What are Dietary Fibers?

Dietary fiber is the part of plant food that is not digestible, so it resists digestion and intestinal absorption. They can be divided according to their solubility. Soluble fibers have a high water retention capacity, thus forming a kind of gel in the digestive tract and insoluble fibers that pass intact through the body.

Well known to those who suffer from constipation, fiber should be part of any menu that values a balanced diet. Fiber is the part of carbohydrates that is not digested and absorbed by the body. This explains his most famous action, which is gut regulation. By increasing the volume of stools, they accelerate their elimination.

Fiber intake helps control blood sugar levels, by regulating insulin levels, helps lower blood cholesterol levels and to control the risk of some cancers.

Fiber also improves bowel function, and avoids many cardiovascular risk factors. By increasing the feeling of satiety, they are very important for those who want to lose weight or simply not gain weight.

Benefits of Dietary Fibers

Improve intestinal transit

Fiber helps prevent and treat intestinal constipation. Insoluble fibers act by increasing fecal volume and stimulating intestinal motility by distension of the colon.

Soluble fibers contribute to water uptake and are fermented in the gastrointestinal tract, thus stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria, which improve intestinal transit and the frequency of bowel movements.

Help to lose weight

Dietary fibers stimulate satiety as fiber-rich meals are processed more slowly, delaying gastric emptying. Thus, they promote a longer feeling of satiety, impacting the reduction of food intake.

In addition, dietary fiber in general is present in low calorie density foods.

Help prevent ulcers

Ulcers are mucosal lesions that can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract. Meals rich in insoluble and soluble dietary fiber positively stimulate mucosal protective factors that reduce hormones that stimulate gastric secretion, such as gastrin, potentially assisting with less mucosal damage.

Help prevent hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are aggravated by prolonged and exaggerated efforts to evacuate, elements present in constipation. Thus, if low consumption of dietary fiber may aggravate constipation, it may contribute to serious complications related to hemorrhoids.

Regular fiber consumption help prevent hemorrhoids as consequence of the fact that fiber improves bowel function.

The Best Fiber Sources

Insoluble fibers, which do not absorb water, are essential for regulating bowel function.

Whole grains are the best fiber sources because provide a good amount of insoluble fiber, which significantly improves intestinal transit, preventing constipation as well as its secondary complications: hemorrhoids, diverticulosis or other intestinal disorders.

Soluble fibers, as the name implies, absorb water, becoming a kind of gel that can eliminate fat from the arteries and prevent them from being absorbed by the intestine, protecting it against some tips of cancer.

Other features of this type of fiber are the delayed absorption of carbohydrates, helping to maintain a longer feeling of satiety and lowering LDL, the bad health cholesterol.

Soluble fibers are provided by foods such as fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts, peanuts and legumes like beans, chickpeas, peas, broad beans, lentils or soybeans.

high fiber cereals
high fiber cereals

Recommended Daily Amount of Fiber

The daily fiber recommendation is about 20 to 30 grams of either fiber type. This value already guarantees the success of your gut.

This can be easily achieved with our daily diet, but for those who don’t like to eat fiber, cereals and vegetables there are also fiber supplements that are more advantageous to be dosed.

The equivalent of at least five servings of vegetables per day – 2 pieces of fruit and 300 g of vegetables per day in soup or salad.

Including grain, beans or other legumes in soup is a good way to consume soluble fiber daily.

Just don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Without it, instead of releasing the bowel, you will clog up overall especially if your highest consumption is soluble fiber, which needs to absorb fluid to swell and be eliminated more easily, sending all the toxins down your body down.


In view of the health benefits conferred by dietary fibers, it can be inferred that their daily consumption in pre-established amounts contributes to healthy weight loss and reduction of risks for the development of many bowel problems and our overall health.

However, it is important for people to consult with their Dietitian, so that they can elaborate the best high in fiber eating plan according to their characteristics.