Dietary fiber comes from the thick cell wall of plants. It is an indigestible complex carbohydrate. Fiber is divided in to two general categories-water soluble and water insoluble.


Whole grains are particularly high in insoluble fiber. Oats, barley, beans, fruit (but not fruit juice), psyllium, chia seed, and some vegetables contain significant amounts of both forms of fiber and are the best sources of soluble fiber. The best source of lignan, by far, is flaxseed. Eating white flour, white rice, and fruit juice(as opposed to whole fruit) all contribute to fiber deficiency. Many so-called wheat products contain mostly white flour. Read labels and avoid "flour" and "unbleached flour," both of which are simply white flour. Junk food is also fiber-depleted. The benefits of eating whole grains are largely derived from the beneficial constituents present in the outer layers of the grains, which are stripped away in making white flour and white rice.


Foods high in fiber add bulk to the diet, which helps to strengthen and tone the colon muscles. Fiber also helps absorb and eliminate toxins from the digestive tract, working like a kitchen sponge to scrub and sweep waste from the intestinal walls. Studies have also shown that a diet high in fiber promotes cardiovascular health by supporting healthy cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.


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