Our bodies can’t digest fiber—and yet, it’s so good for us. This is why we use flaxseed in some of our Paleo Meals To Go; it’s the base of our Cliffside Coconut Berry, Butte Cacao Banana, and Palisade Pineapple Banana meals.
Why We Love Flaxseed Meal?
While whole flax seed only provides insoluble fiber, flaxseed meal provides the benefits of both insoluble and soluble fiber.
The shell of the flaxseed provides the insoluble fiber. It’s the shell that provides the laxative benefits as it passes through the digestive system. At the same time, nutrients are released from the seed when it’s milled—flaxseed meal contains protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It’s one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s the number one source of lignans, with seven times as many as sesame seeds.
Insoluble vs. Soluble Fiber—what’s the difference?
Insoluble fiber is the skins, stalks, and seeds of fiber-rich foods like nuts, fruits and veggies… you know, roughage.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t break down in the digestive system and absorb into the bloodstream, so it’s not a source of calories. What it does do is absorb fluid in the digestive system, which then helps form waste and move it out of the body quicker and more efficiently—this helps prevent constipation, and in turn prevents related problems like hemorrhoids. It also decreases the risk of diverticulosis, which is when pockets or pouches (diverticula) form in the digestive tract (particularly the colon) causing severe pain in the abdominal area.
Soluble fiber is easily dissolved in water and becomes gel-like when it reaches your digestive tract, so liquids and gastric fluids break it down more easily.
Soluble fiber is the thick gel that coats your colon and helps to slow down digestion, which causes a fuller, more satiated feeling for a longer period of time. This helps with weight loss and weight control and as it slows digestion, it slows and lowers fat absorption and stabilizes blood sugar.
Soluble fiber helps with stool softening, allowing waste to move through the GI tract more easily. It also attaches to cholesterol particles and can help prevent some cholesterol from being broken down and digested; instead, it can take cholesterol out of the body before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Over time, soluble fiber can help lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
There are so many benefits to fiber-rich diets! Fiber protects the heart by lowering cholesterol levels, stabilizing blood sugars, and decreasing fat absorption. It reduces the risk of heart disease, circulatory conditions, and diabetes. Research has even found that high-fiber diets can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 40% and may also help to prevent breast cancer.
The American Dietetic Association recommends 20-35 grams of fiber per day for healthy adults. Whether you’re traveling, hiking, camping, or just busy and need a nutritious, quick, and delicious meal or snack, Wild Zora flaxseed-based Meals To Go provide both insoluble and soluble fiber—a whole 12-15 grams of it—making them a healthy option that will have you well on your way to meeting your daily fiber needs, improving your overall health and keeping your digestive system running smoothly.