Are you sweeping your gut clean or sitting "forever" on the pot?

Are you sweeping your gut clean or sitting "forever" on the pot?

Have you noticed "High Fiber" on product labels?  Ever wondered what is so special about eating "fiber"?  I mean, seriously, who wants to chew on some fiber? 

I got to wondering about it myself, so I did a little research for you.

What is fiber?
Fiber is the structural part of plants that our bodies can't break down.  There are two kinds of fiber:
1.  Soluable Fiber: dissolves in water to form a gummy gel. It can slow down the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine. Examples include dried beans, oats, barley, bananas, potatoes, and soft parts of apples and pears.
2.  Insoluable Fiber: often referred to as "roughage" because it does not dissolve in water. It holds onto water, which helps produce softer, bulkier stools to help regulate bowel movements. Examples include whole bran, whole grain products, nuts, corn, carrots, grapes, berries, and peels of apples and pears.

What's so great about eating foods with fiber?
  • Lowers cholesterol & heart disease
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels - High fiber meals help slow down the digestion, which helps keep blood sugar levels more even.
  • Weight control - A high-fiber diet can help keep you fuller longer, which prevents overeating and hunger between meals.
  • Decreases risks of intestinal cancer - Insoluble fiber increases the bulk and speed of food moving through the intestinal tract, which reduces time for harmful substances to build up.
  • Relieves constipation - Fiber works to help regulate bowel movements by pulling water into the colon to produce softer, bulkier stools. This action helps to promote better regularity. 
  • Reduces risks of diverticulitis & hemorrhoids.
  • Skin health.  Eating a high fiber diet helps flush toxins out of your body, which usually helps skin issues.
Think of fiber as a little like a broom.  It helps keep things moving and clean in your digestion (exercise helps too!)

Amazing Facts from Dr. Youngberg
  • A full 51% of the calories eaten by Americans come from refined and processed foods.  Processed foods, are nutritionally deficient because the majority of the good things are taken out of them.  When processed, the beneficial fiber and vitamins & minerals are substantially removed.
  • 42% of the average American diet consists of dairy and animal foods.
  • Typical Americans eat only 7% of their diet from plant-based foods! 
We should be aiming for at least 80% of our food to be plant-based (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts).

Did you know meat and dairy products have NO fiber at all! 

Tips to add fiber to your diet?
  • Add fiber to your diet slowly. Too much fiber all at once may cause cramping, bloating, and constipation.
  • Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to prevent constipation.
  • Choose products that have a whole grain listed as the first ingredient, not enriched flour. Whole wheat flour is a whole grain--wheat flour is not.
  • Choose whole grain bread with 2-4 grams of dietary fiber per slice.
  • Choose cereals with at least 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
  • Choose raw fruits and vegetables in place of juice, and eat the skins.  Yes, those skins are good for you!
  • Try alternative fiber choices such as whole buckwheat, whole wheat couscous, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, chia seeds, hemp seeds, lentil pasta, and edamame pasta.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain. Serve it low-fat without butter for a healthier snack choice.
  • Sprinkle ground up flax seed on your cereal or supplement some  into your home-baked goods.
  • Use dried peas, beans, and legumes in main dishes, salads, or side dishes such as rice or pasta.
  • Add dried fruit to yogurt, cereal, rice, and muffins.
  • Replace white rice and white/unbleached flour with brown rice and whole grains.
  • Eat unrefined plant-based foods!
  • Salads are a healthy source of fiber AND vitamins AND minerals!

We'd love to see us all kind to yourself and in fabulous health!  All those salads, berries, plant-based, whole grain foods are doing you and I some good! 

It give me hope and happiness to know I can do something to be of better health.