The Facts of Fiber: What is Soluble vs. Insoluble?
Let’s take a minute to give fiber the fanfare it deserves.
Fiber isn’t very glamorous, but it plays a huge part in your health— and in a few different ways.
Coming from plants— fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and grains— fiber is a carbohydrate that your body can’t fully digest and therefore it passes through the entire digestive tract without being absorbed into the bloodstream. Fiber is also unique because, unlike other carbohydrates, it doesn’t offer food energy or calories. So why eat it?
Fiber creates bulk which moves waste and harmful toxins through the digestive tract, out of your body. Fibrous foods also do alot to help reduce the chance of heart disease, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even help you with weight loss. Here are the basics of the two different types, why they are each important, and how to get a full helping every day…
As the name indicates, insoluble fiber doesn’t mix or combine with water in your body. Instead, it soaks up water and expands— think of it like a sponge. Once it has expanded, it moves through your intestinal tract, sweeping waste along the way. This is how fiber is so effective to treat and prevent constipation and irregularity. High sources include:
- Dark, leafy greens
- Kidney and garbanzo beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Skins of fruits and veggies (apples, cucumbers, etc.)
This type of fiber does dissolve in the water from your food or drink intake, and in your natural digestive juices, forming a thick gel. This viscous gel traps fat and sugar components of your food to prevent your body from absorbing them. By binding to fat, soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and by binding to sugar, it helps keep blood sugar levels steady. Good sources include:
- Citrus fruits
- Psyllium husk
- Chia seeds
- Flesh of fruits and veggies (apples, cucumbers, etc.)
The average American consumes 10-15 grams of fiber a day, but according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), we should be getting 20-35 grams a day. Not a fan of fibrous foods? Consider integrating supplementation into your daily diet. Our Super-GI Cleanse contains five sources of soluble and insoluble fiber, an enzyme blend and probiotics for a formula that is as gentle as it is effective.
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