Fiber is an important element of your diet, and most people do not consume enough. In addition to eating enough fiber, you should also eat different types of fiber – since not all fibers work in the same way; they have different effects on the body. Just as you strive to eat a variety of foods to get a wide variety of nutrients, a varied diet will provide you with enough different types of fiber.
What is fiber and how much do you need?
Fiber (or more: fiber) is a structural component of vegetable foods – found in vegetables, whole [unprocessed] fruits, legumes and cereals – e.g. corn and brown rice. There is no fiber in meat, fish and poultry. If you do not take enough fiber, it is best to increase your intake gradually over a few weeks. Dietary fiber has a laxative effect, increases the volume of stools and reduces the passage time through the intestine. To maintain normal adult care. it is recommended to take 25 g of fiber per day.
Different types of fibers and their benefits
There are 2 major classes of dietary fiber – fermentable and non-fermentable.
Unlike other nutrients, the fibers are not digested in the digestive tract and are therefore not digested. Certain types of these fibers break down into the large intestine – from the bacteria there. This process is called fermentation. Therefore, some fibers are fermentable and others are not.
Apples, oranges, carrots, potatoes, oats, barley and beans contain fermentable fibers; some dissolve in water and the sticky ones can thicken. When they come in contact with the fluid in your stomach, these fibers swell and thicken, making you feel full for a longer time. Some fermentable fibers delay the absorption of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and help maintain blood glucose levels throughout the day.
Non-fermentable fibers also maintain the health of the digestive system, but in a different way. These fibers do not dissolve in water, but simply absorb water at the bottom of the digestive tract, making the stools more watery and larger in volume. This type of fiber is found in vegetables, wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran and in most whole grains.
Tips on how to increase fiber intake
- Eat raw fruits with skin / peel; limit the intake of fruit juices
- Make your fresh fruit a dessert
- Consume many fresh vegetables – cooked or raw.
- Eat bread / waffles / cereal / rolls / cupcakes / pickles made from wholegrain flour only, instead of white flour
- Consume brown rice, wild rice, millet, barley and whole wheat as an alternative to white rice
- Add beans to the main course – soups, stews, chilies or salads
- If you find it difficult to achieve optimum fiber intake, you can use fiber supplements. Remember, however, that fiber supplements do not replace the healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you need to consume.
You will learn many more fiber facts at our club. You are welcome!