What is Soluble Fiber?
Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods that is crucial for a healthy diet and a person’s proper digestion. Fiber is classified as either insoluble fiber or soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is a form of fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water, passes through the digestive system close to its original form, and primarily benefits the intestines and colon. Conversely, soluble fiber does mix with water, ferments in the colon, and binds to fatty acids to produce short-chain fatty acids that contribute to a person’s health and well-being.
What are the health benefits of Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber has been found to stabilize blood glucose levels and thus help prevent diabetes, lower LDL cholesterol and thus contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease, prevents obesity, improves gastrointestinal disorders, prevent colon cancer, treat yeast overgrowth in women, prevent inflammation of the intestine, and aid in the absorption of certain minerals, and increases the production of helpful bacteria in the colon.
What foods are good sources of Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber can be found in all plant foods, though some foods contain more insoluble fiber than soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can be found in relatively larger quantities in oats and oat bran, rye, barley, legumes such as peas and soybeans, nuts, flax seed, fruits such as oranges and apples, vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, and psyllium husk. Plums may have a lot of insoluble fiber in its skin, but the pulp inside is a source of soluble fiber. Similarly, root vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes have a lot of insoluble fiber in the skin but have a lot of soluble fiber in the meat of the vegetable.
According to the American Dietetic Association, an adult’s daily diet should include at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
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