Soluble Fibre Benefits!

Soluble fibre attracts water and forms a gel-like substance with food as it’s digested. This in turn slows down digestion and helps you feel full faster, which is important in weight management. It may also help lower your risk of heart disease, regulate your blood sugar, and help reduce LDL cholesterol.

Soluble fibre:

– Lowering fat absorption and helping weight management: As a thick, spread-out gel, soluble fibre blocks fats that would otherwise be digested and absorbed.

– Lowering cholesterol: Soluble fibre prevents some dietary cholesterol from being broken down and digested. Over time, soluble fibre can help lower cholesterol levels or the amount of free cholesterol in the blood.

– Stabilising blood sugar (glucose) levels: Just as it prevents fats from being absorbed, soluble fibre slows down the digestion rate of other nutrients, including carbohydrates. This means meals containing soluble fibre are less likely to cause sharp spikes in blood sugar levels and may prevent them.

– Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease: By lowering cholesterol levels, stabilising blood sugars, and decreasing fat absorption, regularly eating soluble fibre may reduce the risk of heart disease and circulatory conditions.

– Feeding healthy gut bacteria: Some soluble fibre-rich foods feed gut bacteria, as it is fermentable in the colon, and so it helps the bacteria thrive longer.

Foods high in Soluble Fibres.

1. Black beans

Black beans are not only a great way to give your dishes a meaty texture but also an amazing source of fibre.

One cup (172 grams) packs 15 grams, which is about what an average person consumes per day, or 40–60% of the RDA for adults.

Black beans contain pectin, a form of soluble fiber that becomes gummy-like in water. This can delay stomach emptying and make you feel fuller longer, giving your body more time to absorb nutrients.

Black beans are also rich in protein and iron, low in calories, and almost fat-free.

Soluble fibre content: 5.4 grams per three-quarter cup (129 grams) of cooked black beans.

 

2. Lima beans

Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are large, flat, greenish-white beans.

They mainly contain carbs and protein, as well as a little fat.

They’re lower in total dietary fiber than black beans, but their soluble fiber content is almost identical. Lima beans also contain the soluble fiber pectin, which is associated with reduced blood sugar spikes after meals.

Raw lima beans are toxic when raw and should be soaked and boiled before you eat them.

Soluble fibre content: 5.3 grams per three-quarter cup (128 grams) of lima beans (6).

The world may be divided into Brussels sprout lovers and haters, but whatever side you’re on, it’s undeniable that this vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, along with various cancer-fighting agents.

What’s more, Brussels sprouts are a great source of fiber, with 4 grams per cup (156 grams) (8).

The soluble fiber in Brussels sprouts can be used to feed beneficial gut bacteria. These produce vitamin K and B vitamins, along with short-chain fatty acids that support your gut lining.

Soluble fibre content: 2 grams per one-half cup (78 grams) of Brussels sprouts (6).

4. Avocados

Avocados originate from Mexico but have gained popularity worldwide.

Haas avocados are the most common type. They’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.

One avocado packs 13.5 grams of dietary fiber. However, one serving — or one-third of the fruit — provides about 4.5 grams, 1.4 of which are soluble.

Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, avocados really stand out in this regard.

Compared with other popular fiber sources, they contain lower amounts of the antinutrients phytate and oxalate, which can reduce mineral absorption.

Soluble fiber content: 2.1 grams per one-half avocado (6).

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, beta carotene, B vitamins, and fiber. Just one medium-sized sweet potato packs over 400% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin A.

What’s more, the average potato contains about 4 grams of fibre, almost half of which is soluble.

Therefore, sweet potatoes can contribute significantly to your total soluble fiber intake.

Soluble fiber may be important for weight management. The more of it you eat, the greater the release of gut-satiety hormones, which may help reduce your overall appetite.

Soluble fibre content: 1.8 grams per one-half cup (150 grams) of cooked sweet potato.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that grows well in cool seasons. It’s usually dark green, but you can also find purple varieties.

It’s high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot, and is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin C. It also has antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Broccoli is a good source of dietary fiber, with 2.6 grams per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), more than half of which is soluble.

The high amount of soluble fiber in broccoli can support your gut health by feeding the good bacteria in your large intestine. These bacteria produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate and acetate.

Soluble fibre content: 1.5 grams per one-half cup (92 grams) of cooked broccoli.

 

7. Carrots

Carrots are one of the most popular and tasty vegetables on Earth.

Boiled or steamed, carrots are a key ingredient in many recipes, but they can also be grated into salads or used to make desserts like carrot cake.

With good reason, you may have been told as a child to eat carrots to help you see in the dark.

Carrots are packed with beta carotene, some of which is converted into vitamin A. This vitamin supports your eyes and is particularly important for night vision.

One cup (128 grams) of chopped carrots contains 4.6 grams of dietary fibre, 2.4 of which are soluble.

Since many people enjoy this vegetable daily, it can be a key source of soluble fiber.

Soluble fibre content: 2.4 grams per cup (128 grams) of cooked carrots.

 

8. Apples

Apples are one of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world. Most varieties are quite sweet, but others like Granny Smith can be very sour.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old proverb that may have some truth, as eating this fruit is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases.

Apples pack various vitamins and minerals and are a good source of the soluble fiber pectin. Apple pectin may have many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and improved gut function.

Soluble fibre content: 1 gram per medium-sized apple

 

9. Guavas

Guavas are a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central and South America. Their skin is typically green, while the pulp can range from off-white to deep-pink.

One guava packs 3 grams of dietary fibre, about 30% of which is soluble.

This fruit has been shown to reduce blood sugar, as well as total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in healthy people. In part, this may be due to the soluble fibre pectin, which can delay the absorption of sugar.

Soluble fiber content: 1.1 grams per raw guava fruit.

10. Flax seeds

Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, are tiny brown, yellow, or golden seeds.

They pack a nutritious punch and can be a great way to improve the nutrient content of your smoothies, breads, or cereals.

Sprinkling 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds over your porridge can add an extra 3.5 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein to your breakfast. They’re also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fats.

If possible, soak ground flax seeds overnight, as this allows their soluble fiber to combine with water to form a gel, which may aid digestion.

Soluble fibre content: 0.6–1.2 grams per tablespoon (14 grams) of whole flax seeds.

Written by: Sarah Amah.

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