Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
what is fiber?
Fiber is what gives plants structure. For example, when we eat celery, the dietary fiber is the indigestible portion of the plant. No matter how much you chew, or it’s long trek through the digestive system, it’s still coming out on the other side (aka your toilette).
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolved in water with it’s mixed with liquid and forms a gel (think chia seeds). As it moves through the intestines it ferments and can become prebiotic. Prebiotics help to feed the beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
psyllium husk, oats, tofu, edamame, avocado, sweet potato, dried figs, flax seeds, chia seeds, legumes, carrots
why we love soluble fiber
Prolongs stomach emptying time thus sugar is released and absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly. Soluble fiber helps keep blood sugar level steady by preventing a spike in blood glucose. Feeds gut-friendly bacteria.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water or change it’s form as it moves through the digestive tract. It helps move through the intestines and acts as a bulking agent – this helps remove waste from the colon by helping you go number two.
wheat, oat bran, nuts, flax, dark leafy greens, potatoes, cauliflower
why we love insoluble fiber
It helps move food bulk through the intestines. It also helps to control and balance the pH acidity in the intestines. Promotes regular bowel movements by removing waste in the colon. Prevents constipation and form the base of soft, bulky stool. Oh ya baby.
health benefits of fiber
makes better poops
Eating fiber will increase the weight and size of your stool. Having bulky stool with decrease the chance of constipation and make it easier to pass. It will also help to soften your stool. However, if you are having issues with loose stool fiber will actually help hold stool together because it absorbs water and will add bulk.
you’ll feel full
Fiber and fat are two great ways to feel full after a meal. High fiber foods are more filling than foods lacking fiber. If you are eating meals high in fiber you are likely to eat small portions and stay full longer. Dietary fiber also adds no calories to the diet.
blood sugar regulation
Fiber can help slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. This helps to prevent blood sugar spikes and falls thus helping to prevent insulin resistance.
lowers LDL cholesterol
The soluble fibers in flaxseed, oats, and beans can help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering the amount of low-density lipoprotein.
Having a diet high in dietary fiber means food is passing through your digestive tract at a healthy speed. That could help to lower the risk of developing diverticulitis or hemorrhoids.
nutrients from whole foods
The greatest sources of dietary fiber come from whole, plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts. These are all nutrient-dense foods that will deliver a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and macromolecules.