Good Sources of Soluble Fiber

Kanika Khara Nov 3, 2018
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Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that absorbs water and keeps your stool secretion effortless and painless. Fruits, oatmeal, root vegetables etc., are some rich sources of soluble fiber. This information throws light on many other food sources and some of its health benefits.
Dietary fiber is a food substance found in plants that contains no calories and has many health benefits associated with it. High intake of this fiber lowers the blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels, hence reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
Fiber supplementation enhances the body's immune system and minimizes the possibilities of many gastrointestinal disorders, like gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids. For people who are on a diet or a weight loss program, fiber intake is highly beneficial.
There are mainly two types of fibers - soluble and insoluble. Neither of these are digestible, as they are not absorbed into the bloodstream. These fibers are not utilized as a source of energy and are excreted from the body.
Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with water, while the insoluble fiber helps move the food through our body and gets excreted more quickly. The recommended dietary fiber amount in food is 21 to 38 grams per day.

Foods High in Soluble Fiber

Some of the best sources of this fiber are as follows:
  • Fruits like apples, cranberries, grapes, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes are excellent sources. Eating these fruits without peeling them will help in preserving their fiber content.
  • Oatmeal is one of the best sources of fiber, also having a low sugar content.
  • Root vegetables like beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes have a lot of fiber.
  • Legumes like beans, peas, and soybeans are also considered to be rich in fibers.
  • Barley and rye are also good sources which can be found in different types of bread.
  • Psyllium husk, flax seed, Brussels sprouts, blackberries, etc., are some more sources.

Health Benefits

The benefits of this fiber primarily occur in our digestive system, i.e., stomach and small intestine. Some of these benefits are as follows:
  • Soluble fiber decelerates digestion in the stomach and small intestine, which slows down the conversion of carbs into glucose, hence stabilizing the blood glucose levels. By reducing the glycemic index of the food, it forces the nutrients to spend more time in the digestive area, eventually increasing the uptake of minerals and other nutrients in food.
  • It reduces the blood cholesterol and sugar levels by binding with the bile acids and cholesterol in the digestive tract, hence preventing them from getting absorbed by the body. This reduces the risk of heart diseases and helps in controlling diabetes.
  • It forms a thick gel when it comes in contact with water in the digestive tract. This slows down the digestive process and gives a feeling of satiety. Hence, the fiber is quite a useful component in a healthy weight loss diet as the person doesn't feel hungry frequently.
  • This fiber also has some cancer benefits as it helps in preventing colon cancer and breast cancer.
A diet full of fiber content is thus, inherently responsible for a healthy life. To ensure this, all you have to do is to make some minor changes to your eating habits, like replacing white bread with whole wheat bread, having an apple or an orange for breakfast, or a bowl of oatmeal in place of sugary cereal.
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