Even though over the last few years a particular attention was paid to healthy nutrition, back in the ancient Greece a famous philosopher Hippocrates praised whole grain bread because he noticed its intestinal beneficial effects. Fibers have no nutritive value, but are essential for keeping health. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers are found in fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts and pulses and are components of plant cells and walls which retain water and turn into gel during digestion. “Good” bacteria, normally found in our bowels, feed with this fiber, so it is vitally important to consummate them in order to maintain our digestive system in balance. Insoluble fiber is extremely important for our intestine and can be found in whole grains, broccoli, celery, cabbage, wheat and corn germs, brown rice, couscous and other similar plants. They come from cellulose substances found in plant cells. They don’t dissolve or absorb in water, instead they attach to water and pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact thus speeding up our digestion (the passage of food and waste through our gut) since they cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes. Additionally, fiber is related to reducing LDL cholesterol. Generally, diet rich in fiber will help in excreting toxins from our body. Diet should include 18 grams of fiber per day. It also helps with problems of hemorrhoids and constipation. Moreover, diet rich in soluble fiber offers many benefits for diabetics since fibers slows down stomach emptying thus preventing large blood glucose and insulin spikes. Many researches have shown fiber play a significant role in weight loss, since the water which fiber attaches to itself makes our stomach full thus reducing our appetite. Flax, for instance, is very rich in fiber, i.e. lignins, and experts usually relate it to reduced risk of cancer, especially breast cancer.
However, as we increase fiber in our diet, we may experience some intestinal gas or even pain, and it can reduce the effectiveness of some medications. Nevertheless, because of numerous health benefits they provide, make sure they become an integral part of your every meal.