Yes, one of those not-so-interesting topics so I will keep this short but living this knowledge is essential for your health: that you get enough dietary fiber but most people don’t get anywhere enough in the modern diet! The average person gets under 15 grams a day where they should be getting at least 40 grams…
So what is fiber? There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be broken down by the body and you get it from foods such as oatmeal, beans and legumes. Insoluble fiber cannot be broken down by the body and acts as a ‘scouring agent’ so cleans out the gut. You get insoluble fiber from foods such as kidney beans, whole grain foods, bran and fruits and vegetables. You get no fiber from foods such as meat, diary products and eggs…and of course processed foods – especially sugar and white flour. (Although wheat contains some fiber nearly all of it is processed out of it).
So why is fiber good for you?
- It is great for the function of our digestive system and seeming 70% of our immune system is based there fiber helps detoxify the body.
- Of course this leads onto helping to prevent cancers related to the digestive system and even includes helping to prevent breast cancer in women. Added to this having enough fiber in the diet helps you maintain a healthy weight.
- Fiber also helps to lower High Density Lipoproteins (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) so therefore is important in the prevention of High Blood Pressure, inflammation within the body and Heart Disease. And remember that these diseases are only a symptom of having a poor diet?
- Fiber also helps in lowering your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes as it controls Blood Sugar.
So by increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds – and whole grains…and lowering your consumption of all processed foods and animal proteins if you don’t have a truly balanced diet already you will get enough fiber in your diet. But just a word of warning here: start building up the fiber in your diet slowly and incrementally as this way you will not experience the bloating and flatulence that most people will get when they increase fiber…and ensure you drink more water.