Soluble and Insoluble Fibers—what’s the difference?
Some of the leading chronic illnesses today can be traced back to poor digestion.
If the digestive system is not functioning properly, then harmful toxins may accumulate in our gastrointestinal tracts. This may result to potential health concerns like cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.
Now, this is where the importance of dietary fibers comes into view.
Daily intake of foods rich in dietary fibers is essential because it helps in keeping the gut clean, and detoxifies harmful toxins in the gastrointestinal tracts.
You can find these nutrients in abundance, mostly in plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables.
You might be hearing dietary fibers a lot to people taking diets and wanting to lose weight, but these nutrients are more than just diet trends.
Other beneficial effects of dietary fibers include improving digestion and reduce cholesterol levels.
But do you know that there are two types of dietary fibers—these are soluble and insoluble fibers.
Although both are essential in our daily diet, each of them impacts our health differently.
Let’s take a closer look at them…
Soluble dietary fibers
There’s not that much of a difference between soluble and insoluble fibers. For this section, I’ll explain soluble first.
These nutrients are like sponges—they absorb harmful toxins out of our system.
As we consume them, it dissolves with liver enzymes and plant pectin that creates a gel-like substance.
It also acts as a filter that hinders toxins from entering the bloodstream. In the process, it improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
As toxins are absorbed, the bacteria’s thriving in the large intestine shall break down these harmful compounds, and eventually flush them out from our system.
Other than vegan and vegetarianism, dietary fiber is also a major staple of most diet programs like sugar detox programs.
Fiber is a popular diet trend because of its support in weight loss. As soon as you crave for foods, instead of reaching for a bar of chocolate, you can opt for fiber rich foods to ease such cravings.
Eating sufficient dietary fibers create a feeling of satiety that alleviates craving.
If you are looking for more answer in relation to how to manage food cravings, then you may find the following articles relevant—How to manage sugar cravings when it hits, and How eliminating sugar fights off cravings.
Foods rich in soluble fibers include brown rice, lentils, peas, and barley tea.
Other notable health benefits linked to soluble fibers—
- It feeds probiotic bacteria and promotes their longevity. Probiotics are healthy bacteria thriving in the gut, which is essential in maintaining a healthy colon.
- It lowers the cholesterol level and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Insoluble dietary fibers
If soluble fibers are a sponge, insoluble fibers are like scrubbers that clean the gastrointestinal tracts.
As you see, both soluble and insoluble fibers work in tandem to keep our health in check.
Insoluble fibers are helpful for people with constipation because these nutrients soften your stool, thus allowing waste to secrete.
Foods rich in insoluble fibers include fruits, leafy greens, vegetable skin, and bran.
They are also in abundance in whole-wheat flour, steam potatoes, unripe bananas, and nuts.
Other notable health benefits of insoluble fiber include—
- It regulates blood sugar levels.
- It may reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and colon cancer.
I hope my soluble and insoluble article has helped you understand this topic.
There’s really not much of a difference between the two nutrients.
Nowadays, the importance of dietary fibers is often disregarded.
Despite the best efforts of health experts promoting a well-balanced diet, the diet of modern man is still dominated by high-calorie foods.
As simple as adding fruits and vegetables in your daily diet can have a significant impact on your health and reduce the risk of diseases.
So be sure to eat your greens daily.