Vegetable fiber, “Friend” of the intestine


Nutrition experts are increasingly claiming the role of this substance present in fruits, cereals and vegetables as a basic protection factor for the body.

Not only do they recognize the decisive role of fiber in pathological conditions such as gastroenteritis, diabetes and hypertension, but they also talk about improving cognitive development and the feeling of well-being derived from the consumption of this nutrient.


This nutrient is a decisive factor against frequent disorders such as diarrhea, as well as to support better glycemic control in diabetes and even to improve some disorders such as hemorrhoids, constipation and high blood pressure.


The lack of fiber in the diet can be an important factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon cancer, constipation and diverticulosis, according to researcher and nutritionist Fulgencio Saura.

Since it is not altered by enzymes in the stomach and small intestine, and reaches the colon undegraded, dietary fiber can have various effects during its transit through the digestive system. Ingested, it positively influences the degree of nutrient absorption, makes the stomach increase its viscosity and delays gastric emptying, and favors proper gastrointestinal function.

“Fiber increases excretion and decreases pressure in the colon, which is why it has a therapeutic action on diverticulosis,” says Saura, who adds that some studies associate a high fiber intake with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

According to Saura, eating foods rich in fiber also offers beneficial effects in obesity treatments, by influencing weight loss through different mechanisms, such as the feeling of satiety, increased fat and protein excretion, lower rate of blood sugar or reducing the caloric content of the diet.

Other studies show that fiber lowers blood cholesterol levels and tends to reduce the speed with which glucose reaches the blood and insulin secretion. The expert recalls that nutritionists and health organizations recommend raising the daily fiber intake to 30 grams.

For nutritionist and homeopath José Madrigal, “dietary fiber has a positive impact on general well-being, mood and even appearance. If that real broom that is fiber sweeps the intestine and helps eliminate toxins and waste that otherwise accumulate and pass into the blood, we will feel much better shortly after starting this cleansing diet.


Vegetable fiber is made up of the set of materials of vegetable origin that offer resistance to being digested by enzymes and digestive ferments, and have the capacity to retain water in the intestinal lumen. There are many types of fiber, such as cellulose, pectins, and gums, and they are divided into two categories: soluble or insoluble, depending on their degree of dissolution in water. Most plant foods are a combination of both fibers.

To take better advantage of it, it is recommended to eat as much as possible the fruits with the shell, its most abundant part in fiber. You also have to choose the vegetables you eat well: lettuce has a very low amount of fiber, but pear skin has one of the highest percentages. It should be remembered that dietary fibers abound especially in beans, lentils, chickpeas, whole wheat bread and fruit. It must be borne in mind that the simple regular intake of 3 or 4 pieces of fruit a day, and the inclusion of vegetables, legumes and cereals in the usual diet, help to cover the needs of this crucial dietary element.


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