Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. We see the commercials for products like, Metamucil or Benefiber, on tv all the time, usually showing a person suffering or rubbing their belly, constipated and generally very unhappy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body.”
Most Americans are not eating diets that are rich in fiber.
Why is Fiber so important to the body?
Fiber is so important to the body because it helps to keep all 28 feet of your intestinal track clean. Fiber is crucial for regularity, promotes a healthy digestive system, helps to keep your cholesterol on track, prevents heart disease, obesity, various cancers and other related illnesses. Plus, food that contains fiber will make you feel full for longer, discouraging overeating.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body. Instead, it passes through your digestive system – stomach, intestines, colon – pushing the necessary waste through and out. Diets low in fiber can lead to all sorts of intestinal issues, diverticulitis, heart disease and developing Type 2 diabetes.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble fiber partially dissolves in water aiding in glucose level regulation and & lowering cholesterol.
- Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, which helps with constipation and regularity by pushing food through and out of the body.
Fiber assists in preventing diabetes by regulating insulin response and slowing down the rate of sugar absorption into the body. When carbohydrates are combined with fiber, the body needs more time to break down the food, which helps to keep your blood glucose levels stable, creating a sort of time released energy throughout the day. With processed foods or snacks you feel that quick sugar rush and crash because the sugar is going straight into your bloodstream, stimulating an unnecessary insulin release and robbing your body & brain of the nutrients it needs to perform well.
A fiber study done by Harvard Medical showed that a diet high in fiber reduced heart disease by 40%.
Higher fiber intake has also been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, a combination of factors that increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. These factors include high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight (especially around the abdomen), high levels of triglycerides, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Sometimes in the morning if you are feeling like it is difficult to go to the bathroom, try drinking a big glass of water while on the toilet, it helps to get things moving and pushing through.
Keep your Digestive track healthy & your Colon clean. Here’s a few Great Sources for Getting your Daily Fiber:
- Lentils, Dried Peas, & Beans
*one cup providing over 1/2 of
your daily fiber supply needed
- Greens (turnip, beet, collard)
- Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus,
- Carrots, Sweet Potato
- Avocado, Raspberries, Pears,
- Oranges, Strawberries, Apples
- Cinnamon, Flax
- Sesame Seeds & Almonds
- Quinoa & Buckwheat
*Have a big salad filled with:
-Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, beets or any of the above ingredients and get your bootie shakin & groovin to the healthy side of life.
Fiber is ESSENTIAL to keeping the body healthy inside and out and to help prevent disease and inflammation. Don’t take fiber for granted, make sure you are getting enough daily and giving your body what it needs.