Increasing Fiber in your diet has multiple benefits:
It helps manage your blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, keep your gastrointestinal lining clean and your bowels moving!
First let's distinguish the difference between the two types of fiber.
Soluble fiber- Soluble fiber dissolves in water. So what this actually does in your system is it attracts water, absorbing it and creating a kind of gel like substance which slows down digestion. This actually causes a delay in your body emptying your stomach and makes you feel full for longer, meaning you need to eat less and less often. This also helps slow the movement of the food into the upper intestines where the absorption of sugars occur meaning the release of sugars becomes regulated helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. This decreases the amount of insulin you need at one time which can help you from getting diabetes. Soluble fiber also conveniently interferes with the body’s ability to absorb dietary cholesterol which low.ers you levels of the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood.
Common sources of soluble fiber include things like cereals, beans, fruit, bran, berries, nuts, vegetables and of course the mighty hemp seed.
Insoluble fiber- Insoluble fiber is one of the most important items in our diet simply because the typical diet consists of overly processed foods and contains so little. Think of insoluble fiber as the toothbrush of your intestinal system. Eating a diet high in insoluble fiber ensures that you will have a good clean intestinal track which is one of the most important things to maintaining good health. Insoluble fiber does not absorb water and therefore passes through the intestinal system pretty well intact has a laxative effect and adds bulk or roughage to the diet helping prevent constipation. This type of fiber also speeds up the passage of food and waste through the intestinal system.
Common sources of insoluble fiber include things like whole flours, whole grains, brans like wheat bran and corn bran, nuts, barley, couscous, whole rice, high fiber vegetables, raisins and grapes, fruit and root vegetable skins and seeds.
Let's add a little to your diet...the following are fibers that have multiple benefits!
Flax Seeds: Contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. They also pack in a good serving of Omega-3 essential fatty acids ( the good fats). But their biggest addition to the fiber fix is their high percentage the phytonutrient, Lignan. This makes them one of the champs of antioxidant containing foods. I suggest using ground flax to fully maximize the absorption of all components of the seeds. www.spectrumorganics.com
Psyllium: Is an insoluble form of fiber made form the Plantaogo rato plant, specifically from the husks of the seeds. It's most commonly know as a laxative. But is also thought to benefit your heart and your pancreas.
Inulin: Is found naturally in some vegetables and is also isolated from the root of the chicory plant. It's greatest benefit is the fact that it is both soluble and prebiotic. Therefore it has the ability to create bulk in the colon, effecting blood sugar and helps cultivate the large intestine with “good bacteria”. However it is advisable to limit intake as it can cause some gas and bloating. It is often used as a sweetener in low calorie foods, so read your labels!
Acacia: Is a naturally occurring fiber found in the gum of the Acacia tree. It is also a prebiotic so it simultaneously increases the growth of good gut bacteria. However, unlike some prebiotics and fiber sources acacia slows colon fermentation. Therefore it can actually decrease the occurrence of gas and bloating while still encouraging bowel regularity. It is especially useful for those suffering from IBS.http://www.helpforibs.com/shop/suplmts/acacia.asp
Gluten Free Oat Bran: Oat bran is one of a handful of foods that provides significant amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber. When food manufacturers mill whole oats, they separate the bran from the inner kernel. A 1-cup portion of cooked oat bran contains a total of 5.7 grams of fiber, made up on both soluble and insoluble fiber. I suggest Gluten Free Oat Bran. It helps aid in regularity without potentially causing irritation if you are sensitive to gluten. www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-oat-bran.html
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are tiny black seeds harvested from Salvia Hispancia a native plant of South American, and related to the family of mint! Chia is one of richest forms of soluble fiber, 40% by weight. It is also naturally high in protein, antioxidants, increases good gut flora and it is even touted as an aid to weight loss. It creates fullness by it's tremendous ability absorb water, creating bulk and a sense of fullness. This being said, it is very important to drink plenty of water when adding Chia to your diet, otherwise it may have the opposite effect and leave you with constipation. It truly is a Super Food!http://www.livestrong.com/article/369283-chia-seeds-and-fiber/
Hemp Seed: Yes Hemp Seeds do come from a variety of Cannabis plants, but the seeds contain extremely low levels of THC or none at all. A comparison would be the amount of opium found in a poppy seed. It is not possible to use Hemp Seeds as a drug. Another Super Food in my opinion! It is full of both insoluble and soluble fiber. It is a perfect high protein food containing all nine essential amino acids maximizing absorptions and especially good sources for vegans and raw food enthusiasts. The essential fatty acids ( both Omega-3's and 6's) are abundant in come in the ratios that highly benefit humans. It is another Super Food in my opinion! manitobaharvest.com/
I encourage you to try them all- there are no bad choices and only good benefits!