Fiber: It is not only essential to improve and prevent constipation. It also reduces the risk of alterations and gives a feeling of satiety. We explain the recommended daily amount, what foods it is found in, and how to introduce it into your diet.
Fiber is a fundamental component to improve digestion and intestinal activity. Taking it in the right amounts –between 25 and 35 grams per day– reduces the risk of suffering from alterations associated with constipation and provides a feeling of satiety, which helps you control your weight since you manage not to snack between meals.
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, that the body uses differently, and among other benefits, its consumption helps reduce the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
A diet is considered rich in fiber when it is varied and includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and a handful of nuts daily. It is also advisable to eat legume dishes two to four times a week.
Fiber, whether soluble or insoluble, cannot be digested by the body because it lacks the necessary enzymes.
However, it is essential to have proper digestion, and to improve intestinal transit: it helps to go to the bathroom regularly, eliminate toxins, prevent abdominal bloating.
Also, it reduces the risk of many alterations and, being satiating; it helps avoid excessive food intake.
Helps regulate intestinal transit, eliminate toxins and control weight
One advantage it offers is that during culinary processes, it remains quite stable, so when cooking plant foods, only the consistency will vary, but not the content or function.
However, as the more consistent structures of the fiber (such as hemicelluloses and celluloses) soften, cooking their digestibility is improved.
Bear in mind that if you abruptly incorporate fiber into your diet, especially if your food was deficient, it can cause gastrointestinal discomforts such as flatulence (gas) and bloat.
Therefore, the most advisable thing is that you gradually introduce foods rich in fiber and increase the amount as your digestive system adapts (this depends on personal tolerance).
Do not include it “all at once” because it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Also, do not forget to drink about eight glasses of water or other liquids such as homemade fruit juices, infusions, broths every day, to avoid the possibility that the ingested fiber compacts in the intestine causing discomfort.
Another point to consider is that fiber is carbohydrates that are not absorbable by the body but have beneficial health effects. However, not all-thread is the same:
The soluble type swells because it absorbs water, delays gastric emptying, and produces a feeling of fullness. Also, it reduces the absorption of cholesterol and prevents sudden increases in glucose, leading to various disorders.
It is found in fruits, legumes, oats, nuts, vegetables.
The insoluble one regulates intestinal transit, so it is recommended to combat constipation. The bread and whole grains are an excellent source. In any case, the ideal ratio is to consume three times more soluble fiber than insoluble fiber.
As we have already mentioned, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereals are the foods that contain the highest proportion of fiber.
Among the fruits, those with the highest concentration are pruned (120 grams contain up to 18 g of fiber, compared to “only” 2.5 if it is fresh plums).
To be practical, think that a plate of lentils contains about 12 grams of fiber (almost half of what you need a day), one of spinach, 5 grams that with just eating two carrots you get nearly 5 grams of fiber or that four slices of whole wheat bread provide you 3 grams.
Prunes, whole wheat bread, lentils, and carrots are excellent sources of fiber.
Keep in mind that if, for example, you make a puree and pass it through the Chinese, you will discard a large part of the fiber.
The same happens if you peel the fruits or take them blended. It is better to make smoothies because they are made with crushed fruit.
.These products are indeed an alternative, but they are not necessary. The healthiest way to reach the recommended amount of fiber is through foods that naturally contain it.
Suppose you add products enriched in this compound to a diet that already provides enough quantity.
In that case, you could easily fall into excess with the risk of suffering from digestive disorders (abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea ), even reducing the absorption of minerals.
Therefore, it is always best to consult a specialist before taking these products on your own.
You can get the adequate amount of fiber if you take daily and steadily over time three pieces of fruit, two servings of vegetables (for example, a salad for lunch and a bowl of spinach for dinner), whole wheat bread instead of white and about six or seven walnuts or other dried fruit.
It is also advisable to eat any legume two to four times a week (better if you avoid mixing it with fat and make simple preparations with vegetables) and cereals such as oats.
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