No doubt, you have heard of soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. When it comes to colon health, then fiber is one of the most important constituents required. Unfortunately for hardcore non vegetarians, fiber can only be found in plant foods. And fortunately, cereal is one of them, so most people do get some amount of fiber in their diets, but this is generally insufficient. To maintain healthy colon health, a normal adult needs an intake of at least 30 grams of fiber per day. The sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes and beans.
Fiber, which is a carbohydrate form that is not digested by the human body, is broadly classified into two types—soluble and insoluble. Both of these are extremely important for colonic and overall health. Let us have a look at what these two different fibers are, how they both affect human health and where you can find them.
These are defined as those that are soluble in water. When this combines with fluids like water, it forms a gel like mucaloid substance that slows down the movement of food in the digestive tract. This quality of fiber aids in overall health because this gives the colon appropriate time to absorb all the nutrition from food before it is flushed out of the body.
Another major advantage is that it also absorbs fat from food before it moves out of the human body, an action that helps in controlling the amount of fats that are absorbed by the body. In this way, they help in controlling cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and total body weight. It also helps in providing body to colonic wastes, thus helping the movement of waste out of the body.
Since it is essential for maintaining good health it should definitely be included in the diet in ample amounts. Good sources of soluble fiber are apples, pears, blueberries, oranges, strawberries, flax seed, oat bran, oatmeal, barley, dried peas, lentils, beans, nuts and psyllium husk etc.
Unlike soluble fibers, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in liquids like water. However, it absorbs water from the colon, which in turn makes stools softer and easier to pass. Insoluble fibers greatly aid colon health by providing bulk to waste and aiding the easy movement of waste out of the colon.
As opposed to soluble fibers, which delay the movement of food through the digestive tract, insoluble fibers speed it up. Waste from food gets easily excreted when it is soft and bulky, and therefore, insoluble fiber helps in avoiding constipation or improper waste removal. Since insoluble fiber greatly aids the colon in performing its function of getting rid of toxic wastes on time, it is crucial in preventing painful ailments like diverticulosis and hemorrhoids. These fibers also help in maintaining the acidity level in the colon, a imbalance of which has been known to be a predisposing cause of colon cancer. Good sources of insoluble fibers are green leafy vegetables, whole grains, celery, cucumbers, green beans, wheat bran, wheat oat, seeds and nuts etc.