THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY FIBRE

In Italy we have a popular saying where we do not send people “to hell”, to imprecate on someone, but we send them “to the bathroom”.  Well, in any case, in the second case we know that we have given to the other person a pleasure! (I’m not so sure in the first) In fact, for your “bad luck” to occur must essentially happen one of two things: the unfortunate appears a sudden attack of diarrhea (which you, perhaps at that time, would be more inclined), or must have eaten in the previous hours a good number of foods rich in fiber.

Today I would like to talk to you about the importance of dietary fiber for maintaining good health, also considering the fact that the WHO, in recent studies, correlates how a correct daily intake of fiber can have beneficial effects for our health. An adequate intake of dietary fiber, in fact, helps to prevent pathologies such as mild dyslipidemia, diverticulosis of the colon constipation, coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and malignant tumors of the large intestine. Before starting to describe all its skills it is necessary to make a distinction between soluble and insoluble fiber as they have somewhat different specific properties. Insoluble fiber has an anti-constipation function, accelerating intestinal emptying, reduces the contact times of toxic substances, which we introduce with nutrition, with the cells of the intestine that could lead in the long run, to the formation of colorectal tumors. Soluble fiber has several properties in that, thanks to its ability to interact with water already in the stomach, it manages to give a sense of early satiety, thus helping cases of overweight and obesity, lowers the intestinal pH by inhibiting potentially harmful microorganisms and favoring beneficial ones, also assuming a viscous consistency, slows down the absorption of nutrients and cholesterol at the intestinal level thus preventing some cases of diabetes , dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. Finally, it is also attributed prebiotic properties by providing nourishment to the bacterial flora, which protects us from the formation of tumors and reduces the level of cholesterol that our body normally produces.
It is also true that, excessive fiber intake, it can cause a malabsorption of micronutrients, which can become trapped and secreted along with toxins in the feces. So, the advice is to try to introduce daily a quantity of fibers from 20g to 35g for adults, and 5g + 1g for each year of age for children, always in an insoluble/soluble ratio of 3/1.

Some recommended food rich of dietary fibre to eat

Among the foods that contain the most insoluble fiber we find bran, oilseeds (almonds, peanuts, nuts), dried fruits (figs, plums, apples) while those with more soluble fiber are legumes (beans, beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas), cereals (common wheat, barley, rye flour) and vegetables (chicory, artichokes, asparagus), finally richer in soluble fiber with prebiotic functions are oats , bulbs (jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, leek), fruit (banana, kiwi) and konjak flour.

Stay Healthy! Eat food rich of fiber!

Dr. Andrea Riva

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