Fiber 101: How Soluble and Insoluble Optimize Your Health

Fiber is a nutrient every health professional talks about consistently. They know that getting enough fiber every day is essential to optimizing your health and they are absolutely right.

What most of them fail to do, however, is discuss the two types: soluble and insoluble. Both of these play a key part in a healthy lifestyle. This post will explore how they work.

What is soluble fiber and how does it keep you healthy?

Soluble fiber is the kind that can mix with either the water or fat in our bodies and create a gel-like mixture. This is important because it helps you feel fuller on less food.

Examples of Soluble Fiber

Not everyone is going to like the same kind of soluble fiber, so let’s look at a few kinds:

  1. Chia seeds! Imagine this: if you’ve ever put these seeds into liquid, you’ll see them gradually start to swell up.
  2. Nuts! Foods like almond, cashews and walnuts are also jam-packed with this amazing nutrient.
  3. Beans! You’ve seen beans swell up as you cook them in a stew… That’s soluble fiber!
  4. Fruits! Most fruits are chewy and gooey. Think about how bananas, strawberries or avocados get softer as you eat them. That is their soluble fiber beginning to work from the first bite.

What is insoluble fiber and how does it keep you healthy?

Insoluble is a little bit different because it cannot be absorbed or digested by the body. You’re probably wondering why we should eat something if your body can’t do anything with it.

This type is essential in our lives because it works to clean out the gunk that has built up in our intestines. Increasing your intake of insoluble fiber and helps with a variety of common health problems, bloated stomach, being the most hated, will be decreased dramatically!

Examples of Insoluble Fiber

insoluble fiber examples

Again, not every person will enjoy the same kinds of foods, so let’s look at different types:

  1. Leafy green veggies are one of the best sources of this nutrient. Kale, spinach and broccoli will scrub out any junk left in the intestines each time they are eaten.
  2. Apple skins: eating this part of the fruit can help clear out your system because your body won’t absorb it.
  3. Oats: this food is special because it has both soluble and insoluble fiber.

A simple recipe

If you don’t want to graze, try my kale kiwi banana smoothie – it is delicious and you can’t taste the veggies.

What ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber should you eat?

See also  Carbohydrates 101: What they are and Why you Need them

Most health professionals don’t make a suggestion about which ratio the average Joe should take. To know what’s right for you, think about what you want to achieve. If you want to get full fast and stay full, go with soluble. If you want to clean out your intestines, insoluble is your best bet.

Regardless of which ratio you decide is right for you, it is important to get at least 25 grams of total fiber per day for optimal health and well-being!

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