My mother used to call it roughage, that sounds terrible why would I ever want to eat that? What she was saying was get some fiber in your diet, it’s good for your health. Foods that contain fiber help keep your system running correctly. So exactly what is fiber? Fiber is the indigestible remains of cell plants. What are cell plants? These are live foods, foods that are grown in healthy soil or dirt. They are found in vegetables, fruits, whole greens, nuts, seeds, and beans. After you eat these foods they work their way through your digestive track increasing the elimination of waste and keep things smoothly working.
Yes, we are talking the colon here and we need to keep it healthy. And the best kind of fiber is found in foods such as cauliflower, berries, celery, broccoli, nuts, greens, and fruit. If your fruit can be eaten with the skin, eat the skin you will get more fiber. Fruits like apples, berries, and tomatoes,( yes tomatoes are a fruit often confused with being a vegetable), are very high in fiber. They’re also very tasty and full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. How soluble or how easily it dissolves in water is a way to tell if the fiber you’re eating is the best for you. Let me explain.
Fiber which is in oatmeal, strawberries, blueberries, beans, apples, pears, and nuts, will all partially dissolve in water. This is soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber cannot be broken down by water, will not be the dissolved in water and it reduces the risk of colon cancer. This is the reason that many weight loss programs want you to eat foods high in this type of fiber. Because when you add this fiber in your system you stay fuller longer without the added calories.Remember you have soluble fiber which will dissolve in water and is metabolized by your good bacteria in your stomach. Insoluble fiber will not dissolve in water.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. Think of it as a broom that sweeps out your digestive tract and remember it’s only found in plant food. Besides preventing constipation it also helps prevent infections of the stomach, hemorrhoids, heart disease and may even prevent some types of cancer. It can also help firm your stool and reduce the effects of diarrhea.
Soluble fiber kind of acts like a sponge in your stomach. Soluble fiber in foods like oats bind with your cholesterol and remove it from your bloodstream. When you add fiber to your diet it helps lower your blood sugar because it slows down how fast your foods are digested. Eating fiber will help you stay fuller longer because it stays in your stomach longer and slows diet down digestion which may prevent you from overeating. That is why when you are trying to lose weight it is wise to eat foods high in fiber. High fiber foods are lower in calories and fat so it is a win-win. You have to chew these foods longer so you tend to eat slower which also helps with weight loss.
Sadly we tend not to get enough fiber in her diet most of us only about 15 g a day. The recommended daily amount is 20 to 30 g of fiber so we are pitifully low. Start adding some fiber to your diet but add slowly because you could end up feeling gassy, it helps if you drink lots of water a day. In fact, you should drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water a day. That means if you weigh 200 pounds you should drink 100 ounces of water.
Your stomach contains bacteria which aids in the digestion of your food and you really want the friendly bacteria in your stomach to be able to use the fiber. The main reason for this is that fiber is beneficial because it feeds the good bacteria in your intestines. The bacteria that live in your body outnumber your body cells 10 to 1.The majority of this bacteria lives in your gut mostly in your large intestine and there about 500 different species of bacteria living there.This totals about 100 trillion stomach bacteria also known as gut flora. This kind of bacteria is good and the more you can increase your levels of good bacteria the better effect it will have on your health. These friendly bacteria‘s will produce nutrients for your body.This is the reason that you get gas at times, the bacteria in your gut ferments the fiber and that produces a gas that you need to get rid of. As your body begins to adjust to the fiber this condition will lessen and will go away.
Getting enough fiber isn’t a daunting task. It is easy to get food fiber in your diet. Instead of eating candy munch on some fresh fruit or veggies with a dip such as hummus, black beans or refried beans. Use organic non-GMO sprouted wheat flour instead of refined flour and make some bran muffins or fruit muffins instead of a heavy dessert. Try adding wheat germ to your yogurt. In your meatloaf instead of using breadcrumbs try some oatmeal.
Try to include at least three servings of good grains a day and five servings of fruits and vegetables. If you don’t know the fiber content of your food check it out online. Keeping a journal also helps. Fiber is very important to your overall health. Stay away from refined sugars and processed foods and eat the colors of the rainbow. Your gut will thank you for this.