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Much More Details On Soluble Fiber

By Faryn Clark


Dietary fiber is generally found in various natural sources such as fruits, grains, beans, seeds, vegetables, and nuts. In fact, soluble fiber plays a vital role in preventing the damage to the heart and blood vessels due to the formation of cholesterol plaques. One should include soluble fiber to their routine nutrition plan. Moreover, one can substitute natural soluble fiber with any, soluble fiber supplements.

Sources of soluble fiber

Some of the natural sources of soluble fiber include oat bran, oatmeal, carrots, Brussels sprouts, beans and other dietary sources. The soluble fiber is effective in aiding the digestive process as it forms a gel layer over the mucosal lining of the bowel system. The gel prevents the absorption and circulation of the bad cholesterol all over the system. The incidence of stroke and heart failure is commonly caused by the high cholesterol levels in the blood. It is imperative to include soluble fiber as part of a diet. It is a highly recommended food source to prevent chronic health problems. Hence, it is advised to take fiber supplements to ensure the adequate intake of soluble fiber.

Form of soluble fiber

In general, dietary fiber is available in 2 varieties: soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is a form that doesn't get readily absorbed in water, but it can relatively surpass the digestive tract without any physical change. In contrary, soluble fiber swells up when exposed to water and produces a gel like substance. However, the daily recommended dose of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber is the same despite the differences. It is advised for older children, adolescents and adults to take up to 30 -35 grams of fiber daily.

The soluble fiber supplements also comprise of different varieties. One of the commonly preferred soluble fiber supplements is psyllium husk. It is obtained by sowing the seeds of the Plantago ovata herb. Some of the different varieties of soluble fiber include methylcellulose, acacia senegal, wheat dextrin, inulin, calcium polycarbophil and guar gum. Although, soluble fiber varieties differ, however its action remains the same throughout the body. Soluble fiber is available in several different forms depending upon the source of diet.

The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University notes that Pectin belongs to a group of thick polysaccharide. Polysaccharides belong to a class of carbohydrate that consists of repeating units of sugar molecules. This type of fiber is abundantly found in the berries and fruits. Pectin is also effective in the form of supplement as it is prepared by extracting it from the apples and peels of citrus fruits.

Beta-glucans

According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, beta glucans belong to the group of soluble fiber and are available in various subtypes depending upon the molecular structure of the fiber. Betaglucans are abundantly present in some of the natural sources such as fortified whole grains, including oats, barley, and wheat. Mushrooms and backer's yeast also contain this type of fiber. A research study performed on this type of fiber has concluded that betaglucans reduce the LDL and total cholesterol in the body by up to 10 percent.

Guar gum

The Linus Pauling Institute claims that the Guar gum belongs to the group of polysaccharides and seeds are its richest source. Apart from reducing the cholesterol levels, guar gum reduces the complications of irritable bowel syndrome. It is also added to the food to thicken their consistency.

Psyllium

The reports of the University of Maryland Medical Center claim that the soluble fiber acts as a distinct laxative and is hence used as an active ingredient in some laxatives like Metamucil. Psyllium is generally extracted from an herb referred to as Plantago ovata that grows abundantly in India. The fiber is generally present in the husk of the seed, and it is extracted for use in medicines and supplements. Psylium has various health benefits as it lowers the cholesterol level, relieve the discomfort caused by conditions such as the irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea constipation, and even hemorrhoids.




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