Comparing Insoluble & Soluble Fiber
Probiotics are living organisms, whereas prebiotic compounds are merely food ingredients. Prebiotic compounds are found primarily in foods that are rich sources of dietary fiber; the most common visuals associated with fiber are the likes of hearty bran muffins or powdered dietary supplements being added into tall glasses of orange juice. This form of fiber is generally found in whole-grain foods, vegetables, numerous health supplements, and coconut flour; it is highly revered for its ability to prevent ailments, such as constipation. These insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water, and as such, they can pass through the GI tract without being broken up. This makes them very useful for maintaining regular bowel movements, allowing food and waste to make their way through the body more efficiently; there are numerous added health benefits that follow suit.
Soluble fibers, on the other hand, have a composition that allows them to break up and even ferment inside the colon. The process of fermentation generally leads to the creation of a gelatinous substance that lubricates the GI tract, slowing digestion considerably in order to allow for greater mineral absorption. Soluble fibers have special prebiotic compounds as well, which means that they also help fuel the body's "good" bacteria. The substances in question are released as the soluble fibers break down, and many modern diets lack the means to provide useful soluble fibers, however, especially given the state of modern agriculture and the gradual changes in our natural resources.
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