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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Fibres >>  Soluble fiber foods
Soluble fiber foods

Fiber is an important part of the human diet. The human digestive system is a complicated system that is very long. The upper part of the digestive system is related to consumption. This part is less complicated. It allows the simple movement of food that has been chewed up into the stomach.
In the stomach, food is digested and broken down into its components. The useful parts of the food are absorbed into the system. The rest of the food is passed into the long and complicated intestinal system. The intestinal system is where the food is further digested and more nutrients are absorbed. It is also the area of the body where the food is gradually separated into waste. This waste moves down the intestinal system until it is released through the anus. The intestinal system itself is between 24 and 28 feet long in the average human being. This is a substantial distance for food to cover. Dietary fiber is the type of food that is not digested, but provides some bulk to the food mass passing through the digestive system. By providing some bulk and some rough structure, the fiber allows the food to smoothly move through the digestive system. This smooth movement allows the food to be passed through each part of the system without any blockages. The swift passage of food ensures that there is no excess fermentation that takes place.

There are two types of dietary fiber. These are soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The fiber that is completely inert to the digestive process is known as insoluble fiber. This fiber is pure bulk that makes up a portion of the food in the system. This bulk is useful for moving food through the system and eliminating constipation. The other type of dietary fiber is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber plays a role during the digestive process and is not inert. It is affected by the chemicals that interact in the digestive system. Soluble fiber has an important role in the regulation of components in the human body. Soluble fiber absorbs water during the digestive process. This makes it into a paste like substance.  This paste passes through the digestive system and absorbs carbohydrates as it does so. This allows the body to reduce its absorption of carbohydrates and, therefore, its blood sugar levels. Without soluble fiber, most carbohydrate rich foods would cause extreme variations in the blood sugar levels of consumers. Apart from helping with the regulation of blood sugar, soluble fiber also helps to manage a person’s cholesterol level. The dangerous form of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, is reduced by soluble fiber as this cholesterol may be absorbed by the fiber and passed out of the body. This is beneficial in the long run because studies have shown a direct link between low density lipoprotein and various cardiac illnesses. Soluble fiber also slows the process of digestion so that food is slowly absorbed over an extended period of time.

There are many different soluble fiber foods that can be used by people to improve their digestive performance. These include barley, oats, nuts, apples, oranges and carrots. It should be noted that most foods that contain soluble fiber also contain insoluble fiber which makes them ideal for the digestive process. The presence of both forms of fiber allows the body to regulate the various aspects of the digestive process effectively. Consuming soluble fiber foods will help with various long term conditions and will probably improve the health of an individual. It should be noted, however, that some soluble fiber foods promote the production of gas in the digestive system which may lead to some digestive discomfort.  

Submitted on January 16, 2014