: Fiber Has More Than One Role
In addition to its beneficial role in weight management and overall health, high fiber consumption also supports the body’s natural cleansing and detoxification processes. Many experts recommend eating between 20 and 35 grams each day to maintain your health, so it is important to understand the two specific types of fiber and how they work.
Soluble & Insoluble Fiber
Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber help purge unwanted toxins from the body. Soluble fiber (found in fruit, beans, oats, legumes and nuts) dissolves in water and leaves the digestive tract slowly. As it moves through the intestines it works like a sponge, soaking up toxins and capturing them in order to prevent their reabsorption into the bloodstream.
Insoluble fiber (found in vegetables, wheat bran, dried beans, whole grains and seeds) is not water-soluble; it passes through the digestive tract virtually intact. During its journey through the intestines it helps to “sweep” the colon free of debris by removing toxins from the intestinal wall. It also tones the bowel muscles by creating resistance and giving them something to push against, thus promoting peristalsis (the wave-like contractions that move food through your intestines). Peristalsis is necessary for healthy elimination, and healthy elimination is an important step in ridding toxins from the body.
But just how do those toxins enter in the first place?
Fiber vs. Toxic Build-up
The buildup of toxins in your body is the result of both external and internal sources. External toxins such as pesticides and pollutants come from our surrounding environment. They seep into the earth, water and air and can cause severe health problems. Internal toxins, however, come from within. They are the waste products that result from everyday physiological processes such as energy production and digestion. If not discarded, internal toxins can interfere with the function of our internal organs and lead to poor health. Because fiber is a powerful ally in your battle against toxins, getting plenty of fiber in your diet is essential. Consuming a ratio of about 75% insoluble fiber to 25% soluble fiber is ideal, as it reflects the natural balance found in whole foods. The best way to provide a balance of soluble and insoluble fiber is to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods each day.
Great Sources of High Fiber Diet Foods
Legumes and unrefined grains such as oats, brown rice and whole wheat are excellent sources of mixed fibers. Among fruits, apples, avocados, oranges, bananas, grapefruit and berries provide the most fiber per serving, and high-fiber vegetables include spinach, endive, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
The material on this page is for consumer informational and educational purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is intended as, or should be construed as, medical advice. Consumers should consult with their own health care practitioners for individual, medical recommendations.