We all know we’re supposed to get fiber in our diets, but do you know why? Many people don’t get enough fiber every day, but understanding the various health benefits of fiber may encourage you to increase your intake.There are two different types of fiber, and each of them plays a critical role in your diet. Soluble fiber absorbs in water. Insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fibers are not digestible by the body.
Soluble fiber binds with fatty acids and forms a gel, which increases the length of, time your stomach takes to empty. This helps in stabilizing your blood sugar levels, and helping you feel fuller for longer. Soluble fiber also helps to lower the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your diet.
Insoluble fiber moves bulk through the intestines and helps the colon to maintain the right pH balance. This helps to protect against constipation because the body can remove toxins and waste more quickly. The correct pH balance also helps protect against colon cancer.
Diets high in fiber have been linked to:
• Reduced cancer risk
• Reduced weight/appetite
• Lower blood sugar levels
• Lower cholesterol
The ideal breakdown in your diet should be 75% soluble and 25% insoluble.
Sources of soluble fiber include:
• Flax seeds
• Psyllium husks
• Carrots and other vegetables
Sources of insoluble fiber include:
• Whole wheat
• Nuts and seeds
• Root vegetables
• Leafy greens
• Fruit skins
Whether you turn to supplements to increase your fiber intake, or increase the number of fiber rich foods in your diet, you should notice a difference in your overall health fairly quickly after increasing your total intake.