Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.
Fiber is commonly classified as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve.
The amount of soluble and insoluble fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.
Medical scientists and nutritionists categorize dietary fiber into two classifications. Soluble fiber, as the name suggests, dissolves easily in water. Plants such as beans, greens, and other complex carbohydrates contain soluble fiber; some foods, such as the potato, contain a mix of insoluble fiber (the peel) and soluble fiber (the flesh underneath). The human body breaks down these complex carbs into a gelatinous, viscous byproduct that the large intestine turns into gasses and acids that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the lower gut. These bacteria positively affect several essential bodily functions and overall health.
Insoluble fiber won’t dissolve in water but is just as important to overall health and well-being as soluble fiber. We can further classify insoluble fiber into two types: fermentable and non-fermentable. Non-fermentable insoluble fiber is known primarily as a bulking agent, and consuming adequate insoluble fiber keeps people regular. Fermentable insoluble fiber — such as resistant starch —produces the same healthy gasses and acids in the large intestine that soluble fiber does. One important difference between the two types of fibers is that soluble fiber tends to slow digestion while insoluble fiber speeds it up.
A high-fiber diet:
Vegan diets, rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes are much more likely to easily yield the amount and kind of fiber your body needs to maintain good digestive health. … Peas, beans and apples contain soluble fiber, which slows digestion and helps the body absorb nutrients from food.Fiber is an important part of our diets and most people simply aren’t getting enough of it. Fiber is essential to the body’s digestive system and it helps to expel toxins from the intestines and the bowels. Fiber is actually a type of carbohydrate that the body doesn’t digest, but instead, passes to help to clear out some of the unhealthy junk we’ve been eating. The two types of fibers include soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers absorb water from the body and helps move waste. Soluble fiber is related to lowering cholesterol levels and slowing digestion, which keeps our energy levels stable and helps to control our hunger. Inulin and psyllium are commonly used forms of soluble fiber but they differ in many ways. One of the main benefits of adding soluble fiber to your diet is that it adds bulk to stool, helping to relieve constipation. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in your digestive tract, helping to prevent loose watery stools. Increasing your soluble fiber intake also aids in controlling your cholesterol and blood glucose levels, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Psyllium is more effective in these aspects because it does not get broken down by intestinal bacteria. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation by fermenting and creating bacteria, which makes it bulky and helps to clean our digestive tract from leftovers.
The recommended daily intake of fiber for women hovers between 21 and 25 grams of fiber per day, while for men it’s 30 to 38 grams per day.
Raspberries – Fiber: 8 grams per cup, raw.
Blackberries – Fiber: 7.6 grams per cup, raw.
Avocados- Fiber: 6.7 grams per half, raw.
Pears – Fiber: 5.5 grams per medium fruit, raw.
Nuts & Seeds: 1/4 cup = 2.5 grams of fibre
Tips to Add More Fiber to Any Meal
Add flaxseed meal to oats, smoothies, yogurt, A two-tablespoon serving contains 3.8 grams of fiber and a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have a whopping 5.5 grams of fiber per tablespoon. When they meet with water, they form a goopy gel that is great for thickening smoothies, making healthy puddings, or replacing eggs in cakes and cookies. Refer to the Medicinal Cookies recipe in week 6 module notes which contain both organic Psyllium fiber and organic Inulin powder.