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What is fiber and why is it needed

We often hear about the beneficial properties of this substance, but what functions does it actually perform in our body?

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Do not self-medicate! In our articles we collect the latest scientific data and opinions of authoritative experts in the field of health. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.

We often hear phrases like “high-fiber foods” or “low-fiber foods.” This leads us to believe that fiber is very important for the body (it is), but what does it actually affect?

Why does the body need fiber?

Fiber is a carbohydrate that is found only in vegetable products. But, unlike other carbohydrates (such as sugar, which is absorbed into the blood) or proteins and fats, fiber passes through our digestive tract and is not digested by the body.

Fiber is usually divided into 2 large groups:

  • Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, turns into a gel-like material. It is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and plantain.
  • Insoluble fiber, which, as the name implies, does not dissolve in water. Among the sources of this fiber are whole grain flour, wheat bran, nuts, legumes and vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes.

The question arises: if fiber is not digested, why do we need it at all? And what exactly can we get from it? So, about everything in order.

As mentioned above, soluble fiber turns into a gel by binding to water. This helps slow down the digestive process, which is very important during weight loss. In addition, it helps to soften stools so that digestive products pass through the gastrointestinal tract more easily. But that’s not all: soluble fiber helps reduce triglycerides and total cholesterol. It also helps to control blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Insoluble fiber passes through the body in almost the same form as it enters. This added mass helps maintain bowel function, increases stool volume, and prevents or relieves constipation. However, in some specific cases, fiber can aggravate the situation. If you have digestive problems, be sure to consult a doctor and consult about the use of fiber.


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