Fibers, what they are, where they are found and what are their benefits

“Fibers do not have a high nutritional value, but they have important beneficial effects for our body”, emphasizes nutritionist Jessica Falcone

They do not have a nutritional value but are essential for the health and well-being of the organism: let’s talk about dietary fiber. “Fibers are carbohydrates that are not digested by our body because they have a cellulose composition: they pass into our intestine without being metabolized. They therefore have no nutritional value. Despite this, they have very important beneficial effects for our body ”, explains Dr. Jessica Falcone, nutrition biologist at the IRCCS San Raffaele Turro Hospital and RAF First Clinic in Milan, to Gazzetta Active.

What are the benefits of fiber?
“They increase the speed of intestinal transit and slow down the assimilation of some substances, such as sugars, which are thus absorbed more gradually, without glycemic peaks. The fibers actually act as controllers of the absorption of sugars. Also for this reason they give a longer sense of satiety over time, and therefore also help to keep weight under control. They reduce the glycemic peak post prandial and, consequently, also the insulin response is more moderate “.

Where do we find the fibers?
“There are two different types of fibers: soluble or insoluble in water. The soluble fibers they are contained in fruit (such as pectins), vegetables (such as beta-glucans, also present in oats) and legumes (such as inulin). They have a mainly prebiotic action: they nourish the intestinal bacteria, allow the growth of beneficial, non-pathogenic bacteria. They form a gel that limits the assimilation of fats and glucose: hence the effect of keeping blood sugar under control. They also lower the levels of bad cholesterol, an effect that is seen above all with oats, rich in beta-glucans. The insoluble fibers they are not absorbed but have an osmotic action: they help the absorption of water. This allows to increase the fecal mass, favoring intestinal transit. They are useful for those with intestinal regularity problems. They are found in whole grains, in bran, in legumes, in oil seeds, in dried fruit “.

Read also: Blood sugar, that’s why it must be kept under control

How many fibers should you take on a daily basis?
“We recommend 30 grams of fiber per day, which in practical terms correspond to the classic five portions of daily fruit and vegetables. But be careful if you suffer from irritable colon. And for the sportsmen, it is good not to overdo the fibers before a performance because they reduce the absorption of some minerals, as well as being able to stimulate intestinal transit “.

Read also: Oats like Novak Djokovic: the many properties of a protein cereal

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