Do you know your fiber facts? Of course, it’s a part of a balanced diet, but not all dietary fiber is created equal.
Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble, and both types are crucial for overall health.
According to the National Library of Medicine, soluble fiber turns to gel during digestion, which slows the digestive process. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Insoluble fiber helps food move through the digestive track and increases stool bulk, so it is especially useful for individuals who struggle with constipation or irregularity. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables such as green beans and potatoes (with skins).
The Power of Inulin
Inulin is a specific type of soluble fiber found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Bacteria in the bowels convert inulin into short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to nourish colon cells and may induce important immune-mediated effects.
Evidence suggests inulin improves digestive health, relieves constipation, promotes weight loss, and helps control diabetes. Research also indicates inulin may support heart health, improve mineral absorption and bone health, and help prevent colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
How to Get More Fiber – and Inulin
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should aim for 38. (Age matters when it comes to fiber intake: women over 50 should aim for 21 grams while men should target 30 grams.)
Inulin can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including wheat, onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, and asparagus.
If you’re looking for an easier way to increase your fiber and inulin intake, consider introducing a fiber supplement such as Fiber Choice into your daily routine. With just two tablets or gummies, you’ll get all the benefits of fiber while also supporting your immune system, digestive system, and overall health.