Fiber in a healthy diet

Fiber in a healthy diet

Fiber is a polysaccharide, which is a structural part of the plant, and its cell. Fiber in a healthy diet.

If you look at such a cell under a microscope, you will see long filaments filling the space of the cell — fibers. Therefore, fiber is also called dietary vegetable fiber.

Since there are different types of plants, plant fibers are also diverse: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, gums, etc. Each type of fiber affects the body in its own way, so it is important to get fiber from a variety of products.

How does fiber work? Fiber in a healthy diet.

#1. Lowering blood sugar and insulin

levels Water-soluble fiber, which is especially abundant in apples, oranges, plums, carrots, potatoes, legumes, oatmeal, and barley, is digested for a long time. It slows down the absorption of sugar in the intestine, reducing the glycemic index of consumed foods. As a result, the level of sugar and insulin in the blood decreases, which is especially important for diabetics.

juice. Photo from pixabay

#2. Help with overeating

By increasing in volume when in contact with liquid, fiber quickly creates the effect of false saturation. And prolonged digestion of fiber prolongs the feeling of satiety and reduces appetite, which can help in the fight against overeating.

#3. Help with constipation

Water-insoluble fiber is present in vegetables, wheat, corn, and rice bran, as well as in other whole-grain crops. Consumed within normal limits, it absorbs fluid along the way and accelerates the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract, which is especially useful for the prevention and prevention of constipation.

#4. Food for intestinal bacteria

It is also important to know that the long chains of polysaccharides that make up dietary plant fibers are not broken down in the small intestine. This is because our digestive enzymes are simply not able to destroy them. Undigested plant fibers enter the large intestine, where some of them are fermented by beneficial intestinal bacteria, and the other part comes out unchanged.

According to the degree of microbial fermentation in the colon, fiber fibers are divided into:

Fully fermentable: pectin, gums, mucus, hemicelluloses.

Partially fermentable: cellulose, hemicellulose.

Non-fermentable: lignin.

This list includes especially healthy fully fermentable fibers since they are what our microbiome feeds on. And healthy gut bacteria are a healthy immune system.

Broccoli. Photo from pixabay

#5. Natural sorbent

Insoluble plant fibers that are not fermented by microflora leave the body unchanged. Along the way, they absorb water and toxins from the gastrointestinal tract, acting as an excellent natural sorbent. At the same time, the intestinal mucosa is less in contact with toxic pollutants, which significantly reduces the risk of colon cancer.

So if you have eaten something that is not very healthy, and you want it to come out of you faster and assimilate as little as possible, then eat more coarse fiber. For example, you can arrange a fasting day on a smoothie by adding a teaspoon of vegetable fiber to each cocktail.

#6. Source of SCC acids

As we already know, some types of fiber are fermented by bacteria. As a result of this process, short-chain fatty acids and other valuable metabolites necessary for the functioning of the body are formed in the intestine.

#7. Reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases

Increasing the proportion of fiber in the diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome — a combination of factors that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. These factors include high blood pressure, high insulin levels, being overweight (especially around the abdomen), high triglycerides, and low levels of “good” cholesterol.

For example, passing through the duodenum, where food is exposed to bile, fiber actively draws in the substances that make up it (bile acids, bilirubin, cholesterol), thereby preventing the formation of gallstones and lowering cholesterol.

#8. Detoxification. Fiber in a healthy diet.

Fiber has antioxidant properties — it binds and removes toxins. Fiber binds and removes estrogen-like substances that come to us from the environment (plastic, cosmetics, household chemicals) and act in the body as endocrine disruptors.

Detox is the conversion of fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble compounds to make them less toxic and improve excretion from the body. The final stage of detoxification is the elimination of toxins from the body.

It is at this stage that fiber is so necessary. It binds to bile and removes it from the body along with toxins. Fiber also helps in the elimination of heavy metals and other toxins by binding directly to them rather than to bile.

Fiber. Photo from pixabay

How much fiber do you need? Fiber in a healthy diet.

The amount of fiber will vary depending on the individual characteristics of each person.

It is also important to understand what benefits you want to get and take into account individual health restrictions.

We can definitely say that the use of various sources of fiber will benefit everyone.

In some situations, it’s worth paying more attention to what type of fiber you consume. For example, if you know that you are exposed to cadmium, you should not consume a lot of flaxseed. If you need flaxseed for another reason, make sure it is balanced with other fibers that remove cadmium from your body, such as oat bran.

In the case of digestive disorders, special care is required when adding fiber to the diet. Certain types of it can aggravate the symptoms. However, we are not talking about the complete exclusion of it from the diet. It is important to individually determine its quantity.

General recommendations on the amount of fiber for an adult 2 tablespoons on the anniversary day, introduce fiber into the diet gradually, especially if you take fiber in the form of dietary supplements. Do not forget to drink plenty of water and other beverages to help with peristalsis.

The information in the article is of a recommendatory nature, for all questions you need to contact your doctor.

(1) – “A high-fiber diet is associated with physiological health benefits, not just limited to weight loss. It’s rich in fiber including the Mediterranean diet, cereals, oat, etc.”

(2) – ” The Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, legumes, and beans. The current complex dietary guidelines can be changed to a simpler nutritional approach if dieticians and other health care professionals encourage a shift from the typical Western diet and white flour foods that focus on fiber-rich sources.”

(1),(2) – High Fiber Diet. Elia Akbar; Aparna P. Shreenath.

© 2023 Elena Petrova, Mikhail Borisov