Diet and Nutrition 2022

Insolubleúfibers: what they are, what they are for and rich foods

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Insolubleúfibers: what they are, what they are for and rich foods
Insolubleúfibers: what they are, what they are for and rich foods

Insoluble fibers have the main benefit of improving intestinal transit and combating constipation, as they increase the volume of feces and stimulate perist altic movements, making food pass faster and more easily through the intestine. Unlike soluble fibers, insoluble fibers do not absorb water, and pass through the stomach unchanged.

This type of fiber can be found mainly in foods such as wheat bran, brown rice, beans and whole-grain breakfast cereals, as well as being present in some fruits, such as pears, plums with skin, oranges and tangerines, for example.

So, the main benefits of insoluble fibers are:

  1. Maintain regular intestinal transit and fight constipation;
  2. Preventing hemorrhoids, for facilitating the elimination of feces;
  3. Prevent colon cancer, by retaining toxic substances that are ingested;
  4. Reduce intestinal contact with toxic substances, by making them pass through the intestine more quickly;
  5. Help you lose weight, by giving you greater satiety and delaying the feeling of hunger.

The total daily fiber recommendation, which includes soluble and insoluble fiber, is 25g for adult women and 38g for adult men.

Foods rich in insoluble fiber

The following table shows the main foods rich in insoluble fiber and the amount of fiber per 100 g of food.

Food Insoluble Fibers Soluble Fibers
Peeled almonds 8, 6 g 0, 2 g
Peanuts 6, 6 g 0, 2 g
Green olives 6, 2 g 0, 2 g
Grated coconut 6, 2 g 0, 4 g
Nuts 3, 7 g 0, 1 g
Raisins 3, 6 g 0, 6 g
Avocado 2, 6 g 1, 3 g
Black grape 2, 4 g 0, 3 g
Pear with Peel 2, 4 g 0, 4 g
Apple with peel 1, 8 g 0, 2 g
Strawberry 1, 4 g 0, 4 g
Tangerine 1, 4 g 0, 4 g
Orange 1, 4 g 0, 3 g
Peach 1, 3 g 0, 5 g
Banana 1, 2 g 0, 5 g
Green grape 0, 9 g 0, 1 g
Prune with peel 0, 8 g 0, 4 g

In addition to these foods, regularly consuming fruits with peel and pomace, and vegetables in general is important to provide a good amount of fiber in the diet and obtain the benefits of this nutrient.

Fiber Supplements

In some cases of chronic constipation or even diarrhea, it may be necessary to use fiber-based supplements that will help regulate intestinal transit. These supplements can be found in supermarkets, pharmacies and nutritional products stores, and are usually presented in the form of capsules or powders to dilute in water, tea or juices.

Some examples of fiber supplements are FiberMais, Glicofiber, Fibermais Flora and Fiberlift, and it is important to remember that they should only be used with the guidance of a nutritionist or doctor.

Difference between insoluble and soluble fibers

Insoluble fibers are those that cannot be dissolved in water or completely metabolized by the bacteria that form the intestinal microbiota and, therefore, when they reach the intestine, they can favor intestinal transit, in addition to increasing the volume of feces, which is effective in combating constipation.

On the other hand, soluble fibers can be metabolized and fermented by the good bacteria present in the intestine, helping to reduce local inflammation and prevent the development of intestinal diseases. In addition, by being able to be dissolved in water, soluble fibers form a gel in the stomach, which guarantees the feeling of satiety and promotes the regulation of cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood. Learn more about soluble fiber.

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