Focus on Health: Scrub your insides with fiber

By definition fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate found only in plant foods with no vitamins, minerals or nutrients.

Even though it lacks nutrients it doesn’t mean it lacks dietary importance, but just the opposite. Fiber in its natural, unprocessed form found in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and raw nuts, is a very important part of disease prevention and disease reversal, and has been and continues to be a highly studied topic with scientists.

Low fiber diets are well known to be an independent risk factor of many diseases such as diabetes, constipation, diarrhea, colitis, many cancers, bowel polyps, hemorrhoids, diverticular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hiatus hernia, appendicitis, heart disease, strokes, gallbladder disease and more.

It is reasonable then that if these diseases have strong associations with a low fiber diet, that to improve disease outcome, eating more produce with natural fiber, which displaces low to no fiber foods, improves the condition.

Fiber is a magnet for water and draws it to itself; therefore fiber is good for the treatment and reversal of both diarrhea and constipation.

Unlike low to no fiber foods, like meats, eggs, diary, and processed foods, fiber helps to normalize the passage of food in the intestines, therefore decreasing the time any potential carcinogens have for damaging the colon lining.

When food is passed through the colon at an acceptable rate there is no time for food to get stuck and to cause little pockets that may precipitate diverticular disease or colitis.

Lower in the bowels cholesterol and bile are reabsorbed if there is not adequate fiber in the diet.

The natural fiber found in whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and raw nuts binds and removes cholesterol and plaque from the body safely keeping cholesterol levels under control while lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke; the more fiber in the diet, the lower the risk of a negative event occurring.

When whole foods are processed and the fiber and other nutrient components taken out, these foods have a tendency to metabolize faster causing an increase in blood sugars, which is hard on the pancreas and other organs. Fruits, vegetable, whole grains, beans and raw nuts normalize the breakdown of glucose to an acceptable rate thus preventing large fluctuations of high and low blood sugars.

These wild blood sugar fluctuations accelerate the ageing process, the risk of diabetes, food cravings, insulin surges and eventually weight gain.

Reduce your weight and food cravings naturally though consumption of more whole, unprocessed foods with high fiber.

The minimum recommended daily value is 25 grams for women and 38 grams per day for men, and the more the better. Most Canadians get about half that.

Many Asians in their own culture reach 100 grams per day and hence their lowered risk of low fiber associated diseases.

Eat more fiber and your body will love you.

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