Modern mills removes bran, that is very rich in fiber, which increases thr intestinal motility. Among the content of external layers of cereal grains there is the dealeuron layer that contains, in a balanced proportion, B grup vitamins as well as vitamin E, which is found together with fat polyunsaturated acids, protecting against free radical formation during digestion of these essential fatty acids. Adding unground grain to flour for bread is pointless, because they pass through the digestive tract without being digested and often injures the intestinal epithelium. Whole grains doesn’t favors water retention in feces nor offers a large area for the fixation and elimination of irritating substances. Through alimentation fiber it understands which parts of vegetables that can’t be dissolved by enzymes in the human digestive tract. Traditionaly in this definition were included only non-starch polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, gums and mucilage) lignin (which is not a glucide). Today, most experts considers oligosaccharides and resistant starch (which are not digested and absorbed in the small bowel) as part of the fibers total.

Insoluble fibers as cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose that have a decisive influence on the volume and duration of the intestinal content and almost no effect on the intermediary metabolism or on bacterial flora; absorbing a large amount of water, cellulose increases fecal bowel volume and diminish the carcinogenic substances concentration that by accelerating the transit are eliminated faster, shortening the time of contact with the intestinal mucosa.

HJydrosoluble fibers as pectin, some hemicellulose, gums and mucilage, have the ability to form stable gels. Slowing the absorption of glucose, stops the postprandial  hyperglycemia (increasing the blood glucose levels right after meal) and hyperinsulinemia determined by it. Soluble hemicellulose plays an important role in cholesterol lowering.

All these fibers or non-digestible polysaccharides enters the colon where are fermented in varying degrees by the bacteria in the colon. The ones fermenting the least contribute the most to the fecal volume. The fibers that are fermented the fastest are oligosaccharides, which are found in legumes and especially cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli).

Many fear the vegetarian diet because of the gases. What to do?

Gas formation belongs to normal bowel function and it seems that protects the colon against the genetic lesions that lead to cancer. Gases dilute carcinogens, stimulates useful bacterial growth, favorable changes and improves the pH of the intestinal epithelial cells of the colon function.

Gas formation has two main causes: the fermentation of glucides that reach the intestine, and aerophagia, ie ingestion of large air quantity. Aerophagia can be  diminished by eating slowly, avoiding carbonated drinks and beer, quitting on chewing gum and candies. To reduce the glucides fermentation is recommended the following:

Reduce the amount of indigestible glucides by consuming smaller quantities at a meal. Oligosaccharides are the most gas productives (raffinose and stachyose) from vegetables and vegetables from the cabbage family. It looks like the preparation plays a certain role: for example, creamed beans produces fewer gas than beans ragout;

Oligosaccharides content can be reduced, keeping the beans in water for at least 24 hours and throwing the water before boiling;

Failure to respect this can increase the amount of gas up to 10 times;

Lentils and peas produces less gas; avoid big meals, which makes more undigested food to reach the intestine;

Be a detective – often the main culprit can be something unsuspected, like mushrooms, celery, onions or anything;

Stimulate the intestinal flora by consuming regularly vegetables and other fibers in small amounts.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition

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