Author: Dr. Sanaz Majd
According to the world health organization, the average adult should consume about 25 grams of dietary fiber (fiber) daily. However, most people do not consume enough fiber.
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrates. A large part of the digested carbohydrate is broken down in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) tract and then absorbed from the intestine into the blood. But fiber is the component of plants. It is not digested or absorbed by the digestive system. Dietary fiber simply pass through the intestine and out with the chair.
You may ask: what is the benefit of fiber if it passes “transit” through the body? The use of dietary fiber in that they increase food ball, make the consistency of the stool more soft and easy bowel movements. The main reason which encourages people to eat food with high fiber, preventing constipation, and it’s the right decision. Constipation may cause discomfort, causing abdominal pain, bloating, pain when urinating and stress. He is also the main cause of unpleasant problems, like hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Dietary fiber – a vital component to prevent all these unpleasant phenomena.
Fiber not only normalizes bowel function, but, as numerous studies, has a number of other potentially useful properties:
“Diverticula” is a tiny saccular protrusion of the intestine. This is a fairly common phenomenon is known as “diverticulosis”. If a small amount of food particles stuck in these “pouches” or “pockets”, these sites can become contaminated with bacteria and become inflamed. This inflammation is what we call “diverticulitis”. Please note: everything in medicine that ends in “-itis” means inflammation. Diverticulitis is a very painful phenomenon, as those can confirm who they hurt. The increase of the bolus with the aid of dietary fiber promotes the passage of intestinal contents and food particles, facilitates their movement through the intestines, and thereby protects against diverticulitis.
Fiber increases food ball and causing a longer feeling of satiety. Dietary fiber protects against overeating, and people, whose diet is rich in fiber, less prone to obesity and may even lose weight.
As shown by numerous studies (5,6) a diet high in fiber is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Interestingly, with each 10 grams of fiber the risk of coronary attacks has decreased by 14% and the mortality caused by coronary syndrome decreased by 27% in men and women participating in one study.
A diet based on whole grain foods high in fibre (especially bran and cereal fiber) also reduces the risk of diabetes and allows to control the level of blood glucose in diabetics. This, at least partially, can be attributed to a more low glycemic index foods high in fiber.
Various studies also show that soluble fiber can reduce total cholesterol and LDL, although this reduction is likely to be insignificant. In particular, the most effective can be whole grain oats.
Some groups of experts have reported that eating more fiber can protect themselves from the risk of colorectal cancer. However, data are still controversial, it is necessary to await the results of further research.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is incurable, unpleasant disorder in which patients suffer from constipation or diarrhea and discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract caused by certain foods or stress. The role of dietary fiber in the treatment of IBS is currently not completely defined. Studies show mixed results. Fiber can potentially worsen the symptoms of IBS in some patients. One large study refutes the effectiveness of dietary fiber patients with IBS. Other studies have shown the benefits of eating plantain, in particular, for the treatment of IBS. In General, try eating fiber will not bring long-term harm to the patients of IBS. Just remember, go to the fiber and increase its amount in the diet should gradually.
Food sources of fiber
There are two types of dietary fiber, both are potentially useful for health. Soluble fiber (psyllium, oat, pectin, nuts, beans) water soluble – this type of fiber is most associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Insoluble fiber (wheat bran, legumes, brown rice) do not dissolve in water and are best suited for the normalization of the bowel. It is desirable to include in the diet dietary fiber of both types.
Tips on how to consume more fiber
- Prefer whole grain products (bread from 100% whole grains, brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc.) rather than products made from refined grains (white bread, white rice, etc.)
- With each meal eat a serving (or two) of vegetables.
- Instead of refined products with a high degree of processing it is better to eat for dessert fruit.
- Instead of juice is better to choose the fruit.
- In the morning prefer cereals that have a lot of fiber, not sugar.
- Constipated eat prunes – source of dietary fiber, which has a softening effect on the stool.
- Add in food, a couple of tablespoons of pure wheat bran.
- This is the best ways of getting fiber from food. However, if these methods are not suitable for you and you decide to choose dietary Supplements, remember that you need to gradually increase the dosage of fiber in order to minimize the risk of bloating, cramps and flatulence.
- If you increased the proportion of fiber in the diet, it is necessary to drink enough liquid, commensurate with the increased amount of dietary fiber.
This article is written by Dr. Sanaz Majd, a Board certified physician in family medicine, practicing everything from Pediatrics to geriatrics in Sunny San Diego. Having the experience of teaching and after 10 years of podcasting as “Doctor by phone” for Macmillan Publishing, now she runs her own medical YouTube channel. Channel “Majd MD” focuses on health-oriented busy person, which also is not enough time, but he is thirsty for knowledge. You would be surprised how many health conditions can be cured without having to wait at a doctor’s office. Read more on the website www.youtube.com/c/MajdMD.