The Importance of Fiber in Our Diet.
The health picture in America continues to plummet. At this time we are ranked 39th in health between Slovenia and Costa Rica. We also spend 8 times on health care more than any other country. Even with all this spending our health picture continues to deteriorate. Estimates by researchers that I have seen are that between 85 to 95 percent of our health problems are self-induced and related to our diet and lifestyle. In addition we consume about 500 chemicals a day due to our diet, products we put on our skin or chemicals we breathe in. The good thing is that there is a move towards healthier lifestyle. However many continue down the path that will lead to possible poor consequences with their health. One thing that lacks in our diet is fiber. Fiber has great benefits to our health. The average American does not get enough fiber in their diet. As a matter of fact they only get on average 10 – 15 grams of fiber a day. The amount of fiber that we need is between 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day.
Fiber can be classified into three separate categories.
* Those that we eliminate through the stool.
These fibers are digested by our intestinal microbes. They are more than equipped to digest the fiber so that our cells will be nourished. This well also decrease inflammation and can play a part in normalizing weight. Each microbe will break down different fibers. The more fiber intake the more microbes there will be ready to do their job. If a diet has little fiber the gut will have fewer microbes. Proper supplementation for the gut would be a probiotic with a prebiotic when needed. Certainly all Probiotics are not equal.
The best sources for fiber are nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and legumes. If you have not been eating much fiber it is important to start slowly. If you do not have enough microbes in the gut adding a lot of fiber at once could cause abdominal pain and bloating. So it is best to add fiber slowly over a short period of time.
Some suggestions for fiber are:
- Avocado, sweet potatoes, dried figs and prunes
- Turnip, mustard and collard greens
- Raspberries. pears
- Brussel sprout, broccoli and cauliflower
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