These dietary fibers, which are the main daily conversation wherever we go, originate from foods of plant origin such as fruits (plums, kiwis, pears, strawberries, oranges, etc.), vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, green beans, artichokes, etc.), legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils, broad beans, etc.), whole grains (oat bran, oat flakes, etc.) and whole-wheat bread. However, what is their use since our digestive tract is unable to digest these fibers which run through it until they reach the large intestine in an intact form before they are discharged with the stool? Let’s read on.
We should note first that dietary fibers are either soluble or insoluble: we find soluble fibers in fruits, vegetables, pulses, oats, etc. while we find insoluble fibers in whole grains and whole-grain breads for example.
Nutrition-wise, a diet high in fibers (unless otherwise advised by your doctor) may help in general in the following domains:
1 – To prevent constipation by increasing stool weight and decreasing intestinal transit time. This also reduces the risk of certain disorders (hemorrhoids, for example) and has a protective effect against colon cancer.
2 – To reduce cravings and delay the sensation of hunger through their satiating effect. Also, this can contribute in weight regulation without any additional effort.
3 – To slow the digestion process and the absorption of carbohydrates and subsequently slow the rise in blood glucose levels at the end of a meal (very interesting especially for diabetics)
4 – To reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) level in the blood.
Finally, and in order for us to fully enjoy all the interesting effects that dietary fibers offer us, it is always important for us to vary their sources while not forgetting to drink a good dose of water at the same time.