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Importance of fiber in the diet of children and pregnant women

Importance of fiber in the diet of children and pregnant women


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Dietary fiber or dietary fiber is a component very important diet and it must be consumed in the appropriate amounts. In general, it is recommended to eat about 25 grams of fiber daily.

Dietary fiber is called a wide group of substances that are part of the structure of the plant cell wall and according to their solubility they can differentiate between soluble and insoluble fiber. Most foods contain a mixture of both types of fiber and not just one of them, and their properties are similar, although with small peculiarities.

1. They cause flatulence: In general, these types of substances cannot be assimilated by digestive enzymes, but rather reach the intestine whole, where they are partially fermented by intestinal bacteria. The result of this fermentation are volatile fatty acids that, although they can be used as an energy source, are the cause of uncomfortable flatulence.

2. Avoid constipation: In addition to this physical characteristic, fiber has others, which are directly related to the physiological effects attributed to it. For example, fiber has a great capacity to retain water, like a sponge, which is beneficial for increasing the volume of stool. In this way, fiber is highly recommended in episodes of constipation, as it helps regulate the mechanics of the digestive system.

3. Helps maintain the correct weight: In relation to the above, fiber, by retaining water and generating volume, gives a feeling of satiety and can help maintain the line.

4. It is bad in excess: However, an excessive consumption of fiber can be nutritionally detrimental due to this laxative action, since the nutrients pass faster through the digestive tract and their absorption can be reduced, especially that of some minerals and vitamins.

5. May cause other deficiencies: On the other hand, the fiber has a peculiar viscosity that allows it to form gel-like structures. Inside these gels it can trap some metals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium or zinc, reducing its bioavailability and can cause deficiencies, so it is not advisable to exceed its intake.

Due to the changes that occur in pregnancy that usually lead to constipation, especially in the last trimester, fiber is often extremely useful. In the postpartum period it is also highly recommended, to regulate the mobility of the gastrointestinal tract, and facilitate evacuation. However, it is advisable not to exceed the recommendations to avoid malabsorption of vitamins and minerals, especially iron in the postpartum period.

- Fruits and vegetables they contain varying amounts of fiber.

- As well whole grains, more recommended than the refined ones.

- Legumes and nuts and / or seeds are sources of fiber.

As a suggestion, and to ensure a fiber intake according to the recommendations, they can, for example, offer nuts and some whole grains for breakfast, fresh fruit for a snack and at mid-morning, include legumes in the lunchtime meal at least 2 -3 times a week, and accompany the dinner dishes with a portion of vegetables or salad. In addition, a highly recommended snack for children and adults are raw carrots, a source of fiber and very rich in vitamins.

You can read more articles similar to Importance of fiber in the diet of children and pregnant women, in the Infant Nutrition On Site category.


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