Fiber and its effects on the body
It’s worth starting with what fiber is. This is a complex carbohydrate, whose name we often see on useful products that promote a healthy lifestyle. But it is worth asking what exactly is fiber, and many of us will not be able to give a clear answer.
Fiber is a plexus of plant fibers that make up the leaves of horticultural crops, the peel of legumes and grains, as well as vegetables and fruits. For our body, fiber is a hard-to-digest food that the digestive system is not able to completely break down. The question is, why do we need this carbohydrate if we do not get any nutrients from it?
The fact is that, in simple terms, it acts as a sponge that cleanses the intestines and speeds up the process of passing food. Also, this polysaccharide eliminates dysbiosis and helps to normalize the digestion of food in such a way as to reduce fat deposition.
It comes in many forms, some of which you know:
- Cellulose (is an integral part of wood, cotton, peel of various cereals and legumes).
2. Hemicellulose (also found in bran and cereal; lowers cholesterol and sorb microflora)
3. Lignin (found in cereals and bran, with storage becomes less digestible; performs the same functions as previous types of fiber).
4. Pectin (reduces fat absorption and cholesterol; found in citrus, legumes, cabbage, natural juices with pulp).
Having discussed what fiber is and what products contain its types, let’s talk about the daily norm, which allows the body to quickly digest food without putting off fat and increasing cholesterol.
On average, the daily rate of polysaccharide varies from 25 to 35 g. In order to satisfy the norm, you need to use, for example, 0.75-1 kg of bananas or as much as 2.5 kg of cabbage. Fortunately, there are foods that are high in complex carbohydrates.
Important! The daily rate depends not only on body weight, but also on lifestyle and nutrition. By consuming large amounts of junk food, you increase the fiber you need.
Above we talked about the fact that complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables, fruits, various cereals and legumes. That is, foods containing fiber are a fairly large part of our diet, but below we will provide a list of those foods that have an extremely high polysaccharide content.
In vegetables, the percentage is not high. So, for example, per 100 g of radish accounts for only 1.5 g of carbohydrate. This despite the fact that eating a large amount of this vegetable is not possible. The second place is shared by sweet peppers and turnips with 1.4%. These products are also not used in such quantities as to satisfy at least part of the norm.
Next comes the pumpkin and carrots with 1.2 g of fiber per 100 g of production. And finally, potatoes and cabbage, which can be consumed in large quantities, however, these vegetables have a minimum carbohydrate content of 1%.
We conclude that we will not be able to satisfy the need with vegetables, since it is impossible to eat a few kilograms of any product. At best, you will be able to do this for several days, after which you will be disgusted.
Did you know? The body’s greatest need for a polysaccharide occurs at the age of 14 and lasts up to 50 years. Then the need is reduced by 5-10 units.
Fruits and berries
With fruits, things are many times better than with vegetables.
The following is a list of crops that have a maximum complex carbohydrate content:
- raspberries – 5.1 g;
- strawberries – 4 g;
- dates – 3.5 g;
- banana – 3.4 g;
- raisins – 3.1 g.
It is worth saying that dried fruits and berries contain many times more fiber per unit weight due to the fact that they are devoid of moisture.
Also interesting is the fact that massively consumed apples and pears have only 0.6% of the polysaccharide of the total mass, which makes them useless products in terms of fiber source.
Cereals and pasta
Speaking about which foods contain fiber, you should immediately recall the grain crops, since the list of products having the maximum amount of complex carbohydrate should be started with them.
Cereals with a maximum fiber content:
- wheat bran – 43 g;
- flaxseed – 27 g;
- rye – 16.4 g;
- buckwheat – 12 g;
- oat groats – 11 g;
- rice – 10.5 g;
- wheat – 9.6 g;
- sesame seeds – 9.1 g;
- barley groats – 9 g.
That is, most cereals, both processed and unprocessed (whole), incorporate a large percentage of the polysaccharide, allowing us to cover the daily rate by consuming less than 400 g of production. Accordingly, it is necessary to pay attention to crops and products based on them.
Recall that most of the bars for weight loss, which are full of the presence of a huge amount of “all that is useful,” are based on cereals.
Did you know? Fiber prevents the development of type 2 diabetes.
Beans, Nuts, and Seeds
The record holder for fiber content from all legumes is green peas. Yes, it is the green option, not the dry one.
100 g of peas contains 11 g of complex carbohydrates, respectively, the daily rate can be covered by eating only 210-300 g of beans.
This is followed by soy (13 g), almonds (12 g), hazelnuts (10.5 g), peanuts (8 g), beans (7.0 g), chestnut (6.8 g), sunflower seeds (6, 1 g), as well as beans (3.9 g).
On the one hand, legumes can be consumed a lot, as they are great as a side dish, however, a daily diet with a high content of these foods can cause flatulence, bloating and other unpleasant consequences of an excess of legumes.
As for nuts and seeds, the former are seasonal treats, which means it is impossible to build a diet on them. The second, in addition to fiber, contain a huge amount of fat, which obviously will not affect the figure positively.
Important! It is worthwhile to understand that the amount of complex carbohydrate in one product depends on the variety, place of growth, ripeness and amount of sunlight, therefore, data on the same product can vary greatly.
Excess and shortage
Let’s talk about what extremes lead to and how serious this is.
Excess polysaccharide does not bode well for our body.
If you consume a large number of products with a maximum content, you may be “overtaken” by the following problems:
- bloating, followed by diarrhea or constipation;
- in case of a serious overabundance, nausea and vomiting are possible;
- violation of the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract.
That is, if you are fond of foods that contain a lot of complex carbohydrates, then “surprises” associated with the digestive system may follow. This is not to say that you will get serious poisoning, but this condition cannot be called normal either.
In the event of a lack of polysaccharide, your body will respond as follows:
- toxins will accumulate in the body, causing various problems, as well as a general unpleasant odor;
- there will be problems with the vascular system;
- The gastrointestinal tract will work so slowly that the assimilation of food will turn into torture;
- excess weight will appear;
- diabetes can worsen.
If you notice a few coincidences with the above problems that arise as a result of a lack of fiber, then you understand how this polysaccharide is important for our life.
We can conclude that fiber is a natural cleansing “matter” that tells us what foods we should consume, as can be seen from the above lists. The abundance of carbohydrate-rich foods allows us to make a choice, thereby diversifying the diet. Listen to your needs and try to eat more wholesome food.