Vegetable Fibers and their importance in the diet

  • 2014
Table of contents hide 1 A perfect balance 2 Types of plant fibers 2.1 Natural sources of soluble fiber are: 2.2 Sources of insoluble fiber are: 3 Other good reasons to consume foods with fiber 4 How to cover the daily requirement of plant fibers 5 6 7 8 Vegetable Fibers and their importance in the diet

The fiber is found in the walls of cells of plant origin.

It consists of cellulose, hemicellulose and other complex carbohydrates (carbohydrates). Vegetable fibers travel through the digestive tract without being modified since our body lacks enzymes to be able to metabolize them. Thus, they manage to sweep away all the waste formed, which is eliminated through feces.

The fiber is found in the walls of cells of plant origin.

It consists of cellulose, hemicellulose and other complex carbohydrates (carbohydrates). Vegetable fibers pass through the digestive tract without being modified since our body lacks enzymes to be able to metabolize them. This is how they manage to sweep all the waste formed, which is eliminated through feces.

The fiber not being assimilated by our body, remains in the intestine, stimulating peristaltic movements, increasing the volume of feces, which means that daily evacuation is greatly benefited.

Both the lack and the excess in the consumption of vegetable fibers can be detrimental to maintain a good state of health.

A perfect balance



As a result of its deficit, constipation appears, the possibility of suffering from hemorrhoids and / or intestinal diverticula increases.

On the other hand, excess fibers reduce the absorption of calcium, zinc and iron through the intestine. When consumed excessively in a short period of time it can generate gas, flatulence, bloating and cramping. These symptoms are reduced until they disappear when the natural bacteria in our digestive tract adapt to the increase in fiber in the diet.

Fiber must be part of our daily diet, since it benefits the proper functioning of the intestines. If the daily consumption of vegetable fiber is low or nil, the recommendation is to incorporate it progressively, increasing its consumption every day, until it reaches 25-40 grams daily.

As mentioned earlier, fiber cannot be digested and therefore metabolized. This does not mean that it is not usable, but quite the opposite, since its effects are various and beneficial from when it is consumed until it is eliminated.

  • At the level of the mouth, the fiber stimulates salivation, since it requires more chewing.
  • In the stomach it captures a high amount of water, which delays gastric emptying and thus generates a greater feeling of satiety. That is why in most slimming diets fiber is highly advised.
  • At the intestinal level, it favors bowel movements, increases the volume of feces and stimulates their propulsion outwards.

Types of plant fibers


There are two large groups of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Both soluble and non-soluble cause that feeling of satiety once ingested, due to its great uptake of liquids. Both prevent constipation and colorectal cancer.
Soluble fibers slow down the absorption of glucose and cholesterol, which is beneficial for diabetics and those with high levels of blood fat.

Natural sources of soluble fiber are:

Oat bran, nuts (nuts), barley, seeds, legumes (lentils), apple and potato peel and other fruits and vegetables.

The sources of insoluble fiber are:

Whole grains, wheat bran and whole grains.

Other good reasons to consume foods with fiber



In addition to the above, other reasons to incorporate fiber into our daily diet are:

  1. your important help to treat obesity and other weight problems,
  2. Its effectiveness against gallstone formation,
  3. The improvement in the treatment of diverticulosis,
  4. Prevention before the onset of colon and rectal cancer,
  5. Its action to prevent and control type 2 diabetes,
  6. Its effectiveness against the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome,
  7. Its preventive action against hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases (arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, etc.)
  8. And finally what we have already said, its powerful effect towards good digestion, and intestinal transit.

For a correct selection of fiber-rich foods, we provide you with a table with the grams of fiber contained per 100 grams of food.

Foodgr. fiber
every 100 gr.
Wheat bran44.0
Almonds14.3
Coconut13.6
Wholemeal bread8.5
Radishes, peanuts8.1
Beans, beans7.4
Spinach and hazelnuts6.3
Integral rice5.5
Green peas5.1
Lentils3.7
Pear, Banana3.3
Carrot3.0
Brussels sprouts2.9
White bread2.7
Beet Beet2.5
Plums, apples and oranges2.0
Cauliflower, cabbage and celery1.7

How to cover the daily requirement of plant fibers



In order to comply with the approximate daily recommendation of 30 gr. of fiber we should ingest daily:

  • 2 fruits,
  • 150 gr. of vegetables,
  • 50-60 gr. of whole wheat bread or 2 spoons of wheat bran +
  • 50 gr. of legumes

Modifications in our diet should be gradually avoiding the ingestion of high amounts of fiber. If our body is not habituated, we can start increasing the rations of fruits and vegetables, until reaching 5 a day, replace the breads, flours and rice, with its integral version, that is to say white bread and rice in its integral variety.
Take legumes and whole grains 2-3 times a week, and get used to incorporate wheat bran in our preparations, with 2 tbsp / day will be enough, along with everything mentioned above.

As we consume more fiber, we must increase the amount of water ingested, since fiber consumes large amounts of water from our body.
Therefore, drinking 1.5 to 2 liters a day of water is enough to avoid dehydration and possible intestinal obstruction.

Finally, we must consider that there are no magic solutions, with respect to fibers and constipation. It is not a matter of adding any integral product, without modifying all our bad eating habits. Our advice is to make gradual modifications to the total of all the foods we eat every day, as well as to make the fact of drinking two liters of water a day come true.

Vegetable Fibers and their importance in the diet

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