A healthy diet is the essential part for health maintenance. Know how to properly nourish our body and give quality of life and longevity to our body. Among the main healthy foods we have the fibers, so let’s understand a little more about them:
The fibers are complex carbohydrates and do not increase blood sugar levels. They are the non-digestible part of the plant food, because they resist digestion as well as intestinal absorption, they produce complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine. During the digestive process remain intact, do not undergo any modification. Even so, they have very positive physiological effects for our health. The fibers can be soluble and insoluble. The importance of fiber is in the prevention of various health problems like obesity, constipation, hemorrhoids, coronary heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, colon cancer and other chronic diseases. Studies show that increased intake of dietary fiber is associated with reduced lethal risk.
1. Soluble Fibers
They include gums, mucilages, most pectins and some hemicelluloses Soluble fibers are usually fermentable, glaccidal and viscous, which gives them a great number of physiological benefits, such as: slowing of the transit in the small intestine, modulation of intestinal motility , energy supply to the intestinal mucosa, increased mass, stool volume and consistency, decreased colon pH and increased protection against infections Soluble fibers are substances that, in addition to providing a sense of satiety to the body, which is great to control the appetite of those who wish to lose weight, also help reduce the rates of bad cholesterol, LDL, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease, and helping control blood sugar levels, which benefits people who have diabetes.
Actions of soluble fibers
. Satiety to the organism
Healthy slimming because they are processed more slowly by the body, the gastric emptying is delayed and there is the prolongation of the feeling of satiety. If we take longer to feel hungry, consequently we eat less, which results in weight loss. Another advantage is that foods high in soluble fibers have low caloric density.
. Contribute to the formation of intestinal bacterial flora
As we know the soluble fibers are not digested in the stomach, but in the intestine, where they are exposed to bacterial flora (intestinal flora), material necessary for its degradation. The fermentation of these fibers by the bacteria of the flora allows lowering the pH, which is favorable for health of the organism in several aspects. Fermented fibers become necessary nutrients for the development of positive bacteria lactobacilli and biofides, this overpopulation inhibits the growth of pathological (malignant) bacteria, strengthening the Immune System, protecting the organism against gastrointestinal diseases and colon cancer, because they are fermented by the bacteria present in the colon, producing short chain fatty acids (butyrate) that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, thus protecting against colon cancer.
. Reducing Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
The binding of soluble fibers to bile acids decreases the reabsorption power of bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol). One of the ways that soluble fiber can lower blood cholesterol is by its ability to decrease the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestines. It works like this: when the fiber interferes with the absorption of bile, this bile is excreted in the faeces. To compensate for the loss of bile, the liver produces more bile salts (the body uses cholesterol to make bile salts), so to get the cholesterol needed to produce a larger amount of bile salts, the liver increases its production of LDL receptors. These receptors are responsible for the release of cholesterol from LDL molecules into the bloodstream. Therefore, the more bile salts are produced in the liver, the more LDL cholesterol is taken from the blood.
Tip: Research has shown that an increase of 5 to 10 g per day of soluble fiber lowers LDL cholesterol by about 5%.
. Protect against heart disease
Soluble fibers act in the prevention of coronary diseases because they control cholesterol, glycemia and obesity.
. Control of blood sugar levels – Glycemia
The soluble fibers form a soft superficial layer, next to the small intestine and serve as a barrier in the absorption of some nutrients, slowing down the metabolism, essentially of sugarcane and fats, this contributes to the balance of the energy metabolism, controlling the abrupt rate increases of blood glucose.
Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2, is one of the major chronic noncommunicable diseases that affect the population today. There are innumerable factors that can contribute to its appearance, being the inadequate food habit of the population, the main one. If poorly controlled, diabetes mellitus can lead to various health complications.
Food is one of the bases of its treatment, for this, changes in lifestyle, through the adoption of healthy eating habits, such as increased fiber intake, are fundamental for a metabolic adequacy.
It is known that the type and quantity of dietary fibers act differently in the control of diabetes, however, epidemiological evidence shows that the beneficial effects are mainly due to the consumption of soluble fibers.
Although the mechanisms and effects of soluble fibers in glycemic control are not fully understood, several studies have shown that diets rich in this type of fiber can help reduce and maintain glycemia at adequate levels, helping to control type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Thus, it is concluded that the performance of the nutritionist is fundamental in the patient’s awareness of the importance of adequate nutrition. This action should include a continuous stimulus to the consumption of food sources of soluble fibers, as they provide beneficial effects on glycemic control, and in turn, a better quality of life for these patients.
2. Insoluble fibers
Insoluble fiber is food fiber that does not readily dissolve in liquid and does not form a gel. It adds volume to the stool to facilitate the passage of waste and it also helps speed up the digestion and movement of food through the intestines and stomach. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect. Some health benefits of insoluble fiber include a lower risk of heart disease and control of caloric intake. They include cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose and some pectins. They decrease intestinal transit time, increase stool weight, slow glucose absorption, and delay starch digestion. Different from the soluble ones are non-fermentable in the intestine. Insoluble fiber is not a source of calorie.
Action of Insoluble Fibers
. Prevent Constipation
As indigestible material is in the gastrointestinal tract absorbing fluid and adhering to other digestion by-products that are primed to become feces. Accelerates waste movement and processing, helping to prevent gastrointestinal blockage or decrease in bowel movements.
. Reduces the risk of diverticular diseases
Preventing constipation and intestinal blockages helps in reducing the risk of developing folds and hemorrhoids in the colon, also reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
As soluble fibers also insoluble fibers cause feeling of satiety by physically filling space in the stomach and intestine giving the sensation of being full. Excellent effect for weight loss diets, controlling weight or obesity.