Soluble Fibre

Soluble fibre is in foods made up of a) Pectin (from citrus and other fruits) and b) Gums (from certain vegetables, oats, barley and legumes).

Some claim that soluble fibre helps to balance BOTH diarhea and constipation. Heather Van Vorous from states:

"The 'soluble' in soluble fiber means that it dissolves in water (though it is not digested). This allows it to absorb excess liquid in the colon, preventing diarrhea by forming a thick gel and adding a great deal of bulk as it passes intact through the gut. This gel (as opposed to a watery liquid) also keeps the GI muscles stretched gently around a full colon, giving those muscles something to easily 'grip' during peristaltic contractions, thus preventing the rapid transit time and explosive bowel movements of diarrhea as well."

With soluble fibre, food stays in the digestive tract longer. Soluble fibre is said to feed the bacteria in your intestine. They in turn ferment and produce chemicals called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs have a healing effect on your intestine and may reduce the risk of cancer. In your liver, they reduce production of cholesterol. SCFAs also reduce the growth of yeast and disease-causing bacteria.

Soluble Fibre helps to delay the absorption of glucose, which can help you to lower your blood-sugar levels.

Here are a few examples of soluble fibre foods:

Fruits: apples, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, avacado, papaya

Vegetables: carrots, peas, potatoes, parsnips

Grains: oatmeal, oat bran, barley, quinoa

Legumes: lentils, dried peas, beans