All You Need To Know About Soluble Fiber
We all know that fiber is one of the more essential nutrients that you can get for your body. Roughly speaking, fibers are the indigestible contents found in plants. It is mainly responsible for cleaning up your intestines, preventing different digestive ailments from indigestion to cancers. But how well do you know your fiber? There are 2 types of fiber: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. They act in different ways. While insoluble fiber is termed as metabolically inert, its soluble counterpart is known to cause fermentation in the intestine. In this article, we are going to focus on soluble fiber, its origins, its health benefits, and where you can actually find it.
As a rule, soluble fiber acts by changing the nature of the contents of the digestive system, opening it up for fermentation. How is it possible? Fibers absorb water on the gastrointestinal tract, providing the perfect scenario for the initiation of fermentation. In contrast, while insoluble fiber also absorbs water while traveling along the gastrointestinal tract, what it only does is to create bulk, initiating defecation. While the action of insoluble fiber has its benefits, it is largely considered that soluble fiber is the fiber that has more beneficial effects when consumed.
The health benefits of having adequate daily dosages of this type of fiber are directly linked to its ability to initiate fermentation in the intestines. As fermentation proceeds, short chain fatty acids are produced. Short chain fatty acids are known to have immense health benefits, the first of it being its role in the reduction of risk of cardiovascular disease. By stabilizing blood glucose levels and reducing the levels of Low Density Lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol, it promotes cardiovascular health.
But beyond that, there are other benefits on consuming this fiber. It promotes the formation of immune cells, improving overall resistance against different diseases. Also, it promotes optimal colon health by maintaining just the right pH. What is the result of having the appropriate pH? It reduces the potential of the development of polyps in the intestine and inflammation. What’s more, it also helps in the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, eventually enhancing the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Now that you know about the benefits of this fibre, we would now tell you where you can find it, all plant food sources contain forms of this fiber, but of course, there are sources that are richer than most. Particularly good sources are whole grains and legumes. Specific grains that are rich with this type of fiber include oats, barley, and rye. Vegetables such as potatoes and carrots are also good sources of this type of fiber. If fruits are your thing, we recommend that you consume apples, bananas, and berries. But if you don’t have any access to any of these foods, there are soluble fiber capsules being sold on your local drug store.
Fibers are great for the body, and they are easy to consume too. So if you want to maximize your health, go for soluble fiber.
How Soluble Fiber Foods Help Your Body
You might have read or seen somewhere that it is important to include fiber in your diet. Before you devour all of those green, leafy vegetables and oats, you must know first about some facts regarding fiber. Fiber has two forms: soluble and insoluble. The latter is not digested by the body, which mainly functions in adding the bulk of stool. The former, on the other hand, is useful in a variety of ways, such as reducing cholesterol levels, soothing the intestines, and even eliminating toxins from the body. In this article, soluble fiber and soluble fibre foods will be discussed.
The major soluble fibre foods sources are legumes and soy products. Examples of legumes are soybeans, beans, and peas while soy products include soy milk and soy cheese. Other soluble fibre foods include potatoes, root vegetables, pears, berries, plums, apples, broccoli and carrots. Knowing where to get soluble fiber is not enough, though. You must have an idea of what these products can do to your body to know just how important they are.
How does soluble fibre food help your body? The answer lies in its properties. Unlike its insoluble counterpart, it can be dissolved in water. Although it can be dissolved in water, it cannot be absorbed by the intestines so you are not exactly adding your consumption of carbohydrates. Because the soluble fibre foods remain in the intestines, it tends to absorb the water in the colon. This is very helpful when you have constipation or diarrhea. When are constipated, your stool will be hard and dry, making defecation a nightmare. When you introduce soluble fibre foods into a constipated person’s diet, it will make his stool loose, so that he can eliminate it easily. When the person has diarrhea, on the other hand, soluble fiber acts to add bulk to the stool. This thickens the consistency of the stool.
Soluble fibre foods are tremendously helpful in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. IBS is a condition characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. It has no organic cause, so the treatment is focused on the diet of the patient. When it is given to the client, there constipation and diarrhea is minimized if not eliminated. Studies also show that soluble fiber has relieved patients from the other symptoms of IBS, headache, back pains, and fatigue. Other benefits include the regulation of blood glucose, hastening of the action of pancreatic enzymes, maintenance of insulin function, increase of good bacteria in the intestine, balance of body energy, weight loss, and protection against diseases such as cancer.
Though it is very beneficial to the body, it is also important that you take it in moderation. If excessive amounts of soluble fiber are present in the body, it can cause an aggravation of diarrhea and reduced absorption of vitamins and minerals