Fiber is represented by dietary fiber, which is not broken down and digested in the gastrointestinal tract. It is present exclusively in foods that are plant–based. Typically, fiber is found in the coarse parts of plants, such as the skin, seeds, or stems.
Nutritionists say that fiber is of great benefit to the human body, and its addition to the diet is a must. In terms of chemical composition, it can be varied, since it is not a chemical compound, but a general name for a carbohydrate group (plant fibers).
What types of fiber are there?
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble includes complex carbohydrates. Their main feature is solubility during the digestion of food. Soluble fiber is like jelly. It becomes such a product due to the absorption of liquid.
Soluble fiber includes:
pectin (fruit) – a polysaccharide (natural thickener) useful for humans. Thanks to pectin substances, diseases associated with the heart and blood vessels do not develop, and their addition to the menu reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood. Pectin prevents cancer, stimulates brain activity and helps to lose weight;
inulin is also considered a natural probiotic. It normalizes the functioning of the stomach and intestines, takes care of the preservation of intestinal microflora and reduces the risk of bloating and heartburn.
Insoluble fiber: properties. This type differs from soluble fiber by filling the stomach and removing harmful elements and substances from it. For example, it is characterized by the elimination of cholesterol. And the main difference is non–digestion by the body.
It is this factor that plays an important role in matters of its functioning. Sources of insoluble fiber include plant foods, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
Insoluble fiber consists of the following substances:
lignins and lignans, which have antitumor properties and have hepaprotective effects, that is, they protect the liver and help cleanse it. However, it should be noted that lignins will help to achieve the effect only together with cellulose.
What are the benefits of fiber?
- Purgation. Cleansing fiber removes the accumulated toxins from the intestines.
- Normalization of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. The digestion of soluble fiber by the body takes a very long time, due to which a person feels full for a long period.
- Decreased appetite and, as a result, prevention of overeating.
- The risk of diabetes is reduced due to the ability of fiber to positively influence sugar levels.
- Optimal blood cholesterol level.
- Delayed absorption of carbohydrates.
- Disease prevention.
How to lose weight by consuming fiber?
Fiber: food. If you consume fiber, then it is quite possible to achieve weight loss. There are two factors that affect the result of losing weight – diet and body characteristics, that is, the ability to assimilate plant fibers. Combining regular exercise with fiber intake is a great way to effectively shed those extra pounds.
Choose foods that are high in fiber as this will lead to a healthy and healthy diet. If you want to get rid of excess weight, a third of the diet should consist of such food. Only in this case the metabolism will be normal.
Fiber is a very valuable product for athletes who exercise regularly as its function is to remove lactic acid from the muscles. As you know, lactic acid is a substance that causes pain during and after training. For bodybuilders to work out muscles, you can not do without fiber if you want to dry out. If you exclude light carbohydrates and increase the amount of plant fibers, then this will lead to the active burning of subcutaneous fat.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is considered to be values from 20 to 35 g, where 10–15 g of them are soluble fiber. Eating small amounts of the substance decreases metabolism and impairs digestion.
Where is fiber located?
Insoluble fiber is found in the following foods:
- cereals (for example, in brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, millet);
- vegetables (cucumber, zucchini, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, parsley, salad, etc.);
- pome products;
- mushrooms (in white and chanterelles).
- Soluble fiber is included in:
- fruits (orange, banana, pear, lemon, apple, etc.);
- berries (in strawberries, raspberries, etc.);
- bran (for example, in corn, oat, wheat, rye, rice, barley);
- leafy vegetables.