Nowadays, there is a growing talk about foods with vegetable fiber within the theme of feeding healthy. Although we have all heard the importance of foods with fiber to maintain a healthy diet, very few people really know what fiber is and what benefits Health has. In order to fill this information gap and increase their knowledge on the subject we have decided to write this article for all those who wish to obtain more information about vegetable fiber and foods with fiber.
What is fiber
Dietary fiber is a nutritious substance that is contained in plants. It is a type of carbohydrate but, unlike other carbohydrates, it can not be broken down into digestible sugar molecules. Therefore, the fiber passes through the intestinal tract relatively intact. However, in its journey, fiber does a lot of work.
foods with fiber - whole grains
dietetics are often interchangeable.
Fiber is important for intestinal digestion and regularity, weight control, regulation of blood sugar, cholesterol and more. It is also related to longevity and decreased cancer risk.
Dietetics experts have established a recommended daily allowance for fiber intake. Men aged 50 or younger should consume 38 grams of fiber per day, and men 51 and older should consume 30 grams. Women aged 50 or younger should consume 25 grams per day, while those over this age should ingest 21 grams.
Foods with fiber
Soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber
Soluble fiber, such as pectin, gum and mucilage, dissolves in water while insoluble fiber, such as hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin, does not. In the body, the soluble fiber dissolves and becomes a substance similar to a gel. Insoluble fiber retains its shape for the most part in the body.
Both soluble and insoluble fibers have important health benefits. It is known that soluble fiber helps lower blood glucose levels (blood sugar). It also helps reduce blood cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, accelerates the passage of food through the digestive system. This helps maintain intestinal regularity and prevent constipation. It also increases the fecal volume, which makes stools easier to pass.
Most foods with vegetable fiber contain soluble and insoluble fiber, but the amounts of each vary in different foods. Good sources of soluble fiber are beans, lentils, oats, peas, citrus fruits, blueberries, apples and barley. Good sources of insoluble fiber are foods made with whole wheat, wheat bran, brown rice, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers. Some foods, such as nuts and carrots, are good sources of both types of fiber.
Benefits of foods with fiber
Dietary fiber helps improve digestion by increasing the volume and regularity of stool. This is probably the most well-known benefit of fiber. Softer stools are easier to pass than hard or watery stools, which not only makes life more comfortable, but also helps maintain colorectal health. Physicians believe that a diet high in fiber can help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis (small, painful bags in the colon).
According to specialists the consumption of foods with fiber also helps to reduce cholesterol. The digestive process requires bile acids, which are made in part with cholesterol. As digestion improves, the liver removes cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Regulation of blood sugar
A study on the relationship between blood glucose levels published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that increased consumption of foods with fiber can reduce blood glucose levels during the standard blood glucose test in fasting (a test of blood sugar levels after a fast during the night).
The article also showed that HbA1c levels also decreased with the increase in fiber. HbA1c refers to glycosylated hemoglobin, which occurs when proteins in the blood mix with blood sugar. It is associated with an increased risk of complications of diabetes. Soluble fiber is especially useful in this case.
Possible cancer prevention
The research has been mixed regarding the link between fiber and the prevention of colorectal cancer. While the National Cancer Institute states that a high-fiber diet does not reduce risk to a clinically significant degree, a 2011 meta-analysis from the British Journal of Medicine found a link between cereal fiber and reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
A more recent animal study suggested that fiber could only cause this benefit if a person possesses the correct type and quantity of intestinal bacteria. The fiber naturally reacts with bacteria in the lower colon and can sometimes ferment into a chemical called butyrate, which can cause cancer cells to self-destruct. Some people naturally have more butyrate-producing bacteria than others, and a diet high in fiber can help stimulate the growth of bacteria.
According to some scientists, fiber could help people have a longer life.
A recent study suggests that cereal fiber, from foods such as wholemeal bread, cereals and pasta, is especially effective. Over a period of 14 years, those who ate the most cereal fiber were 19 percent less likely to die than those who ate less.
Food allergies and asthma
New research suggests that fiber could play a role in the prevention of food allergies, whose existence has baffled scientists. Again, this theory is based on the interaction between fiber and bacteria in the intestine.
Scientists theorize that some people are not producing the proper intestinal bacteria to make the foods commonly associated with allergies, such as peanuts and shellfish. Without the right bacteria, the particles of these foods can enter the bloodstream through the intestine. The fiber helps produce a bacterium called Clostridia, which helps digest them properly.
The same reasoning explains why fiber can help people with asthma. Unwanted particles that escape from the intestine and enter the bloodstream can cause an autoimmune response such as asthmatic inflammation. A 2013 animal study found that mice that consumed more fiber-containing foods were less likely to experience asthmatic inflammation than mice with a low-fiber diet.
Foods rich in fiber
Fiber is found in whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. It is often found in greater concentration in the skins of fruits and vegetables.
Berries like raspberries and blackberries, with around 7 g per cup
Pears with unpeeled skin (5.5 g)
Black beans, which have 15 g per cup, cooked
The 3.5 g of popcorn for every 3 cups make it a fiber snack
Turnip greens have 5 g of fiber when boiled
The green peas have almost 9 g per cup, cooked
Supplements with dietary fiber
People who struggle to get enough fiber in their diets often resort to supplements. Although it is considered that supplements are not as good as foods with fiber, they can be useful for people who seek to regulate their digestion or who suffer from constipation. They also have the same cholesterol stabilizing and blood sugar stabilizing effects, if taken in sufficient quantities. A supplement generally does not contain as much fiber as a fiber-rich food such as lentils or peas, so spraying a fiber powder on your yogurt probably will not provide the fiber you need.
In addition, foods rich in fiber have many other vital nutrients, which you will not get if you add supplements to nutritionally empty foods.
Fiber supplements can interact with certain medications, such as aspirin, carbamazepine, and warfarin. They can also cause swelling and gas as an adverse effect.
High diet in foods with fiber
To get all the benefits of fiber, many people adopt a diet high in fiber. When incorporating more fiber into your diet, start slowly, adding 5 g per day for two weeks, recommends the University of Michigan. If it is consumed too quickly or in excess, the fiber can cause swelling, cramping and even diarrhea. Let your body get used to having more fiber.
The University of Michigan also advises balancing caffeinated beverages with caffeinated beverages. Because caffeine is a diuretic that causes fluid loss, adding excess caffeine to a high fiber diet can cause constipation. Try to drink two cups of caffeinated liquids for every cup of caffeine.
Read the following tips for a successful diet with high fiber content:
Start the day with bran cereal or oatmeal and berries.
Add beans or legumes to your salad or soup for lunch, or grab a bean or lentil burger instead of a meat patty.
At dinner, add high-fiber veggies such as broccoli, corn, and turnip to the meat sauces. Combine with whole wheat pasta or brown rice.
Low fiber diet
Sometimes, medical situations require people to adopt a diet low in fiber, at least for a while. Those who undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery often need to let the intestinal tract rest. People suffering from Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis often maintain a low-fiber diet for a longer time.
People on a low-fiber diet should avoid high-fiber foods that make the intestinal tract work more, such as legumes, beans, whole grains, and many raw or fried vegetables and fruits, according to the National Institutes of Health ( NIH). In this case refined grains are recommended, many cooked vegetables and ripe melons, peaches, plums, bananas and apricots are still fine. But also avoid spicy foods, fried foods, hard or processed meat, caffeine, cocoa powder and nuts.