Saturday, October 3, 2015

Your New BFFs (best fiber friends)

Most people are familiar with the fact that fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. You may not know that different kinds of fiber exist, each with different functions.

Insoluble Fiber keeps you regular and stengthens your intestinal muscles. This strong fiber is found in plant cell walls and cannot dissolve in water or be digested, so it passes through while giving you a plethora of benefits. This type of fiber can prevent constipation, reduce cardiovascular and Type 2 diabetes risk factors, help maintain healthy weight, and curb appetite.
brown rice, wheat bran, beets, bananas, apples, pumpkin, all leafy greens

Soluble Fiber helps to regulate blood glucose, lower blood pressure and supports good bacteria growth which keeps your immune system strong. This fiber dissolves in water and swells up, forming a gel that grabs bile and eliminates it. This forces the liver to pull more cholesterol out of the blood, indirectly reducing "bad" LDL cholesterol.
beans, oat cereals, Brussel sprouts, oranges, flaxseed

Resistant Starch resists digestion, quickly passing through while promoting good-bug flora that produce cancer-fighting butyrate fatty acids. This fiber helps the body resist colo-rectal cancer by killing precancerous cells and reducing inflammation that can promote cancer. Interestingly, it is recommended that these foods be eaten at room temperature to reap the cancer-fighting benefits.
cooled pastas, potatoes, legumes, oatmeal, rice, under-ripe bananas

Functional Fibers are isolated and added to processed products. Nutrition labels list insoluble and soluble fibers. Know the function of the fibers you choose. For example, wheat dextrin controls blood sugar but, unlike psyllium, cannot reduce cholesterol. For detailed information:

Fiber supplements are great; food is always better. Isolated ingredients cannot replace the abundant benefits that consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables seeds, nuts and whole grains can give.

Eat Well and Enjoy Your Food

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