Start your spring cleaning early and begin with your body. As we transition from our cold long winter to the fresh hopes of spring, it is important to be aware of your digestive health. Properly clean out your body, with the aid of dietary fiber. According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation more than 20 million Canadians suffer from digestive disorders every year. Very few people speak openly about their digestive symptoms; therefore the magnitude of the problem is underestimated by government, employers and the general public. Fiber aids digestion, lowers cholesterol levels, and may reduce the risk of disease and obesity later in life. Dietary fiber, which is found only in plants, is divided into two categories: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves within the digestive system and generally passes through the body without being absorbed. Insoluble fiber, or roughage, passes through the intestines virtually unchanged. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and speeds transit time through the intestines, potentially reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Sources: Excellent sources of soluble fiber are fresh fruits and vegetables especially berries, unpeeled apples and pears, avocados, peas, artichokes, parsnips, prunes and dates.
Soluble fiber is found in peanuts, lentils, beans, barley, oats and oat bran. Insoluble fiber is found in all whole grains, wheat bran, fruit and vegetables, corn kernels and seeds.
Written by Stephanie Vantanajal B. Ed