Why does the body need dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber fills the stomach and thus contributes to a feeling of satiety, the release of digestive juices and increased absorption of food. They are also absolutely necessary for the normal functioning of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines, to prevent constipation, they are involved in the removal of many metabolic products from the body, such as cholesterol, as well as various poisons that enter the body with food and water – mercury, lead etc.
Dietary fiber is a kind of “food” for beneficial intestinal microorganisms, they maintain the necessary composition of the microflora, without which the human body cannot exist normally.
Insufficient content of dietary fiber in the diet is accompanied by functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, dysbacteriosis, a decrease in the function of the immune system, an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cholelithiasis, certain cancers, etc.
What are dietary fibers and where are they found?
Dietary fiber is divided into soluble and insoluble. Soluble dietary fiber is found mainly in vegetables, fruits, legumes; insoluble fiber – in grain products.
Soluble dietary fiber – pectins, hemicelluloses, gums, etc. – have a sorption effect, due to which they contribute to lowering the level of cholesterol and glucose in the blood, remove toxic substances from the body (lead, mercury, cobalt, cadmium, zinc, chromium, nickel and their compounds, radioactive strontium, cesium, zirconium, metabolic products) .
The most famous representative of soluble dietary fiber is pectin. They are rich in vegetables and fruits such as beets, carrots, peppers, pumpkins, eggplants, apples, apricots, quince, cherries, plums, pears, citrus fruits, berries. Including for this reason, sea kale is useful, containing, like all brown algae, soluble dietary fiber – alginates.
Insoluble dietary fiber – fiber, cellulose, etc. – retain water well, improve digestion, normal intestinal motility, prevent constipation.