Dietary fiber, or roughage, occurs in two separate forms: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the body, but still plays a critical role in absorbing water from the digestive system and providing bulk to keep the intestinal muscles healthy and toned.
Soluble fiber, also known as prebiotic, viscous or fermentable fiber, cannot be digested either. Unlike insoluble fiber, however, soluble fiber is fermented by intestinal microbes into short-chain fatty acids and gases (including propionate and butyrate) which the body can digest.
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