What is dietary fiber and what does it do?

Each of us has already picked up some information and recommendations on the subject of nutrition. There are many tips floating around about what to eat a lot of and what to eat little or nothing at all. Our daily diet is accompanied by a wide variety of terms, some of which we only know too little about. One of those terms is definitely "fiber." When you hear the word dietary fiber, it sounds slightly negative. We humans associate ballast with something unimportant and burdensome that can be rid of if necessary. If a ship is about to sink, all the unnecessary ballast is thrown overboard first, so foods rich in fiber would be foods that weigh us down. In fact, however, fiber and foods containing it are beneficial to our health. Anything but unimportant. However, compared to popular and well-known nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins, fiber is generally less well-known. Likewise, few people know about their health benefits. High time to change that! But what exactly is it and why should we eat fiber?

Dietary fiber Food - A distinction is made between insoluble and soluble dietary fiber

Interestingly, unlike other nutrients, fiber is not used by the body. Instead, they are simply excreted. Still, there are health benefits to consuming them. Dietary fibers are plant substances and are therefore mainly found in plant foods. Fruit, dried fruit, legumes like lentils or peas, whole grains - all of these foods are excellent sources of fiber. A distinction is made between insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber can hardly bind water and is not broken down by our intestinal bacteria. Therefore, they ensure an increased stool volume, which stimulates digestion. In this way, leftover food can be excreted more quickly. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, binds a lot of water and can be converted into fatty acids and gases by intestinal bacteria. The water softens the stool, which, together with the high number of bacterial cells, ensures that the bowel is emptied more quickly. Both insoluble and soluble fiber are indigestible by the body. As a result, they ensure a quick feeling of satiety and thus “stretch” the energy content of the food consumed. Anyone who has ever eaten 200 grams of lentils or chickpeas at once can sing a song about it. Although comparatively few calories have been consumed, you are suddenly full. Dietary fiber is not just good for the intestinal flora - dietary fiber also helps you lose weight because you are full faster.

soluble fiber

Fiber Function - Why you should eat foods with fiber

Insoluble fiber stimulates the intestines and thus prevents constipation. They ensure a regular and bulky stool. Dietary fiber supports digestion and promotes intestinal health. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, has a positive effect on our circulatory system. These plant compounds are able to reduce blood fat and support the reduction of cholesterol levels. Specifically, soluble fiber binds bile acid, causing it to be excreted. In order to produce new bile acid, the body uses cholesterol. Therefore, a high-fiber diet is particularly suitable for people with high cholesterol levels. Diabetics also benefit from the diverse effectiveness of dietary fiber, which can, among other things, lower blood sugar. If you know someone with type 2 diabetes and that person is concerned about their health, that person probably eats a primarily plant-based, high-fiber diet. Now you finally know why. However, dietary fiber is also suitable for the prevention of various metabolic, intestinal and circulatory diseases. For your intestinal health alone, you should make sure that you consume these plant substances regularly.

dietary fiber digestion

How much fiber per day is recommended?

The question of how much fiber per day is the right fiber intake is a valid question! Anyone who deals intensively with nutrition pays attention to covering the daily requirement for various nutrients. We can almost guarantee that very few of you consume enough fiber every day. It's not that easy! A whopping 30 grams of fiber per day is recommended for an adult. And mind you, this is only the minimum quantity! You can achieve this amount with 100 grams of legumes or 4 slices of wholemeal bread, for example. That may not sound like much at first glance. In fact, however, almost 70% of people in Germany do not manage to cover their daily fiber requirements. If you also belong to this clear majority, we have good news for you. There are many foods that make it relatively easy for you to meet your daily fiber requirements. These include legumes such as peas, chickpeas, corn or lentils. Most common types of fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears or carrots are also high in fiber. Wholemeal pasta, rice or wholemeal bread are ideal as the basis for a complete meal.

dietary fiber legumes

Simply integrate a lot of fiber into your everyday diet

If you integrate several high-fiber foods into your diet, you will naturally exceed the recommended minimum amount of 30 grams per day. Despite the numerous health benefits, eating too much fiber can also cause problems. Flatulence and an uncomfortable feeling of fullness are your constant companions when you overdo it. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water. This is the only way for the (soluble) fiber to absorb enough liquid. By the way, one glass of our Chipotle Chili already contains all the fiber per day that you need. As with so much else, when it comes to fiber needs, the right amount makes all the difference. If the amount is right, dietary fibers help to get diarrhea under control and strengthen the intestinal flora. A high-fiber diet is therefore important for digestion and well-being, but you should make sure that the amount is right.

Prepared meals with a high fiber content

A healthy lifestyle involves many factors. Both sufficient exercise and the right diet. Like any sport, however, you have to learn about nutrition. This includes understanding which substances trigger what in the body, in what proportions we should consume them and how we prepare our meals based on this. But that's the crux of the matter: most people don't have the time in their everyday lives to think about what they want to cook more intensively in the kitchen. The stressful everyday life, work and social life often do not allow this. Löwenshare has taken on this work and has worked intensively on how to prepare food easily and optimally support an active lifestyle. After around 90 seconds, we conjure up a dish on your plate that not only tastes delicious, but also contains exactly the right amount of fiber that your body needs. No more, no less. Löwenshare is your partner for healthy and balanced ready meals in pure organic quality!