There are two types of dietary fiber, each of which is important for helping maintain health in its own way. Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber work in different ways in the body, but do their best work when they are teamed together.
Soluble Fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance which traps food, fats, sugars and cholesterol in the stomach and softens the stool. Soluble fiber helping to regulate your rate of glucose digestion and absorbing cholesterol in your intestine. Sources of soluble fiber include: oats, beans, nuts, barley and the flesh of fruits such as apples, pears and oranges.
Insoluble Fiber — or “roughage” — moves through your digestive system quickly, but does not absorb water. It aids regularity by adding bulk to the stool. It’s often compared to a broom that cleans out your intestines. By helping prevent constipation and moving food through the colon quickly, insoluble fiber speeds toxins out of the digestive system faster and promotes better overall digestive health. Sources of insoluble Fiber include: whole grains, fruit skins, dark leafy greens, asparagus, celery, seeds and nuts.
When soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are consumed together, they work to scrub the digestive tract of waste, and move it through and right on out of the body. Soluble fiber is particularly helpful for helpful in aiding in satiety, while insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation. Additionally, both types of fiber have been associated with heart health.