Fiber: Useful Properties
Dietary fiber, or cellulose is the main ingredient of low-calorie diets, the foundation of good nutrition and a healthy diet. Up to the 70-ies of the XX century, this most valuable component, so revered by nutritionists today, was considered a “ballast” and was not regarded as an essential element of the daily diet.
With the re-interpretation of the dietary fiber importance in the gastrointestinal tract functioning market, it gained a real market popularity:
- They started produce dietary fiber with different tastes and flavors
- It was sold in pharmacies and supermarkets.
IN this review, we will point out some very important questions concerning dietary fiber:
What is fiber
Fiber is the common name of complex carbohydrates, found in plant fiber plexus. Since fiber is a form of cellulose, our digestive system can not digest it, and it gets straight to the intestinal microflora.
Perhaps, the most famous and useful property of fiber is the absorption of harmful substances, poisons, pesticides and heavy metals, accumulated in the human body.
Hollow vegetable fibers can absorb the amount of substances a few times greater than their own volume.
This, incidentally, explains another unique property of fiber:
- When they get into the stomach, the fibers swell and provide a feeling of fullness.
- accelerates metabolism,
- significantly reduces the time that food remains in the digestive tract
- promotes a faster absorption of the nutrients and a faster excretion of harmful substances.
If you consume foods rich in fiber on a regular basis, you are guaranteed to provide yourself with excellent bowel movements, supports for the heart, liver, pancreas and lungs functioning. In addition,
- Fiber helps to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels
There are several types of fiber (e.g., pectin and cellulose), which in turn are divided into water soluble and insoluble. It is important to consume a balanced amount of both – and this means that only bran will not be able to provide you with the daily rate of crude fiber.
What foods are rich in fiber
Given that the fiber source is the entanglement of coarse plant fibers, its highest amount is found in:
- a) raw fruits and vegetables,
- b) seeds,
- c) legumes and grains.
That is why the most effective and sparing weight loss diet is considered to be the diet, based on:
- grated carrot,
A large number of water-soluble fiber is found in:
- a) beans,
- b) grapefruit and lemon,
- c) pumpkin seeds,
- d) strawberries,
- e) black currants,
- f) gooseberries.
Another rich source of plant fiber are nuts, but their consumption is reduced to a minimum – despite all their benefits, they are still very high in calories.
Further to our discussion on products, rich in water-soluble fiber. You can find a considerable amount of it in the grain of:
- a) oats,
- b) wheat,
- c) rye.
Oatmeal for breakfast is the best way to start the day, run a proper functioning of the digestive tract and get the right amount of energy. By the way, porridge, despite its popularity among nutritionists, is also quite high in calories, especially cooked with milk or cream.
Fiber is found in bread and pasta. Even if you don’t stick to a weight loss diet, you can get some fiber from these two products. But the most popular source of fiber – are high-fiber crispbreads. Besides the fact that they contain the required concentration of cellulose and pectin, crispbreads contain a minimum amount of calories.
Eating insoluble fiber (lignin, cellulose) is just as important for your body, as the provision of soluble fiber. You can find insoluble fiber in almost all vegetables, yet raw carrot is particularly rich in it. A proper “vitamin” salad is a basis of any carbohydrate diet and a source of essential fiber.
The daily norm of crude vegetable fiber consumption is 30 grams. You may find it quite difficult to comply with this demand of your body. Despite the fact a large variety of fruits and vegetables are very rich in fiber, you will have to consume extremely large quantities of these to achieve the desired number.
Freeze-dried products can become your magic wand, if you decided to stick to an effective diet for weight loss. Crispbreads and bran contains the maximum concentration of useful fibers. They can make up for the daily norm without adding extra calories.
Who needs to take dietary fiber?
The vast majority of scientists agree that daily consumption of coarse fibers is a mandatory requirement and the foundation of a proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract for everyone.
- triggers the cleansing process of the body,
- restores intestinal function,
- gradually restores normal metabolism,
- improves the condition of skin, hair and nails,
- stabilizes the weight.
When the use of dietary fiber is strictly contraindicated
However, coarse fibers might damage people suffering from acute gastric diseases, like:
If you have any serious gastrointestinal tract disorder, you should always consult a specialist before proceeding to complex carbs diet for weight loss or any other diet at all.
! However, even perfectly healthy people should switch to the active use of fiber in a gradual manner – otherwise they might be suffering from bloating, colic and indigestion.
DISHES, RICH IN FIBER
- Bran with yogurt or juice, apples and bananas
- Oatmeal Porridge cooked with water, with dried apricots, raisins and dried apples
- “Vitamin” salad of grated carrots and cabbage
- Berry Mix (strawberries, currants, raspberries, gooseberries) with a light honey sauce
- A stew of beans, cilantro and walnuts
- Salad of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
- Summer salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers
- Light vegetable soup Minestrone
- Lentil-tomato soup with herbs.
Importance of fiber for weight loss
Dietary fibers are natural compounds that enter the body with plant food. Because of the global epidemic of obesity, a lot of attention is paid to fiber in recent years.
There are two main components of fiber:
- Fibers that are soluble in water
- Insoluble fibers.
The most studied component of fiber is cellulose. This component can bind water, absorb organic and mineral components of food, products of metabolism and enhance synthesis of intestinal bacteria.
Dietary fibers contain a large amount of pectin substances that have a significant influence on the metabolic processes. Pectin prevents rapid absorption of fats, normalizes the composition of intestinal flora and reduces the activity of decay.
Pectin substances are involved in the defusing and removal of certain substances enter the body (especially heavy metals). They absorb pathogens, toxins, metal ions and remove them from the body.
Fibers interacting with intestinal bacteria increase the intestinal motility. Due to delayed absorption of simple carbohydrates, the glycemic effect of food decreases. This property of dietary fibers determines their positive role for patients with overweight or obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders.
Insoluble dietary fibers practically have no influence on the digestion process.
Soluble fibers contribute to the formation of gelatinous substances in the gastrointestinal tract that:
- Prevent the absorption of fast carbohydrates.
- Stimulate the excretion of bile acids.
- Help to reduce cholesterol level.
It is recommended to use daily 30-40 grams of fiber per 1000 kcal (about 3-4 grams of dietary fiber per meal). Good source of dietary fiber are contained in dried fruits, green peas, cereals, citrus fruits, legumes, berries.