The Role of Fiber

I am a big fan of fiber, and I try and seek a variety of food sources as well as eating fruits and raw vegetables when I am not juicing them in order to make sure I am getting my fiber.  It is true that fiber is an important part of your overall diet and it plays many important roles.  Eating high-fiber foods will ensure you get all of the benefits fiber has to offer.  There are two types of fiber you need in your diet for optimal health: soluble and insoluble. Most fibrous foods contain both types of fiber, but some foods contain higher concentrations of one type of fiber.  Soluble Fiber dissolves in the water throughout your intestines and forms a gel-like substance. Oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flax seeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots all contain high amounts of soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not break down in your gut and helps move food through your digestive tract. You can get insoluble fiber by eating whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins. All the ones highlighted in the previous sentence are all things you can juice, and so the fiber that you are removing by juicing them is insoluble fiber anyways.  When you "eat clean" as they say, you don't have much left in the way to remove with insoluble fiber, and therefore the nutrients that you are after from the leafy greens is best obtained via juicing. 

But remember, when it comes to juicing, I am not saying that ALL you should do is juice.  In fact, that is the exact opposite of what being an everyday juicer is all about.  I am saying that the best way to take control over your health and well being is to eat a lot of vegetables in order to get the nutrients that they possess. The best way to get these nutrients, in massive amounts on a daily basis, is to juice them so that you can drink it up versus having to eat enormous plates of greens that quite frankly, unless you are the Jolly Green Giant, you just can not eat on a daily basis, consistently, in a sustainable manner.  That is why I want you to add juicing to your daily routine, and then also look for foods that are high in fiber.  As I talk about as well on this page, JUICING vs. BLENDING, you can juice your veggies and then also blend the pulp from them if you want to make a chia seed or protein based smoothie with the fibrous materials that your juicer extracted when you made the juice. 

Soluble Fiber slows down digestion...

Soluble Fiber slows down digestion...

SOLUBLE FIBER

The main role of soluble fiber is to slow digestion so your body has adequate time to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Consuming foods high in soluble fiber may aid in weight loss, since it slows digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. The gel formed from soluble fiber can improve your heart health by lowering your blood cholesterol. While soluble fiber travels through your digestive tract, it picks up some of the excess low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, that is unused by your cells, and excretes it through feces. Excess LDL cholesterol can clog your arteries and eventually lead to heart disease. Soluble fiber also slows the absorption of sugar, which can keep your blood sugar stable for an extended period, reports MayoClinic.com. If you have diabetes, or are at risk for the disease, consuming foods high in soluble fiber may help you control your blood sugar.

Insoluble Fiber pushes "stuff" through your system! 

Insoluble Fiber pushes "stuff" through your system! 

INSOLUBLE FIBER

The primary role of insoluble fiber is to increase fecal bulk, which can relieve constipation and keep you regular, says the Better Health Channel. Having regular bowel movements can prevent hemorrhoids and may also reduce your risk of diverticular disease. This disease causes small pouches to form in your colon, where food and particles get stuck. You experience pain and inflammation when this occurs. Foods high in insoluble fiber, such as vegetables and whole grains, take longer for you to chew. You feel full sooner during your meals, which may prevent overeating and help with weight loss.

Additional Considerations

While fiber plays many important roles and has several benefits on your health, eating too much at once may cause adverse effects. Rapidly increasing your fiber intake can cause intestinal distress such as gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation. If you need to increase the amount of fiber you eat, slowly introduce small amounts into your diet. Switch to whole-grain bread at breakfast and add an extra serving of fruit or veggies to your meal. Increase the amount of high-fiber foods you eat as your body begins to adjust to fiber.