Everyone already knows fiber is so very good for digestion. Not everyone knows there are different kinds of food fibers.
There are two types of fiber - soluble and insoluble. This week's challenge is for soluble fibers!
Soluble fiber - think smooth gel-like fiber - like okra, chia seeds, aloe vera, as well as pears, apples, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, lentils, prunes, hummus, and oatmeal. The soluble fiber in these foods bind to cholesterol, old hormones, and fat-soluble chemicals that your liver processes out of your system. Soluble fiber sticks to these waste chemicals within the digestive tract, and we all know the exit strategy from there!
Soluble fibers can also serve as food for healthy bacteria in your digestive tract. That's why sometimes gas and bloating can occur after eating foods like beans - the bacteria digest certain fibers - a process which creates gas and acids. This can lead to bloating and gas within your gut. Instead of avoiding these foods, consider taking a Bean-o or other digestive supplement to help reduce the discomfort. Over time, you may find that your digestion begins to tolerate these foods better in the long run.
Insoluble fiber - think roughage - like lettuce, greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, celery. These are the food-fibers that give a 'crunch' when you eat them. Insoluble fibers are helpful for bulking up the still and giving the muscles in the small intestine something to 'push' against. They can also help decreased the likelihood of developing colon cancer!
This week's challenge is targeting specifically soluble-fiber rich foods.
The weekly change series challenge is to consume soluble-fiber rich foods. In my professional opinion, these smooth-fiber foods have a greater impact on your digestive health, as well as your body's ability to move certain fat-soluble toxins out of your system through elimination.
Soluble fiber can also help bring water to the digestive tract, helping to reduce the risk of constipation. WIN! Right now, I'm thinking about how happy my dog is after he does his business - he runs around as if he's just thrilled about being a little - lighter!
There are some sources of soluble fiber that might need some natural 'processing' before you consume them. Think about whole flaxseeds - these have a pointy end, and can be quite 'sharp'. My suggestion is to always consume flaxseeds that have been ground first in order to maximize your nutrient absorption, and fiber availability. This may also help reduce the risk of diverticulitis onset, as those little pointed ends can easily get stuck in a pocket in your gastrointestinal tract, or even in your gums!
For the best ranking of soluble fiber fiber foods - check out this chart from Prebiotin. Be sure to click through the letters at the top to find your favorite fiber-rich foods.
If you are truly worried about what adding more fiber to your diet might do to your digestion - in terms of gas, bloating, flatulence, or other symptom, then try taking these foods along with a digestive enzyme. Click to shop my store for the digestive enzyme that I use just about every day. I swear by it - and it's the only supplement I travel with for a weekend trip!
Happy fiber-week to you! Let me know how you liked last week's challenge by commenting on that post!
Remember, these challenges are designed to be taken every day for 7 days! Don't miss a single day! You can certainly eat the same soluble fiber-rich food each day. Even though variety is the spice of life, sometimes our lives are too busy to give extra though to it. So pick a food any food, and go for it! Start tonight.
For more of the "rules" for this weekly challenge, see my introduction post for the weekly change series kick-off!