What is fiber? Fiber is one of the most important parts of a healthy diet. They get the digestion going and can even protect against some diseases. Health Bas answers the most important questions about healthy nutritional components.
What is fiber?
Admittedly, when doctors christened these substances “dietary fiber”, it was believed that they were useless and the coarse-fiber foods were still interpreted as fiber for the body. But it has long been known that the opposite is true.
Nevertheless, the namesake was not entirely wrong, because fiber actually does not provide the body with food. They are structural and support substances or indigestible fibers from plant-based foods (such as parts of the shell of grain or fruit) that the body cannot use to generate energy. But these substances have all the more beneficial effects, such as a digestive and preventive effect, for our body, without which it cannot do.
The most important dietary fibers include cellulose, pectin, hemicellulose and lignin.
What is fiber: an overview of the types
Basically, a distinction is made between two types of dietary fiber: Soluble dietary fiber is mainly found in cereals and legumes. They bind fluid, swell and thus increase their volume in the body – which, among other things, leads to a long-lasting feeling of satiety.
Insoluble fiber is particularly found in fruits and vegetables (including, for example, the inulin from certain vegetables) and has a positive effect on digestion, among other things.
Important to know: There is no fiber in animal foods! This is exactly one of the main reasons why experts keep emphasizing that we should eat as much fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes as possible.
What is fiber: their effects
Because they have to be chewed well and they swell up in the stomach, the fibers from grain, legumes and vegetables are good and particularly sustainable. A diet rich in fiber is also good for digestion: fiber ensures a healthy intestinal flora, can prevent constipation and even have a preventive effect against colon cancer. At the same time, fiber binds toxins from food as they “march” through the body so that they cannot cause any damage.
Fiber is one of the most important parts of a healthy diet. They get the digestion going and can even protect against some diseases.
What is fiber: the positive effects on blood sugar levels
Figure-conscious people also appreciate that foods with high fiber content only allow their blood sugar level to rise slowly – this prevents food cravings. Another effect of dietary fiber plays an important role, especially when it comes to healthy weight loss and staying slim: Since they also “absorb” bile acids, the body diligently ensures that the blood is replenished. In doing so, he consumes more cholesterol – fiber thus lowers the cholesterol level and thus protects the heart and blood vessels.
US studies with 91,058 men and 245,186 women even showed that increasing the fiber intake by 10 grams per day reduces the risk of a heart attack by 16 percent. In addition, fiber helps the body absorb and store less fat because it slows down certain fat-breaking enzymes at work. Another plus: foods rich in fiber contain hardly any fat.
How Much Fiber Should You Consume?
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends that adults consume at least 30 grams of fiber per day through their food. Most Germans, however, are far below this recommendation and only eat between 17 and 19 grams a day. Because of the swelling properties of fiber, it is important to drink enough (around 1.5 liters of water per day).
With all Health bas recipes, you can read off the fiber content in portions. Just have a look at the nutritional table under the respective recipe.
Which foods are fiber in?
Basically, fiber can be found in plant-based, especially fiber-rich foods. Fruit and vegetables are important suppliers, and legumes and whole grain products also contain a lot of fiber. Flaxseed and bran contain large amounts of the important digestive aids in bulk. A recipe that unites several suppliers: the colorful vegetable gratin with wholemeal crumble. One serving contains 13 grams of fiber. The sea buckthorn kefir drink provides 3.5 grams of fiber to drink.