Fiber experts say 30-50 grams of fiber per day is best. This helps the movement of food and other components in the intestinal system, commonly called the peristalsis action. This allows food taken in to be digested, broken down and pushed along the alimentary canal to be exited out.
That is the way it is supposed to happen. For many individuals that may not happen. Naturopaths believe that 90% of disease starts in the colon, where for some individuals constipation is a daily problem. Digestive and gastro-intestinal issues are the number one cause of doctor visits. Symptoms can be heartburn, stomach discomfort, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, bloating, burping and constipation.
Here are 7 ways fiber assists digestion and all health:
- To increase fiber, eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains to prevent any waste elimination problems. Start adding fiber slowly, gradually adding in more, till you feel it is working for your digestion system. (Do not add too fast)
- If you are a nonsmoker but grew up with a smoking parent, eating more fiber may help you avoid the respiratory problems that often accompany childhood exposure to secondhand smoke.
- There are 2 kinds of fiber, soluble fiber, which includes grains, seeds and beans, and insoluble fiber which are green veggies and fruits. You need a blend of both kinds for the best results.
- Fiber makes your stomach release food more slowly and helps the digestive tract to release the nutrients into your system gradually. Fiber foods have the chemicals to dampen inflammation and reduce the damage of free radicals; this is very important for people with Diabetes. It helps keep the blood sugar levels low!
- Researchers concluded that people that eat the most whole grains, the best fiber sources, were 30% less likely to develop cancer than those who consume less.
- Fiber rich foods are high in anti-oxidants; they inhibit cell damage and help supply Nitric Oxide (NO) to your cardiovascular system. Increasing NO could be the secret to eliminating heart disease! This includes blood pressure, arterial clots, atherosclerosis and all other heart problems!
- It has been found that fiber locks onto estrogen molecules and blocks them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. So it lowers circulating estrogen, and other hormones in the body lessening the danger of both Breast and Prostate cancer!Fiber rich foods can help the whole body, not just assisting digestion.
- Remember fiber and water go hand in hand for efficient bowel function. If it does not get enough water then all that fiber bulk can back up, turning again to constipation!
- In case you have not heard this before, “the digestive system is the secondary immune system”! When digestion is working properly it can keep you healthy.
The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods by James Duke
The Healing Kitchen by Stephen Sinatra