Nutrition of long-livers: why do you need fiber?

The eating habits of most of the world's inhabitants are nothave changed since the 60s. We are used to - or so we were told - to eat buckwheat and bread, try to eat less fat and fried, reproach ourselves for an extra piece of cake and consume as much fruit and vegetables as possible. Why? Nobody knows. The very “American diet”, which is rapidly creeping over the whole world, is bearing fruit, and diets are powerless. Why? Do we eat right? What do recent studies show? In this series of articles, we will examine the nutrition of long-livers and see what scientists say about nutrition.

Let's start with such an interesting, but many incomprehensible element, like fiber.


  • 1 What is fiber?
  • 2 Fiber Harm
  • 3 How much fiber should I eat?
  • 4 Do you really need fiber?

What is fiber?

Cellulose is a collection of substances (cellulose, pectin, lignin, and others) contained in plant foods, says Nikolay Karpov, employee of the Department of Anatomy and PhysiologyTyumen State University. The main feature of fiber is its indigestion in the gastrointestinal tract. Nutrition of a modern person includes refined products (flour, juice, jam), in which fiber is low. Therefore, many people lack it. First of all, this is reflected in the work of the digestive tract. What is the use? In the stomach, fiber absorbs gastric juice, the volume rises and saturation occurs earlier, which helps a person not to overeat. Fiber in the small intestine inhibits the absorption of simple sugars, so foods with fiber have a reduced glycemic index. Fiber does not feed our body, but our intestinal bifidobacteria feed on it, which means our immunity is strengthened. To get the daily rate of fiber, you need to eat about a kilogram of vegetables and fruits daily, as well as eat bread from wholemeal flour or bran. Or resort to the help of special additives.

Dietary fiber (fiber) is defined asthe sum of polysaccharides and lignin, which are not digested by the endogenous secrets of the human gastrointestinal tract, adds the therapist of the mobile clinic DOC +, Nadezhda Gorskaya. For example, in herbivores for digestionFiber is a special enzyme (cellulase), but it is absent in humans, therefore, dietary fiber is not absorbed. They swell under the influence of a liquid, thereby creating a feeling of rapid saturation, this is especially important for weight correction, sugar regulation and blood cholesterol level. Dietary fiber helps cleanse the gastrointestinal tract from the remnants of undigested food, which greatly speeds up the process of absorption of nutrients into the blood and lymph.

Traditional sources of fiber: dietary fiber of cereals, legumes, vegetables, root crops, fruits, berries, citrus fruits, nuts, mushrooms, algae. These words are supported by a weight loss practitioner, Elena Kalen - a psychologist, an expert in weight loss psychology, the author of weight loss training.

"There is no enzyme in the body that can break downfiber, so getting into the stomach, and later in the intestine, fiber swells and irritates the walls, causing their contractions (peristalsis). Due to this, the food moves through the intestines, splitting and absorption are improved. This means that thanks to fiber, more nutrients and vitamins enter the body. In addition, due to increased peristalsis, the intestines are better cleaned, which ensures faster penetration of beneficial substances from the intestines into the blood.

The importance of fiber in the diet also lies in the fact that dietary fiber is a source of nutrition for bacteria living in the large intestine. The balance of these bacteria provides the body with a stable stool.

Red meat is a source of many beneficial substances. Here are just a little fiber in it.

In order to ensure constant flowfiber in the body, the diet should include raw vegetables and fruits, legumes, grains and cereals. Cooked fruits and vegetables contain less dietary fiber, because they have already been processed. If these products are not enough, then there will be persistent digestive problems. ”

Fiber damage

It was mentioned above that the fiber in the intestineswells, and for this you need water. Only in this case, you can get the desired effect. If you increase the amount of fiber in the diet, but at the same time practically do not drink water, you can cause an even greater deterioration of the bowels.

Leaders in fiber content -bran. If the work of the intestine is broken and there are no foods containing fiber in the diet, it is recommended to add bran to food. Enough one tablespoon of porridge in the morning, because an excess of fiber can cause harm to the body.

The intake of fiber from food is one of the most important.ways to normalize the work of the intestine. The work of the digestive system provides the body with building material, energy and vitamins. If there are irregularities in her work, insufficient absorption and digestion of food, this will affect the entire body and longevity.

How much fiber should I eat?

Physician and Dietician Online Doctor Service Victoria Griskova claims that you do not need to peel fruits and vegetables from the skin. For an adult, the rate of fiber is 25 grams. On the day you need to eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables.

