Hauling the Body’s Trash
Dietary fiber, a plant-based substance that can’t be digested, is divided into two groups: insoluble and soluble. Both bind with the body’s waste products and help move them through proper channels.
- Insoluble fiber comes from the hard structural part of a plant or the skins of many fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber makes its way through the digestive system relatively intact, acting as a sort of sweeping compound and making stool softer and bulkier.
- Soluble fiber comes from structures within the cells of the plant. As soluble fiber enters the digestive tract, it absorbs water and dissolves into a thick, viscous gel. Although both types of fiber affect the body’s ability to circulate bile effectively, soluble fiber is doing the bulk of the work.
When we eat a meal containing fat, our liver begins to produce bile, a liquid comprised of acids, cholesterol, lecithin and substances filtered from your blood (i.e., drugs, toxins, fats and fat-soluble waste).
Because bile re-enters the bloodstream in constituent parts, it breaks down, is re-filtered and reabsorbed, gets more toxic, and is secreted into the small intestine.
As long as you have adequate fiber in your diet, this doesn’t pose a problem for your body. That fiber forms a tight bond with the bile in the intestine, binding up all the harmful toxins, cholesterol and fat that it contains. Since the soluble fiber cannot be absorbed by the intestinal wall, neither can the bile attached to it. This fiber-bound bile ultimately leaves the body in a bowel movement (like taking out the trash), with its load of toxins, cholesterol and fat in tow.