Why Fiber Is So Important To Health
A diet high in fiber may be one of the best things that you can do for your health.
When people ask me what I think is the most important change they can make to improve their health, I usually recommend a diet that is mostly plant-based, minimally processed, and high in fiber.
Most anthropologists today believe that early humans ate a diet much richer in plant foods than we currently do. And most health experts agree that the daily intake of fiber should be approximately 25 grams or higher for optimal health. Early humans may have eaten twice that amount or more.
There are Two Types of Fiber
There are two main kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. A soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and has been linked to reducing cholesterol. This is because soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in our digestive tracts, and helps flush it from our bodies.
Soluble fiber has also been researched as a treatment for type II diabetes. This is because the soluble form slows the entry of sugar into the bloodstream; preventing the blood sugar from becoming dangerously high. In fact, this is why products like PGX by Natural Factors, is currently being researched as a treatment option for type II diabetes.
Treating Diabetes Naturally
This is one of the reasons that I have been prescribing PGX to my patients who suffer from Type II diabetes, and are trying to lose weight. PGX is produced by Natural Factors and has been shown in clinical studies to maintain a healthy blood sugar and promote weight loss. I usually prescribe 2-3 capsules with a large glass of water about 10 to 20 minutes prior to eating for the best result.
In contrast, insoluble fiber is responsible for bulking up our stool—helping to prevent constipation, polyps, and diverticula, which are intestinal out-pouches that can be caused by straining during bowel movements. Psyllium husk powder is often taken to relieve constipation for this reason.
In general, nutrient-dense plant foods fills you up, and reduce hunger pangs. Best of all, they are low in calories.
Good examples of high fiber, low-calorie foods include root vegetables like carrots and parsnips. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are also good choices. Other great food choices are squashes, beans, nuts, and seeds, as well as whole grains such as unprocessed brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa. These foods are highly nutritious but low in calories—filling you up without weighing you down.
Hemorrhoids are a common problem that many people suffer from, especially women after childbirth. Prolonged sitting and a diet with minimal fiber may also increase the risk for hemorrhoids. If you suffer from hemorrhoids and are looking for a great fiber that can help, I suggest FiberMend by Thorne Research. This product tastes delicious and is usually prescribed once or twice a day to help heal hemorrhoids and aid in healthy digestion.
So if you are serious about staying healthy and losing weight, you can simply begin by looking at your daily fiber intake. Ask yourself, “how much fiber is in the meal I am eating right now? Is the food I am eating minimally processed and mostly plant-based?” Chances are that if you are eating a meal rich in fiber, your meal will be substantially lower in calories as well.
Your meals can be either 100% plant-based, or mostly plant-based; with small portions of meat or cheese being used as a condiment. Great meal plants would include beans, whole grains, or a salad garnished with lean animal protein such as salmon or chicken. With a little effort, these foods can boost your health, lower your weight, and please your palate, all at the same time.
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