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Benefits of Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble Fiber

  • Eating enough insoluble fiber and soluble fibers is important for overall digestive health because they work together to prevent problems and to keep things moving smoothly
  • Insoluble fiber foods, such as whole wheat bread and the skin of apples, should be consumed regularly to prevent colon cancer and constipation
  • Soluble fiber foods, such as oat bran and carrots, can even help lower your LDL cholesterol levels

Eating a diet high in fiber is one of the most important parts of good health. However, many people don’t realize there are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber and soluble fibers. Both types are needed to provide sufficient levels of fiber for your body’s digestive system to function properly. However, each type provides their own benefits.

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber Foods

Insoluble fiber is the bulking agent of the food world. It helps push food through your digestive system so it can be freed up for the next round of food coming down the pike. As a result, it provides a number of important health benefits. For example, it stops the toxic waste found in your bowel movements from getting stuck for long periods of time in your intestines. That’s not something you want. It also helps keep your color and intestines pleasant for the microbes which destroy cancer-causing substances. And since it helps push through your waste, it also prevents you from getting constipated.

Insoluble fiber foods, such as dark leafy vegetables, the skins of fruits and vegetables, any product made from whole wheat, and most seeds or nuts, are going to provide all of these important benefits and can help keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Benefits of Soluble Fibers

Although insoluble fiber is important, it can do its job alone. You also need to make sure you take in enough soluble fiber, too. This type of fiber actually slows down the speed at which your stomach is emptied so you feel full longer and so the energy in the food you’re eating will be absorbed more slowly leading to fewer spikes in energy.

Soluble fiber also absorbs water and keeps your stool solid without making it too difficult or painful to pass. Plus, the effects described in the paragraph above mean soluble fiber can help diabetics better control their blood levels. Additionally, some research has shown that this type of fiber will actually lower LDL cholesterol so it can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
To get the soluble fiber you need eat plenty of oats, dried beans, barley, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Psyllium husk and flax seed are also good sources of this type of fiber.

Getting Enough Fiber

To make sure you get enough fiber in your diet, you may need to make some small changes in your dietary habits. For example, just replacing white bread with wheat bread can dramatically increase your fiber levels. Having an apple or an orange for breakfast or a bowl of oatmeal instead of cold, sugary cereal is also a good idea.

Keeping your diet high in fruits and vegetables is also important. These are great sources of both types of fiber so you’ll be doing yourself a big favor by eating them, especially if you leave the skin on produce, such as apples.

If you don’t think you’re getting enough fiber, supplements are available. However, it’s always better to choose natural sources for what your body needs whenever possible.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “Benefits of Soluble and Insoluble Fiber”

  1. 1
    Ben Says:
    Corn is another insoluable fiber as the outer shell of the corn kernel cannot be absorbed by the body. You're better off going with a better vegetable like salad to get your roughage as my mom used to put it.