Fantastiese Vesel // Fabulous Fiber

Fabulous Fibre

 

Fantastiese Vesel

 

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Jy weet dat vesel in jou dieet goed is vir jou. Dit voorkom hardlywigheid en “skrop jou dermkanaal skoon” – natuurlik op ʼn goeie manier! Vesel is regtig die Aspoestertjie van die gesondheidswêreld. Terwyl haar meer glansryke susters met eksotiese name soos Spirulina, Shiitake en Koënsiem Q 10 se bates breedvoerig op gesondheidsblaaie bespreek word, kry arme ou vesel, wat al die vuilwerk agter die skerms doen, deesdae nie eens vermelding in ʼn kolommetjie nie. Tog is daar al bewys dat vesel ʼn positiewe uitwerking het op toestande wat wissel van hart-gesondheid en aterosklerose tot galstene, beroerte, diabetes, kolonkanker, gewigsbeheer en veltoestande. Glad nie sleg as jy in ag neem dat dit algemeen voorkom in die meeste vars plantprodukte nie, wat dit ʼn ekonomiese manier maak om jou lewenskwaliteit en -verwagting te verhoog.

Is alle tipes vesel egter dieselfde? Vesel is die gedeelte van kos wat nie verteer word nie en daar is twee soorte, afhangend van waar hulle voorkom in ‘n plantsel – oplosbare en onoplosbare vesel. Onoplosbare vesel kom voor in selwande en absorbeer water in die ingewande, wat volume aan die stoelgang gee en so verseker dat dit vinniger deur die dermkanaal beweeg. Graanprodukte, boontjies en groente is goeie bronne van onoplosbare vesel. Oplosbare vesel, wat binne-in plantselle voorkom, is ‘n jelagtige stof wat die tempo waarteen voedingstowwe opgeneem word, kan vertraag. Dit verklaar dan ook waarom dit help met bloedsuikerbeheer en om mens langer versadig te laat voel.

Baie mense dink steeds dat semels ʼn goeie bron van vesel in die dieet is, maar dit is eintlik nie die beste keuse nie, veral as jy reeds sukkel met toestande soos hardlywigheid, prikkelbare derm-sindroom of divertikulitis. Trouens, vir baie mense kan dit die probleem juis vererger. Vars vrugte en groente (veral groen groente) sowel as sade en sommige neute, bied ‘n baie beter vorm van vesel wat nie ‘n sensitiewe spysverteringstelsel verder sal irriteer nie.

Afgesien van die ooglopende voordele vir dermfunksie, help vesel ook die liggaam om van gifstowwe ontslae te raak en bevorder die groei van probiotiese bakterieë in die kolon. As ʼn prebiotika dien dit as voedselbron vir ‘vriendelike’ bakterieë wat in jou ingewande leef en speel sodoende ook ‘n rol om jou immuniteit ʼn hupstoot te gee. Sommige tipes water-oplosbare vesel (veral dié in hawermout (beta-glukaan) en appels, sitrusvrugte en bessies (pektien)) bind ook aan galsuur, wat lei tot ‘n verhoogde uitskeiding van cholesterol.

Behoort jy vesel-aanvullings te neem? Nee, verkieslik nie, want hoë-vesel kosse bevat ook baie ander voedingstowwe wat voordelig is vir jou gesondheid.

Chia-sade – sprinkel ‘n teelepel van hierdie veselryke sade (3 eetlepels bevat 11 gram vesel!) op graankos of in jogurt, voeg by gebak soos brood en muffins of meng met water of smoothies. Die saadjies is ook ‘n goeie bron van omega 3-vetsure en vorm ‘n dik jel wanneer dit in aanraking kom met vloeistowwe.

Psilliumvesel – ook bekend as ispaghula (dit kom voor in Metamucil en Fybogel) is ‘n water-oplosbare vesel wat hardlywigheid help verlig. Wees net bedag daarop dat psillium ʼn dorstige gas is en liefs saam met baie vloeistof ingeneem moet word – ten minste ‘n glas water of vrugtesap vir elke teelepel vesel – om sodoende ʼn ‘verkeersopeenhoping’ te voorkom.

