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Foods High in Soluble Fiber- Benefits

Updated on September 4, 2012

There are several health benefits of foods high in soluble fiber. They promote digestion and help to get over the problem of constipation.

Several foods we consume daily like grains, fruits and vegetables contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel during the digestion. It slows down the digestion process and helps the stomach to absorb more nutrients. Most soluble fibers are fermented during the digestion process.

Some of the benefits of high soluble fiber foods are

Lower blood cholesterol levels

Weight loss

Control gastrointestinal disorder

Prevent diabetes and stroke

Apples
Apples | Source

Constipation

The stools at times harden and remain in the colon for longer periods resulting in constipation. Constipation is a very common digestive disorder. Some of the major reasons for constipation are lack of dietary fiber in the diet and lower intake of water. Soluble fiber makes the stools soft and helps its passage through the intestine to excrete them. Both soluble and insoluble fiber can help to maintain the frequency of the bowel movements and get over the problem of constipation.

Diabetes

Soluble fiber does not allow the digestive tract to breakdown carbohydrates like starches and sugar completely. Only a part of it is absorbed by the stomach. This helps to prevent the sudden rise of blood glucose levels.

Cholesterol

Soluble fiber reduces the ability of the intestine to absorb food. This makes liver to produce more bile salts using more cholesterol. This helps to reduce the blood cholesterol levels, lowering the chances of heart attack and stroke.

Weight Loss

Soluble fiber absorbs water and expands. This makes you feel fuller. It also slows down the digestion and does not easily allow the absorption of carbohydrates. This helps to postpone the pangs of hunger reducing the intake of food resulting in weight loss.

Diarrhea

Soluble fiber absorbs water and bulks the stools. It slows down the passage of food through the digestive tract to stop diarrhea. On the contrary insoluble fiber can worsen the condition as it speeds up the passage food. If you have diarrhea you should increase the intake of soluble fiber and decrease the intake of intake of insoluble fiber according to the San Francisco Medical Center of the University of California

Soluble Fiber Sources

Some of the best sources of soluble fiber are

Fruits

Prunes, plums, oranges, apples, grapes and cranberries

Root vegetables

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and beets

Legumes

Soybeans, peas and beans

Grains

Barley, rye, brown rice and oats

These are some of the health benefits of foods high in soluble fiber.

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