Fiber adds a huge list of benefits into our health. There are two major types of dietary fiber and they can be found from a variety of sources. In this article you will learn a little bit about the two types of fiber, what benefits they bring, and where you can get more of it. If your health is a concern of yours, be sure you aim to meet your daily fiber needs each day, as fiber contributes to health in many different ways.
Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that dissolves in water; it forms a gel that slows gastric emptying and digestion. Soluble fiber consumption is associated with a variety of benefits including: lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, increased fullness, weight loss, and increased insulin sensitivity.
Soluble fibers can be found in: peas, nuts, beans, lentils, oats, apples, oranges, pears, peaches, psyllium husk, blueberries, flaxseed, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries.
Soluble fiber supplements exist at most pharmacies; benefiber is one of the most popular brands of soluble fiber supplements. The best way to get your daily soluble fiber is always to increase intake of the foods high in fiber because this way of getting fiber also has the added benefit of encouraging you to make better food choices.
Insoluble fibers are the tough fibers that stay intact throughout digestion and help to add “bulk” into the diet. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation and keeps bowel movements regular. Insoluble fiber also: promotes colon health, reduces hemorrhoid risk, and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Insoluble fibers can be found in: whole wheats and grains, seeds, nuts, brown rice, dark leafy greens, root vegetable and most other vegetables.
Insoluble fiber supplements like: psyllium husk, oat and wheat bran, and many others are available if you would like to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Again, choosing foods naturally high in insoluble fiber will be the best choice in increasing your daily insoluble fiber intake.
Most americans don’t get enough fiber.
It is recommended for women to get at least 25 grams of fiber per day in their diets, and men should aim to get between 30-38 grams per day from their food intake. Increasing your intake of whole grains, nuts, beans, lentils, vegetables, and fruit is the best and easiest way to increase your total fiber intake. Eating at least one serving of leafy greens per day, and adding 1 serving of vegetables to each meal can easily add 12 grams of fiber to your daily diet, even if you keep everything else the same. Switching from bleached flour products and white rice, to whole wheat and brown rice is another easy way to boost fiber levels in your diet.
Fiber plays an important role in digestion and digestive health, it can lower risk of heart disease and stroke, can help prevent and manage diabetes as well as regulate blood sugar levels, prevent and reduce constipation, and lower cholesterol. Adding more fiber into our diets is a great way to improve our overall health. So the next time you have a choice between white bread or whole wheat bread, choose the whole wheat. Your colon will thank you later!