By Gentle Heron
Fiber is the only nutrient that your body can not absorb… and that is why it is healthy for you. The fiber in your diet comes from plant parts that your digestive system can not break down. Dietary fiber is either soluble or insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water in your intestines to form a gel-like substance. Soluble fiber lowers the level of “bad” (low-density) lipoprotein cholesterol in your blood. It also reduces blood pressure and lowers inflammation. Soluble fiber may slows absorption of sugar, which improves blood sugar levels for Type 1 diabetics. It may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve and passes unchanged through the digestive tract. It promotes bowel health, relieving constipation and solidifying loose stools. A diet with adequate insoluble fiber may lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Good sources of soluble fiber include apples, beans, carrots, citrus fruits, and oats. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as bran, nuts, whole grain cereals and breads, and many vegetables. Processed foods contain very little fiber.
For ideas on adding fiber to your diet, please see: