We hear a lot about the benefits of having a high fiber diet, but are you aware of the true definition and function of fiber? Fiber is a necessary dietary component for healthy colon function and overall well being. Fiber at its most core definition is the portion of a plant food that cannot be digested by your body. However there are two distinct types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. These two types have distinct functions and advantages that will be discussed.
Foods high in fiber can help your stomach to stay full for longer periods of time due to their low density properties. Low density means that a food is low in calories and high in volume. Researchers have been able to prove the link between a high consumption of fiber and weight loss and weight loss maintenance. The recommended daily amount for men is 30 to 38g and 21 to 25g for women.
What is Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber attracts and dissolves in water. During digestion, these fibers turn to a gel-like material. This gel is great for slowing the digestion process, which in turn lowers the LDL cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber also slows the rate that fats and carbohydrates are digested. The decreased rate that these are digested will help to lower the amount of fat in your blood and ensure you do not become sensitive to insulin. Foods high in soluble fiber include psyllium, oatmeal, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, peas, apples, strawberries and beans.
Benefits of Soluble Fiber
decreases fats in the blood
decreases risk of insulin sensitivity and regulates blood sugar
lowers risk of high cholesterol
Drawbacks of Soluble Fiber
absorbs a lot of water (from stomach and walls of colon)
excessive amounts may lead to constipation
What is Insoluble Fiber?
Insoluble fiber attracts water but cannot dissolve in it. Therefore the insoluble fiber moves through the digestive system in its full form. It also helps to pull water into the intestines from other areas of the body. Lubricating the intestines helps the bowels to move efficiently, and for waste to be eliminated from the body. Insoluble fiber has a researched link to preventing colon cancer by continuing to move possible carcinogens quickly through so they have no time to contact the colon. It also prevents hemorrhoids, constipation and pockets in the colon, called diverticula. Foods high in insoluble fiber include wheat bran and cereals, rice, beets, carrots, cauliflower, sprouts and apple skin.
Benefits of Insoluble Fiber
increased amount of water in the colon
decreases risk of hemorrhoids and diverticula
decreases risk of constipation
Drawbacks of Insoluble Fiber
excessive amounts can irritate the walls of the colon and intestines
To maintain proper fiber levels, we suggest using products from Renew Life. Brenda Watson and her team have decades of experience helping people cleanse and renew their colon function. You can view her video above, and take a look at her colon cleanse and fiber products here.
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