Looking back a few years, people were not very concerned about how much fiber was in their everyday diet. Even though we all know that a diet high in fiber is one of the best ways to avoid constipation and improve your digestive health. It also helps lower your cholesterol, makes you feel fuller, so you eat less food overall, it is a great reason to have a high fiber diet.
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant material which cannot be absorbed by the body. It categorized into two different types — Insoluble fiber & Soluble fiber.
- Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion and slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and a few fruits and vegetables. It is found in psyllium, a well-liked fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber could facilitate lower risk of heart disease.
- Insoluble fiber is in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.
Insoluble fiber is the kind that passes through our digestive system but does not dissolve in water. Because it doesn’t dissolve in water, it adds extra bulk to your stool and can absorb water like a sponge. This is the primary reason a high-fiber diet is such an essential element for a healthy colon.
On the flip side of that, soluble fiber is that part of the dietary fiber that forms a “gel” when combined with water. For example, pectins and plant gums that help to increase the glutinousness of the intestinal contents.
Foods That Are High In Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in a variety of foods, all with different amounts. Below is a list of foods that are naturally high in soluble fibers:
- Whole grains, such as barley, oats, rye, and chia
- Artichokes, broccoli, carrots and other vegetables
- Legumes such as peas and any bean
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and other root vegetables, especially when you leave the skins on
- Fruits such as apples, pears, plums, berries, bananas, and prunes
- Mucilage soluble fibers like psyllium husk
One of the best foods for soluble fiber are beans, as already mentioned above and pictured on the right. The skins on of some fruits and vegetables are an excellent source to add more fiber to your diet.
10 Universal Benefits of a High Fiber Diet
Following are the advantages of consuming soluble fiber-rich foods:
- Helps prevent constipation and removes excessive blood fats
- Improves overall bowel regularity since fiber absorbs water
- Helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, as well as check their production in the liver
- Soluble fiber helps in delaying gastric emptying time and absorption of nutrients from the small intestine
- It renders a feeling of fullness, reduces the absorption of calories and thus aids weight loss
- It can help increase your transit time by speeding up the elimination of wastes from your body
- Soluble fiber helps in the removal of toxins and heavy metals from the body.
- It helps in increasing friendly bowel bacteria.
- It maintains insulin function, which lowers the GI (Glycemic index) of carbohydrates.
- Fiber soothes the intestines and helps with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
These are some of the main reasons why you should eat lots of high-fiber foods. Of course, there are supplements out there that also help with this, but I would only take one of those if you can’t get the necessary fiber from a natural food source.