It’s important to get a healthy amount of fiber in your diet, but not all fiber is the same! There are two main types of fiber — soluble and insoluble — that benefit the body in unique ways. Depending on your diet, you may prefer to focus on your insoluble fiber intake. Read on to find out if insoluble fiber may be right for you, and what foods can help you get more of this essential nutrient.
What is insoluble fiber?
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and gastrointestinal fluids, turning into a gel-like substance that aids nutrient absorption and feeds our good gut bacteria. It’s commonly found in various fruits and vegetables, as well as fiber supplements made with psyllium husk, such as Bellway’s all-natural fiber.
Insoluble fiber speeds up digestion without releasing calories, which can make it appealing for those who are trying to reduce their calorie intake.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, and remains unchanged during the digestive process. It speeds up digestion without releasing calories, which can make it appealing for those who are trying to reduce their calorie intake.
However, people who experience certain digestive conditions are typically advised to avoid insoluble fiber because it can exacerbate their symptoms. This is especially true of some IBS and ulcerative colitis patients.
What foods are high in insoluble fiber?
If you’re looking to increase your insoluble fiber intake, these may be great options to add to your diet:
- Whole-wheat flour
- Wheat bran
- Beans, especially black beans, kidney beans, and navy beans
- Green beans
- Whole grains, such as barley, quinoa, oatmeal, and rye
- Green peas
- Apples (eaten with the skin)
- Pears (eaten with the skin)
Important: Your body will need time to adjust to your increased fiber intake, so be sure to gradually add more and more fiber to your diet, and to drink plenty of water when doing so.