Fiber has a positive effect on the body andhuman digestive system. So, when we eat foods that contain large amounts of fiber, large amounts of saliva are secreted in the mouth. Saliva is rich in enzymes and trace elements, it protects teeth from caries, neutralizes acid and has a bactericidal effect.

Then, when fiber enters the stomach, itbegins to actively absorb water and increase in volume, which gives a feeling of saturation. This is especially useful for people who are struggling with excess weight.

Getting into the intestines improves fiberpassage of the food bolus, thereby improving the stool. Another important property of fiber is to cleanse the body of cholesterol, dietary fibers adsorb cholesterol on themselves, preventing it from penetrating into our blood.

Dietary fiber (fiber) is beneficial for peoplesuffering from intestinal dysbiosis and increased flatulence. Cellulose helps to maintain intestinal microflora. By suppressing the activity of pathogenic bacteria, it reduces the putrefactive processes in the body and improves the excretion of waste products. And as you know, a healthy intestine is the key to strong immunity.

Chemical technologist and individual entrepreneur in the field of healthy lifestyle Elizaveta Murzich recommends focusing on bran:

"Bran consists of the most valuable that is incereal grains - cereal shells, seed germ and aleurone layer. In these parts of the grains all the biologically active and useful substances are collected, given by the grain nature - more than 90% of the benefits we could get from them, if during the production of flour they were not thrown away. The main value of bran is a high content of dietary fiber (fiber). And when in the diet there is enough fiber, this leads to dysbiosis and is one of the causes of intestinal diseases.

Bran help regulate bowel function,improve the microflora. The rate of dietary fiber per day 25-30 g. I think you know that there is no fiber in meat, fish, and other animal products, in vegetable it is, but there is little of it, and it is really difficult to eat fresh vegetables and fruits in kilograms, especially in winter. Bran contains up to 40%. fiber. 40 g of bran per day is equal to 680 g of boiled carrots, 770 g of boiled cabbage or 1.5 kg of raw apples. The calorie content of bran varies from 160 kcal (or more) per 100 g, where the main share falls on vegetable proteins and carbohydrates, whereas the fat content in them is extremely low — about 4 g per 100 g of product.

Some berries are rich in fiber.

Pharmacies have many differentbran manufacturers. When the bran enters our bodies, they begin to work like a vacuum cleaner: they collect and remove toxins, cholesterol, radionuclides, heavy metal salts, and harmful substances. ”

Do I really need fiber?

Despite the consensus among specialistsnutrition and nutritionists, there are some studies that deny the use of fiber, or reduce it to special conditions, such as increased consumption of refined and "wrong" food (a known vice of modernity).

In 1971, Dr. Denis Burkitt, Irishthe surgeon published an article based on his observations of life in Uganda, where he lived at the time. In it, he suggested that the lack of dietary fiber was the cause of many problems that worried Western society at the time. He decided that it causes intestinal cancer, type II diabetes, probably also heart disease, varicose veins, obesity, diverticular disease, appendicitis, gallstones, cavities in the teeth, hemorrhoids, hernias and constipation.

Dr. Burkitt noticed that Native Africansproduce four times more feces than English children in school, and do it three times faster. He suspected that this was due to all the fiber that was eaten in Africa. And he suggested that the high rate of excrement leaves no time for the development of cancer caused by food contact with our gut.

Since then, there has been a wave of recommendations for consuming more fiber.

But in 2002, the respected Cochrane Collaborationreviewed five high-quality studies that were conducted under controlled conditions involving 5,000 patients. And she came to the conclusion that there is no evidence that increasing the amount of fiber in the diet reduces the risk of developing intestinal cancer.

In 2005, this review was followed byHarvard School of Public Health study. Her work covered 13 studies involving 725,628 people. And again, dietary fiber was not involved. The authors concluded that high fiber intake does not reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

The theory says that fiber reduces the riskdevelopment of cardiovascular diseases, because it reduces "bad" cholesterol. However, studies have shown that although oats do reduce cholesterol, tests of other types of fiber have not shown that they have a good or bad effect on this process. There is also no evidence that fiber reduces the risk of death from heart disease.

As for constipation and hemorrhoids, researchrepeatedly faced with the fact that they could not prove that patients with constipation eat less fiber than without it. Since fiber is essentially non-digestible fiber, excessive fiber intake can lead to constipation. Moreover, the exclusion of the abundance of fiber from the diet of people suffering from constipation led to an improvement in their conditions.

Where is the truth? You have to decide yourself.

Add fiber or exclude? Share your opinion in our chat in Telegram.

Warning: the opinions presented in the article are only advisory in nature.