We often hear that a particular food is healthy because it contains many fibers, which are beneficial and support the health of the body. But what exactly are the fibers and why are they so useful? The fibers are contained in foods of vegetable origin, they include cellulose, polysaccharides such as pectins, mucilage and lignin, are not digested or absorbed but come directly to the intestine and improve intestinal transit (Dhingra et al, J Food Sci Technol, 2012). Fiber-rich foods are primarily cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables. These foods have a prebiotic function by stimulating the growth of good bacteria that live in the gut and form the microbiota, whose health determines also the general well-being of the organism, including the mood (Winter et al, Rev Neurosci, 2018). Moreover, fibers increase the elimination of toxins and limit the absorption of carbohydrates and sugar thus playing a role in keeping blood sugar and cholesterol under control. Thanks to these properties, fiber intake is linked to a lower risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain types of tumors such as colon cancer and diseases of the cardiovascular system (Lattimer et al, Nutrients, 2010). And in particular what are the foods with the highest fiber content? The wheat bran is very interesting, with its 44 grams of fiber per 100 grams of food, but also dried apricots (24 g fibers per 100 grams) and prunes (16 grams per 100 grams of food). Do not forget the whole grain flour (about 10 grams of fiber for 100 grams of product) and legumes, for example 100 grams of dried beans bring 25 grams of fiber, 100 grams of dried peas about 17 grams of fiber while the lentils about 12 grams of this beneficial substance. As for dried fruit, almonds bring 14 grams of fiber per 100 grams of food, peanuts 8 grams while walnuts and hazelnuts, respectively, 6 and 5 grams. The cooked broccoli bring about 4 grams of fiber per 100 grams, the endive 2 grams like avocado. Finally, the tomatoes have 1.5 grams of fiber for 100 grams and the onions 1.3.
The fibers help the work of the intestine, increase the elimination of toxins, slow down the absorption of fats and sugars by protecting the cardiovascular system and the general health of the body