It’s no secret that high fiber foods need to be part of a healthy balanced diet, and there is one type of soluble fiber you should eat every day. What is this essential fiber rich food, why should it be in your daily diet and how do you find it? It is commonly referred to, by those who know health food, as FOS. 1. What is FOS? FOS is an acronym for fructooligosaccharides. In their all natural, whole food state, these are complex carbohydrates, or sugars that come naturally from edible plants such as garlic, onions, leeks, oats, barley, rye and chicory root. Insulin is an example of a compound that is considered to be a FOS. One beneficial characteristic of fructooligosaccharides is that they help the body make its own “good” bacteria to fight off the “bad” bacteria in the digestive system. Here’s an excerpt from a web page at MedicinalFoodNews.com discussing why fructooligosaccharides work differently than other fiber foods in the intestines: “…the human does not have the enzymes to break down the FOS as it travels down the digestive tract. When the FOS reaches the large intestine and the colon, the bacteria that are found there start to break down the FOS. These bacteria have the enzymes needed to break down FOS. Bifido bacteria have been reported to use FOS. It is believed that foods that promote bifido bacteria growth are good for the health. How exactly the FOS exerts its beneficial effects is not certain. However, increasing the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the lower intestine, changes in the pH balance of the intestinal contents, together with increases in enzyme levels that may be related to the detoxification of carcinogens in the diet all have been cited as reasons to increase the FOS levels in the diet.” Most fiber foods only sweep the intestines, but FOS fiber also aids digestion, thus boosting assimilation of all foods through the intestinal walls. When you consume enough friendly bacteria in the colon, then the body is able to produce its own abundant amount of all of the B vitamins. 2. Why you should consume FOS regularly. Absorb food more efficiently as it passes through the intestines, thus assisting in digestion. Stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the intestines, such as Acidophilus, Bifidus, and Faccium. Reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by trapping fat and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, so they can be flushed out more easily. Assist assimilation of complex carbohydrates, making them last longer, which is good for blood sugar regulation and the reduction of cravings for sweets. Minimize yeast infection, Candida, and bloating. Naturally treat symptoms of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and lactose intolerance. Another benefit of fructooligosaccharides is that they are being used as all natural low calorie sweetener substitutes to replace artificial sweeteners and sugar. That makes FOS an essential part of a low carb diet for anyone who is trying to avoid eating sugary foods. 3. How do you get FOS in your daily diet? Eat onions, leeks, barley, oats, rye, garlic and chicory root. Unfortunately, these are not foods that the average person will eat enough to get all the benefits of FOS. Fortunately, with modern technology and innovative manufacturing processes, there are ways to get fructooligosaccharides in their whole food form without eating weird foods. You may want to investigate an all natural food product called, VitaShake, that is touted as one of the most reliable sources for FOS, easy to use and digest. It helps people feel full and satisfied because it assists in the assimilation of complex carbohydrates. There is also an energy bar with a similar effect that has FOS and is known as SunBar. You won’t find these FOS sources in stores, but they are readily available on the Internet. If you want an easy way to add important fiber rich foods to your diet, then learn more about FOS, fructooligosaccharides, and find ways to make these important nutrients part of your healthy routine.