Undoubtedly you have heard before that fiber is excellent to avoid constipation and improve cardiovascular health. But do you know why?
This plant-based substance is part of the carbohydrate family and, unlike starch or sugar, is not digested or absorbed, but flows rapidly through the intestine without contributing calories nor increasing blood sugar.
There are two main types of fiber.Soluble fiber: these disperse in water and form a viscous gel when in contact with the water, thus causing the digestive process to be slow. Moreover, they reduce cholesterol. The other type isinsoluble fiber: these do not dissolve in water, but absorb it, like a sponge. These fibers accelerate the food passage in the stomach and intestines.
Fiber is the structural part of fruit, vegetables, seeds and grains and play a vital role in the intestinal transit and health in general. All foods rich in fiber, contain both types of fiber but in different proportions. Food experts recommend the ingestion of dietary fiber to ideally supply insoluble and soluble fiber in a 5-3:1 ratio.
Fiber health benefits:
Despite the importance of fiber, their daily consumption by adults is approximately 14 grams, whereas the quantity recommended by health and nutrition organizations is 28-30 grams per day; the double of our current consumption.
How to consume more fibre?
Although fiber is beneficial, it is important to increase your fiber consumption gradually. This way bacteria which exist naturally in your digestive system can adapt, and you will not suffer the inconveniences the fiber increase might cause in your intestines, such as abdominal distension, gases, flatulence and cramps. Staying hydrated during the day is important to improve digestion as well, fiber functions better when accompanied by water.
Foods rich in fiber:
Fiber are present in all plants, but particularly in:
Besides, it is better to consume non-refined food, as in processed food such as canned vegetables, juice without pulp, non-wholegrain bread and cereals, the outer skin of the grains is removed, which drastically reduces their fiber content.
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