Fiber is the part of any plant that give it structure. Think of it as the skeleton. It gives it substance. The stiff structure holds up the stuff in between like a spider web. When we eat plant foods, it helps us pass food through our bodies and assists in elimination of the foods we don't use. We need lots of food with fiber to be "regular."
Soluble fiber is one that attracts water during digestion and can make us feel fuller. It turns into a type of gel. One common soluble fiber is psyllium. We can see the common supplement Metamucil gel up in warm water. Then it assists in relieving constipation in hours. Lentils, nuts, seeds, oats, and peas are also soluble fiber, attracting water as they digest. Soluble fiber slows down digestion, and, because it expands with the water absorption, it makes one feel full for a long period of time when compared to a non fiber diet.
Insoluble fiber is one that doesn't absorb or dissolve in water. Common insoluble fibers are the outside layers of fruits and vegetables, the celery threads, peanut shells, the artichoke threads in the leaves, etc. They come out of the body pretty much looking the same way they went into the body. Insoluble fibers are essential scrub brushes for the intestines and the elimination system.
Together the two types of fibers work well in keeping our immune system strong and our digestion in peak condition. Grandma was right. Eat your vegetables!
I want to hear from you! What are your favorite veggies? How do you like to prepare them?
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