When the seasons change, it is important to help our body adapt to the new environmental conditions. Consuming fibre-rich foods helps eliminate built-up waste and promote intestinal transit, especially in those prone to constipation. Fibres rich in chlorophyll in fact perform a beneficial protective, anti-acid, prebiotic action, promoting normal bowel activity.
Benefits of fibre
Fibres are the portion of plant foods which are neither digested nor absorbed by the human body. They consist mainly of polysaccharides. A lack of dietary fibres causes slowed bowel activity, the reduced elimination of waste, and increased absorption of nutritional substances with a tendency for obesity. One of the main activities of fibres is therefore to stimulate bowel movements.
The importance of food fibres
Intestinal transit disorders largely depend on our eating habits, characterised by extremes, whether too much or too little: too many sugars, too many fats, and too much red meat on one hand; too little fruit and vegetables and few food fibres on the other. In Italy, the guidelines of the National Institute of Research on Food and Nutrition (INRAN) recommend a fibre intake of around 30 g per day, preferably obtained through frequent consumption of fibre-rich foods or dietetic foods with a high concentration of fibre. A lack of dietary fibres causes slowed bowel movements, but also the reduced elimination of waste and increased absorption of nutrients with a tendency for obesity.
Lack of fibre and constipation
The affirmation by Irish pathologist and surgeon, Denis Burkitt (1911-1993) – ‘If you pass small stools, you have to have big hospitals’ – draws our attention to the consequences of a low-fibre diet, which causes slowed bowel movements, the reduced elimination of waste and increased absorption of calories with a predisposition for so-called ‘diseases of civilisation’: constipation, dysbiosis, diverticulitis and bowel polyps, colon cancer, haemorrhoids, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome.
Based on the statistics of the World Health Organisation, Italy is the highest ranking country in the world for the consumption of fruit and vegetables with 213 Kg of vegetables per capita every year, and 132 Kg of fruit. These products are extremely important insofar as rich in vitamins, protein, micronutrients, but above all fibre. Regular intestinal transit can be promoted with dietetic preparations and foods based on vegetable fibres, which should be taken above all during changes of season and in the presence of constipation, bloating, irritable bowel, diverticulitis, and polyposis.