Dietary fibers are important substances that ensure a good intestinal function. In case of insufficient dietary fiber, you may experience complications such as hemorrhoids, constipation, diverticula (bulges of the intestinal wall). That’s why it’s recommended to consume at least 30 grams of dietary fiber per day.
In addition to the health-promoting effects of dietary fiber, fiber-rich products have another advantage: they give a feeling of satiety.
Only plant-based foods naturally contain dietary fiber. This concerns certain substances in the cell wall of plants, which contain dietary fibers.
There are 2 types of dietary fiber:
* Soluble fiber is often viscous, causing the food mash to slow down the digestion rate. In the large intestine, the fibers are processed by the intestinal bacteria. This releases substances that stimulate the bowel movement and thus ensure a good bowel function. These fibers are also known to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
* Insoluble fiber provides a water-binding capacity in the gastrointestinal tract. They’re like a kind of sponge in the colon. This makes hard, dry stools soft and supple. Thin stools are thickened by the sponge action.
Soluble fiber is found in:
* Fruit and vegetables
* Pulses (kidney beans, corn, capuchin, brown beans, chickpeas)
Insoluble fiber is found in:
* Unprocessed (whole/whole grain) grains
* Whole grain and brown bread, barley, whole grain couscous, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa
* Muesli, cruesli, oatmeal and bran
* Dried tropical fruits (such as dates and apricots)
* Nuts, seeds and peanuts