We hear about fiber and are always told to eat more, but what does it really do? Fiber is a non-digestible component found in plant-based foods that is also referred to as “roughage” or “bulk.” Unprocessed vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains all contain fiber. Different from other food components such as fat, protein, and carbohydrates, fiber is not digested by our system, but actually passes through our bodies. Because of this, fiber acts as a digestive aid, and helps us stay “regular.” There are two main types of fiber: soluble, which dissolves in water, as well as insoluble, which does not.
Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, forms a gel-like substance. This type of fiber is found in many foods, including apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, carrots, oats, peas and barley. Soluble fiber is incredibly important in the diet and can actually help lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, mainly acts as roughage in our diet. This type of fiber helps materials move through the digestive system and prevents constipation. Foods high in insoluble fiber include broccoli, bell peppers, corn, wheat, bran, pineapple, and melon, just to name a few.
Most foods with fiber contain both insoluble and soluble. The best option is to eat a wide variety of foods to gain optimal benefits. Other than helping to lower cholesterol and blood sugar and maintaining bowel health, fiber can even help us achieve a healthier weight! When we eat high-fiber foods, we are more likely to feel fuller, and for a longer amount of time. This is due to the larger volume, or bulk created by high-fiber foods.
Here at DeliverLean, we focus on whole, fresh ingredients in all of our meals. From Classic to Paleo to Vegetarian, all of our dishes are full of fiber such as in-season vegetables, fruits, and a wide variety of whole grains and legumes. Getting enough fiber in your diet becomes a no-brainer when you’re on the DL!