Foods rich in Fiber on a wooden table.

If it’s in your gut it’s in your pelvic floor. Soluble and Insoluble fibers are important for health, digestion, and preventing diseases. Fiber does way more than just keep you regular. It can help lower cholesterol, keep your blood sugar stable, and make it easier to lose weight. Fiber plays an important role in your pelvic floor because of the proximity of the intestines and colon to the pelvic floor.  Keeping your bowels regular can prevent intestinal inflammation and decrease intra-abdominal pressure. Your pelvic floor muscles respond to pressure above, so if your pressure is normal the pelvic floor muscles can stay relaxed and fire with normal strength when needed.

Digestive health and transit (elimination) times directly “load” the connective tissue and fascia that holds the floor up.

Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.

Functions of Insoluble Fiber

  • move bulk through the intestines
  • control and balance the pH (acidity) in the intestines

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber

  • promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation
  • remove toxic waste through colon in less time
  • help prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances

Top Insoluble Fiber Foods

  • Wheat bran, 11.3 grams of insoluble fiber per 1/2 cup
  • All Bran cereal, 7.2 g per 1/3 cup
  • Most beans (1/2 cup)
    • Kidney beans, 5.9 g
      • Pinto beans, 5.7 g
      • Navy beans, 4.3 g
    • Lentils, 4.6 g per 1/2 cup
    • Shredded Wheat cereal, 4.5 g per cup
    • Most Whole grains. Bulgur, for instance, contains 4.2 grams of insoluble fiber in 1/2 cup
    • Flax seeds 2.2 g per 1 Tbsp
    • Prune juice
    • Vegetables (1/2 cup)
      • Okra, 3.1 g
      • Turnips 3.1 g
      • Peas 3g

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower risk of heart disease.

 Functions of Soluble Fiber

  • bind with fatty acids
  • prolong stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly

Benefits of Soluble Fiber

  • lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease
  • regulate blood sugar for people with diabetes

Top Soluble Fiber Foods

  • Purple passion fruit, 6.5 g of soluble fiber per 1/2 cup
  • Psyllium husk, 3.5 g per 1 Tbsp
  • Metamucil 3.4 g per 1 Tbsp
  • Oat/Oat bran, 2.2 g per 3/4 cup
  • Some Beans (1/2 cup)
    • Black beans, 2.4 g
    • Navy beans, 2.2 g
    • Kidney beans, 2 g
  • Soy
    • Tofu, 2.8 g per 3/4 cup
    • Edamame, 1.5 g per 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables (1/2 cup)
    • Avocado, 2.1 g
    • Brussels sprouts, 2 g
    • Sweet potato, 1.8 g
    • Asparagus, 1.7 g
    • Turnip, 1.7 g
  • Fruit
    • Dried figs, 1.9 g per 1/4 cup
    • Orange, 1.8 g, medium size
    • Fruit with skin, like pear, apricots, and nectarine, ~ 1.2 g
  • Flax seed, 1.1 g per 1 Tbsp


By Lisa Edwards, MOTR/BCBS