What is fiber?

  • Fiber comes from plant filaments.
  • There are two types of dietary fiber:
    • Soluble
      • Type of fiber that can be dissolved in water and forms a jelly-like substance in the digestive tract and is broken down by gut bacteria.
    • Insoluble
      • Type of fiber that doesn’t change form, but is broken down by gut bacteria.

What does fiber do?

  • It encourages regular bowel movements since fiber absorbs water and is not digestible by the human body.
  • Soluble fiber:
    • The jelly-like substance makes bowel movements easier
    • Slows down rate of gastric emptying, which keeps you fuller longer
    • Maintains blood sugars, which is helpful for those with diabetes
    • Reduces LDL cholesterol
    • Good for immune & digestive health
  • Insoluble fiber:
    • Prevents constipation
    • Speeds up bowel movements
    • Prevents colorectal cancer

What are the best sources for fiber?

  • Soluble fiber:
    • Beans
    • Citrus fruits
    • Zucchini
    • Prunes
    • Oatmeal
  • Insoluble fiber:
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Dark leafy greens
    • Root vegetable and fruit skins
    • Whole wheat breads and pasta

Deficiencies and what to look for

  • Most Americans do not eat enough fiber.
  • Symptoms include: irregular bowel movements, hemorrhoids, bloating.
  • For those that have allergies to fiber-rich foods, ask your doctor about taking fiber supplements.
  • When increasing fiber intake, drink more water so that constipation does not occur. Introduce new foods slowly and chew well to prevent discomfort. Your body will thank you!
  • FYI – We suggest digestive enzymes and 1/2 the body weight in water daily (if weighing 100 pounds drink 50 ounces) to help break down the food.

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