boston-111416One of the most beneficial components of a diet is fiber. Fiber is the indigestible material in foods that can aid in promoting and maintaining healthy digestion. There are two categories of fiber: insoluble and soluble. By incorporating both appropriate forms of fiber into the diet, not only is digestion positively affected, but the body’s overall health can be improved.

Insoluble Fiber
Since insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved, it simply sweeps through the digestive tract, helping to reduce constipation and promote regular bowel movements. This can both ease the process of digestion as well as help remove toxic waste of the body in a timely fashion. Insoluble fiber can also balance and maintain pH levels in the intestines. In doing so, the risk for colon cancer is greatly decreased.

Examples of Insoluble Fiber
Sources of insoluble fiber are readily found in numerous food items. Aside from distinguishing insoluble fiber within the nutrition label of the items, a simple way to identify this category is to note the toughness in chewing. When eating an apple, the skin is more laborious to chew rather than the inside. The skin of an apple is primarily insoluble fiber and the inside is composed of soluble fiber. Incorporate the following foods within a diet to ensure an appropriate amount is consumed.

-wheat and whole grains
-fruits: those with skin like pears and apples, raspberries and figs
-green vegetables: string beans, asparagus, broccoli and okra
-seeds and nuts: sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds
-legumes and beans: lentils, kidney, black, pinto and lima beans

Soluble Fiber
Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber does in fact dissolve and binds to the fatty acids of food. This can prolong the process of emptying out the stomach, contributing to feelings of fullness and satisfaction. Soluble fiber may also significantly help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. as sugar is released slower and therefore absorbed gradually. This type of fiber absorbs cholesterol in the stomach, which can lower the risk of heart disease.

Examples of Soluble Fiber
Many food articles that contain insoluble fiber also contain soluble fiber. Generally fiber rich foods can essentially guarantee convenient intake of appropriate proportions.
-beans and legumes: lentils, chick peas, navy and black beans
-grains: oats, oat bran, barley, wheat and rye
-fruits: those with skin like nectarines and apricots, oranges and grapefruit
-vegetables: brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and turnips
-seeds: flaxseeds and psyllium seeds

Recommended Daily Intake of Fiber
The suggested amount of fiber that one ingests is dependent upon the individual’s calorie intake as well as gender and age. Females aged fifty years or older should consume at least twenty-one grams of total fiber per day. Males aged fifty years or older are recommended to consume thirty grams. The suggested intact of total fiber for females under fifty years is twenty-five grams, while men under fifty years should consume thirty-eight grams.

Nutrition is generally based upon a two thousand calorie diet. If an individual consumes two thousand calories per day, in most cases, twenty-eight grams of total fiber should be incorporated into the diet.

Health Benefits
Fiber is an excellent component of nutrition and can offer an abundance of health benefits. These benefits are not limited to reducing the risk of cancers and heart disease, maintaining insulin and blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol levels, weight management, promoting healthy digestion and bowel movement regularity. Consuming appropriate amounts of fiber daily is essential for overall health and can strengthen an individual’s well-being.