A high fiber diet is one of the most commonly recommended diets by nutritionists and health care practitioners. This type of diet is highly acclaimed for being beneficial to cardiovascular health. According to experts, fiber promotes the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels and supports healthy sugar balance as well. Aside from these, fiber is also beneficial to our digestive and colon health. It supports regularity of elimination and aids in the normal process of detoxification.
Meaning of fiber
When we say fiber, we are referring to the indigestible parts of plants. There are two types of fiber soluble and insoluble. A healthy diet should include both types as each provides its benefits. To give you a better idea of these two types, imagine your typical kitchen sponge. It has two different sides used to clean dishes. The soft, absorbent side represents soluble fiber, and the rough scrubby side represents insoluble fiber.
As suggested by the word “soluble,” dissolves in water, forms a gel and draws to itself water soluble materials such as cholesterol and excess toxins. It efficiently assists with the body’s natural process elimination. Because of its ability to absorb liquids, soluble fiber helps form stool making it a good remedy to such problems as diarrhea which can be very uncomfortable.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is also known as roughage. This type is found in foods such as vegetables, fibrous fruits, and bran. Insoluble fiber gives bulk to the bowel, and as it goes through the digestive tract, it sweeps clean the intestinal wall thus it is also referred to as nature’s broom. People suffering from constipation are often advised to increase their intake of insoluble fiber as it also promotes regular bowel movements.
Importance of fiber in diet
When balanced correctly, both soluble and insoluble fibers work as a team to help maintain the digestive tract in a good condition similar to a sponge and a scraper. A diet that is rich in grains, fruits, and vegetable supplies is roughly 20-55% soluble fiber and 65-76% insoluble fiber.
According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should consume 20-35 grams of fiber daily. Nutritionists, health practitioners, doctors and even fitness professionals all strongly recommend that we eat more fiber because of the great good it does to our digestive and cardiovascular systems. With the inadequate amount of fiber most people consume daily, the simple and easiest solution would be the use of fiber supplements.