You all know what fiber is and how advantageous it is for the body’s intake. But we might not know how many types of fiber there are and their possible food sources. Fibre is an indigestible part of plant material that comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber is easily digestible by the body because they dissolve in water and the gastrointestinal fluids of the stomach & intestines. Eventually, it converts into a gel-like substance that bacteria digests in the intestines and releases few calories & gases. On the contrary, insoluble fiber is indigestible as they do not dissolve in water. As a result, they remain the same while moving through the tract and thus release no calories.
So, after getting an idea about what fiber is, we can now move on to different types of fiber that we gain through other sources.
8 Different Types of Fiber
Most plant food contains fibre, but the structure and type of fibre present in whole plant food differ in their molecular interlinking, affecting its properties. Here’s a list of 8 soluble and insoluble fibre types in most foods.
It’s an insoluble fiber present in plant walls. It is found in vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage and in legumes, nuts, and bran. Moreover, the cellulose component promotes the growth of good gut bacteria, which keeps the digestion system healthy.
Food sources of cellulose:
Also Read: High Fiber Food
It’s a soluble fibre in a gel form fermentable by gut bacteria. It is considered a prebiotic, providing good gut bacteria. It helps manage blood sugar levels due to delayed and slowed transiting time in the intestines. For beta-glucan intake, you can take.
Food sources of beta-glucan:
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Reishi mushrooms
Inulin is one of the soluble fibers which keeps your stomach filled for a longer time as it is digested slowly by the body. Its slowed sugar absorption process of food prevents blood sugar spikes. However, inulin remains unabsorbed in the stomach, promoting the growth of beneficial flora that improves gastrointestinal & health.
Food sources of inulin:
Pectins are another type of fiber that is soluble. Also, it reduces the glycemic response of foods glucose absorption blood sugar spikes. They’re good for the metabolism of our gut bacteria, and soluble fibers may lower cholesterol by flushing fatty acids out of the body.
Food sources of pectins:
- Citrus fruits
Also Read: LDL and HDL Cholesterol
When you count on how many types of fibres are there, then Psyllium is another soluble fiber that helps relieve constipation by softening poop to help it pass. Psyllium is the food source of fiber that comes from the outer husk of psyllium plant seeds.
Sources of psyllium:
- Used in supplements
- Fiber health drinks
- Wheat husk
Lignin is an insoluble fiber that has chemical branches called phenol. It is present in the part of cell wall structure in plants—insoluble fibers in lignin help reduce the risk of colon cancer. While the exact mechanism is currently unknown, one theory is the digestive tract.
Food sources of lignin:
7. Resistant Starch
It is a soluble fiber that helps in feeding the good bacteria in the gut. This starch passes from the large intestine through the immune system and microflora which guards against any pathogenic bacteria that can cause problems in the GI tract. It also aids in weight loss by controlling appetite and blood sugar spikes.
Food sources of resistant starch:
- Oatmeal flakes
- Unripened bananas
Also Read: How to Improve Gut Health
8. Wheat Dextrin
Wheat dextrin is a soluble fiber, also known as Benefiber, a byproduct of wheat starch that is highly used in food industries. However, it is tasteless but has benefitting aspects like helping in digestion, lowering cholesterol levels, reducing heart disease risks, and controlling blood sugar.
Intake of inadequate fiber amount is very beneficial for the human body. Still, if you’re facing any gastrointestinal problems, you might first need to consult your physician and then decide the types of fibers you should add to your routine diet.