Dietary fiber is found exclusively in foods of plant origin and is especially concentrated in the outer layers of these, such as the peel or skin of fruits, vegetables, legumes or cereals. It is made up of very complex and resistant molecules that our small intestine is not able to fully digest.
The enzymes of the bacterial flora partially ferment the fiber and break it down into various chemical compounds of great importance to the body.
Although its benefits are many and varied, the most notable is the one it exerts on intestinal function, since it helps to regulate and prevent constipation. Fiber creates solid waste and absorbs water, making the stool larger and less consistent. Thanks to this, the evacuation process is faster and more frequent.
In addition, it has other properties:
Fiber is a component that cannot be lacking in our diet
- Regulates glucose levels: Soluble fiber is capable of slowing down digestion and the absorption of carbohydrates, which is especially beneficial for people with diabetes.
- Reduces cholesterol: Different studies have shown that fiber intake reduces cholesterol absorption.
- Helps to control weight: Foods rich in fiber need to chew a lot and, as it is not digested in the stomach, it enhances the feeling of fullness and decreases appetite.
- Prevents colon and rectal cancer: It has been observed that populations in which more fiber is consumed, there is a lower incidence of colon tumors.
- This may be due to the fact that fiber carries with the stool a good part of the agents that potentially cause this type of cancer, reducing the time in which they are in contact with the colon mucosa.
Where do we find it?
- In whole grains.
- In fruit, especially in citrus, banana and plum.
- In all legumes.
- In vegetables: peas, spinach, carrots.
- In all kinds of beverages and enriched foods.