It is good for your digestion, helps control your appetite, and regulates cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood.
Medical Advisor Amida Carvajal Guzmán – Nutritionist
In terms of nutrition, it is crucial to understand the properties of the foods we eat. It helps people to be aware of how important healthy eating is for our bodies, in which fiber plays a fundamental role.
Amida Carvajal Guzmán -a clinical nutritionist at the University of Antioquia, a diabetes educator and a specialist in the management of metabolic diseases- says there is something unique about this ingredient, which is not actually a nutrient. For this reason, the body does not digest it, which helps to improve bowel movements.
The specialist therefore believes that the main function of fiber is to avoid constipation, and help prevent diseases such as colon cancer and ulcerative colitis. It also plays an important role in controlling irritable bowel syndrome, lowering cholesterol and balancing carbohydrates. Among its negative effects are abdominal pain, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.
“If you want to lose weight, fiber is great in aiding your diet. Its ability to keep you full helps keep your appetite under control. It also prevents the accumulation of toxins in the body and decreases the absorption of fats and sugars by regulating cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood,” says Carvajal.
Types of fiber
There are two types of this substance: soluble and insoluble fiber. The first type is found in oat bran, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and in some citrus fruits. According to Amida Carvajal, its properties retain large amount of water and create a kind of viscous gel in the body, which serves to delay the absorption of fats.
The second type, insoluble fiber, is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. It is important because it increases the stool bulk due to its ability to hold water, it has a laxative effect, it does not break down easily, and requires lots of chewing, which increases the feeling of fullness.
According to our expert, the excess of high-fiber foods may be harmful to some vegan diets, hindering the absorption of calcium, iron and zinc. To avoid this, it is best to consult with a nutritionist, who can recommend supplements that will not create an imbalance in the body. Fiber therefore becomes a great aid in leading a healthy and balanced diet that is not too hard to establish as a habit.
Controlling your eating habits
When should you take fiber supplements? Before using a commercial alternative to achieve a change in your digestion, it is always best to try using natural sources first, increasing your intake of it. If this does not work, in addition to changing your eating habits in the case of constipation or diverticulosis, fiber supplements can be taken along with plenty of water.