The importance of fiber for our health

The fibers are not exactly a nutrient, but is essential in a balanced diet and, rightfully so, are in evidence when the subject is health. Despite being something easily acquired through natural foods, some of the habits of the “modern life” has been negatively affected by the proper consumption of fiber.

According to nutritionist Joanna Carollo, this lack is due to, mainly, food choices are low-skilled. “In addition to the high consumption of processed foods, most people opt for refined carbohydrates such as white rice, breads and pasta white, which have a contribution much smaller fibers compared with the full version. In the same way, there is the habit of discarding the leaves and peels of vegetables and fruits, which is precisely the part that is rich in fibre” he explains.

Many people tend to think that this element is only an option for those who want to follow a style of life fitness. But the truth is that the fibers play a fundamental role in our body and it is essential to be present in the diets.

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Organism devoid of fiber

The lack of fibre can cause serious damage, ranging from small annoyances to major changes in metabolism. Problems such as constipation can be directly linked to low fiber consumption. “For the act under the the gastrointestinal tract, the fibers, especially the type insoluble, play a decisive role in the formation and transit of cake fecal: are responsible for grouping the wastes that will be eliminated, giving bulk to the stool, as well as increasing their moisture concentration”, explains the nutritionist.

The fibres are essential to maintain the balance of intestinal flora. They also help the production of micro-organisms good. A diet rich in fibers can help maintain the health of the region colorectal, because they work in the retention and elimination of harmful agents.

Another symptom which may be directly related to the little consumption of fiber is feeling a lot of hunger out of time. This is because foods rich in the element help to keep the body satiated for a longer time.

“Especially the soluble fiber contribute to this sensation as they form a kind of gel able to fill the wall of the stomach and making digestion slower. In addition, foods rich in fiber, shelled or whole grains, for example, require more time to chew, which demonstrably contributes to the activation of the mechanisms of satiety,” he says.

The sudden hunger can also happen thanks to the sudden drop of glucose levels in the blood. This is the main source of energy in the body and when it is in low, symptoms such as malaise and weakness are followed by a hunger too strong, especially for foods, greasy or sweet.

According to the nutritionist, the big problem is that the consumption of refined foods such as carbohydrates of rapid absorption, increase the energy quickly and in a short time, leading to another episode of hypoglycemia. “foods rich in fibers, complex carbohydrates help to combat this scenario because it releases energy slowly and gradually, contributing to the maintenance of blood glucose, energy levels, and, consequently, famine.”

Consumption in excess

But this also does not mean that the more fiber you eat the better. The nutritionist warns that, as everything in our life, there must be balance and moderation. The too much consumption of fiber, as well as the lack of it, can trigger problems to the body. “On average, the daily recommendation for a healthy adult is 30 g of fiber so divided doses throughout the day. Of course, depending on the nutritional needs and some health situations, this contribution can vary to less or more.”

The nutritionist has listed some foods that are rich in fibres:

  • Foods rich in soluble fiber: legumes such as beans and lentils. Bran oats, fruits with pulp (orange, lemon, tangerine), apple, beetroot and carrot;
  • Food rich in fiber-insoluble: whole grains such as brown rice, chia, and flaxseed. Wheat bran, corn, leafy vegetables, and peel fruits;
  • Supplements: can be enriched with probiotics and prebiotics, enhancing the beneficial effect on the intestinal flora. Usually presented in soluble form, can be a practical alternative to the inclusion of fibre in the diet.