people with diabetes and is also a factor that helps prevent overweight.

On the other hand, numerous studies indicate that these soluble fiber vegetables favor the reduction of cholesterol since it stimulates the excretion by feces of substances. Substances naturally contain cholesterol, such as bile acids.

Where Does Fiber Come From?

Foods that contain insoluble fiber are whole grains such as:

  1. Brown rice
  2. Wheat bran
  3. Corn (corn)
  4. Vegetables such as carrots, celery, spinach, asparagus, etc.

On the other hand, we find soluble fiber in:

  1. Fruits such as oranges, apples, and strawberries.
  2. Leguminous plants (beans, lentils, and chickpeas).
  3. Oat bran, barley
  4. Psyllium seeds
  5. Nuts
  6. Vegetables such as cabbage.

It is preferable that fiber sources come from foods and not from supplements since foods provide other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

What Is The Recommended Daily Fiber Intake?

Trying to keep the peel and seeds. Five servings of fruits and vegetables should be consumed each day to meet the daily fiber guideline. As well as the consumption of nuts and at least half a cup of legumes (beans, chickpeas, etc.)

That should go hand in hand with an adequate fluid intake. It should be at least eight glasses a day, whereas at least four should be pure water.

fiber in foods

Why Do We Require More?

Dietary fiber is an important component of a well-balanced diet and should be included in nutritious meals. Fiber and its effects on health are now the subjects of a lot of research. That is due to numerous diseases related to a diet deficient in fiber, such as obesity, intestinal problems, insulin resistance, and alteration of blood cholesterol.

Diets, in general, are usually poor in fiber and rich in fats, refined flours, and sugars. That is due to the industrialization of food and the habit of fast food. For this reason, you should start eating more of these rich fibers.

Why Is A Fiber-Rich Diet Healthy?

As you have already seen, dietary fiber benefits have vital importance in our lives. Here are some of its most important benefits in addition to those already mentioned.

  • Gut Health

Solubility and viscosity properties have profound effects on dietary fiber functionality. Mostly during food processing and in the gastrointestinal tract. If the polysaccharide structure forms a crystalline matrix, it is likely to be energetically more stable. That is to say, insoluble fiber foods. On the contrary, the greater the branching with ionic groups, the higher the solubility. Alterations in the monosaccharide units and their molecular forms increase solubility.

  • Heart Health

Diets rich in fiber reduce the risk of healthy diseases. However, this effect is due to fiber from cereals and fruits (insoluble fiber). The benefits of fiber in the prevention of cardiovascular disease are due to its effects on several factors. Firstly, fiber lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Then, it lowers blood pressure and reduces blood sugar peaks that occur when we eat. Finally, it increases the sensitivity of tissues to the action of insulin and promotes weight loss.

  • Immune System

Scientific research has studied the effect fiber has on the gut-associated immune system. It is believed that it can modulate the type and function of the cells that protect the body.

  • Weight Management

Fiber helps to control obesity. Due to its delayed digestion and water retention capacity, it produces a satiating effect. As a result, it aids in the regulation of other food consumption. In comparison to other nutrients, it has a modest calorie consumption. As a result, it aids with weight management.

High-Fiber Meal Plan

The average adult should consume 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories of food. Or about 25 grams (women) or 38 grams (men) of fiber per day. Many fibers provide some heart-healthy benefits. For example, 3 grams of fiber from oat bran can help. They may reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the blood when part of a healthy diet. Look for the fiber content of foods on the Nutrition Facts label.

The Bottom Line

Dietary fiber is a dietary component contained in foods of plant origin. Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t absorb water. In fact, we should daily consume fiber present in many foods. These include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts mainly. We find lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin’s, mucilage’s, and gums among the essential substances.



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