Fiber for Smooth Digestion (I)

fiber for smooth digestion

From yogurt to the muffins, many foods contain added fiber to be favorable for optimal digestion and excellent health. However, it is necessary to know how much we consume and what can happen if you abuse it.

According to Mariana Ramirez, nutritionist Food Guidance Center (COA), fiber (also known as “fiber”) is heterogeneous group of plant substances resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine, but are treated partially or completely in the colon.

The fiber includes components of plant cell walls (cellulose and pectin hemilcelulosa) and other substances that plants produce in response to damage, including gums, mucilages and polysaccharides.

Fiber is found mainly in the peel of fruit, eg apple and pear cactus in vegetables like broccoli or, in legumes (beans, beans, lentils and chickpeas) and grains (oats, wheat, corn) and its derivatives: biscuits, bread and tortillas, “said Ramirez.

Of one or another

Depending on their reaction with water, fiber is classified into two types: soluble and insoluble. The first form viscous gels in the intestinal tract when combined with the liquid, and its function is to assist the metabolism of lipids (fats) and glucose (sugar).

This increase in viscosity slows stomach emptying, which in turn delays the absorption of glucose and delay the release of some carbohydrates into the blood. In addition, some of these fibers bind to bile acids and interrupt enterohepatic circulation (cyclic process involving the absorption of a substance that has been excreted into the bile through the liver and from the intestine into the blood and again the liver), thus avoiding the reuse of cholesterol.

Some studies have linked the consumption of this type of fiber to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose, and was very helpful in treating diabetes (high blood sugar levels in the body’s inability to take advantage of it) and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol ) and to maintain heart health. Among the major sources of soluble fiber include: oats, beans, apples, strawberries, orange, grapefruit and tangerine, among others, “says nutritionist Mariana Ramirez.

For its part, insoluble fiber provides greater consistency in food and, as such, requires that more prolonged chewing and increase satiety. Its main function is to increase fecal bulk and decrease intestinal transit time, so it helps to reduce constipation.

Several studies have linked its consumption to the prevention of some cancers such as colon cancer. Some of the main sources of insoluble fiber are wheat bran, whole grains and some vegetables like carrots and broccoli, “says COA specialist.

credit to: Adriana Nolasco