Lynsaad – ja, die nederige klein lynsaadjie doen nog steeds uitstekende werk en is deesdae algemeen verkrygbaar. Dit is ‘n ryk bron van onversadigde vetsure en lignane. Navorsing toon dat lignane in die spysverteringskanaal deur bakterieë gemetaboliseer word tot stowwe wat help om hormoon-afhanklike kanker (bv. bors- of prostaatkanker) sowel as hartsiektes te voorkom. Gemaalde lynsaad word makliker verteer en kan gesprinkel word oor ontbytgraan of slaaie of ingemeng word by smoothies of gebak soos gesondheidsbrood. Maal klein hoeveelhede in ʼn elektriese koffiemeultjie en hou dit dan in die yskas in ʼn lugdigte houer om oksidasie van die goeie vetsure te voorkom.

Hoewel veselryke kos oor die algemeen as gesond beskou word, word ‘n lae-vesel dieet soms aanbeveel vir mediese toestande soos bv. Crohn se siekte of na ʼn derm-operasie. Sommige tipes vesel, veral die wat in die vorm van ʼn aanvulling geneem word vir hardlywigheid, kan ook inmeng met die absorpsie van medikasie en vitamienaanvullings en moet dus liefs nie op dieselfde tyd geneem word nie.

 

Fabulous Fiber

 

You know that fiber in your diet is good for you. It prevents constipation and sort of “scrubs out your colon” – all in a good way of course. Poor lowly fiber really is the Cinderella of the health world. While its glamorous sisters with exotic names like Spirulina, Shiitake and Coenzyme q 10 are paraded all over the pages of glossy health publications, poor old Fiber does not even get a mention for all the scrubbing and polishing she does behind the scenes. Yet fiber has been shown to benefit conditions ranging from heart health and atherosclerosis to gallstones, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, weight control and skin conditions. Not bad when you consider that it is abundantly found in most unrefined plant foods, making it an inexpensive way to improve your wellbeing and prolong your life.

But are all fibers created equal? There are two types of fiber, depending on where they occur in a plant cell – soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is found in cell walls and absorbs water in the intestines, thereby increasing stool size and helping to move things along. Grains (eg. wheat) legumes and vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber, which is found inside the cell walls, is a gel-like substance which slows down the absorption rate of nutrients. This explains its usefulness in sustaining energy levels and increasing satiety by preventing a sudden release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Many people still think that bran fiber is the way to go (pun intended) but this may not be the wisest choice if you already suffer from bowel conditions such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or diverticulitis. In fact, for many people, this can make the problem worse. Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially the green leafy types) as well as seeds and some nuts provide a much better form of fiber which will not irritate a sensitive digestive tract.

Apart from its obvious digestive benefits, fiber also helps to eliminate toxins, provides support for probiotic proliferation in the colon and thereby plays a role in immunity. A prebiotic, it serves as food for “friendly” bacteria that live in your intestines. Some types of water-soluble fiber bind to bile acids, resulting in an increased excretion of cholesterol. This is especially true of the insoluble fiber in oats (beta-glucan) and apples, citrus fruits and berries (pectin).

Should you take fiber supplements? No – it is best to get most, if not all of your fiber, from foods, because high fiber foods contain a lot of other nutrients as well.

Chia seeds – sprinkle a teaspoon of these fiber rich seeds (3 tablespoons provide a whopping 11 grams of fiber!) on cereal or in yogurt, add to breads and muffins or mix with water or smoothies. They are also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and form a thick gel when mixed with liquids.

Psyllium husks – also known as ispaghula (found in Metamucil and Fybogel) is a water soluble fiber known to relieve constipation A word of caution though – psyllium fiber is a thirsty guest, so make sure it leaves the party and does not back op colonic traffic by providing it with lots of fluids – at least a glass of water or fruit juice per teaspoon of fiber.

Linseeds or flaxseed – yes, the humble linseed still does the job and is readily available in health food shops everywhere. It is a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids and lignans. Research shows that lignans, when ingested, can be metabolized by intestinal bacteria to substances which play a positive role in the prevention of hormone dependent cancers and cardiovascular disease. Linseeds are better digested when they are ground, and can be added to breakfast cereals, smoothies, baked goods or sprinkled over salads. Use an electric coffee grinder to grind your own seeds and store them in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve the omega 3 fatty acids.

Although fiber-rich foods are considered healthy in general, a low fiber diet is sometimes recommended for medical reasons such as Crohn’s disease or after bowel surgery. Some types of fiber, especially when taken in supplement form, can also interfere with the absorption of certain medication and even minerals and vitamins, so take care when taking them at the same time.