Fiber: the Undervalued Nutrient
This week, I want to discuss the importance of a nutrient we sometimes don’t pay too much attention to: Fiber. It is important to our body’s functionality for a number of reasons. Coming from plants in both soluble and insoluble forms, fiber works to help regulate our body’s processes and maintain a clean dietary tract for food processing as a whole.
Fiber helps to move stool through your digestive tract and colon. It actually helps to prevent colon cancer since it keeps your colon clean and healthy. Other health benefits include reducing the incidence of heart disease, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels and inflammation, and even weight loss. Fiber creates a fullness within your intestines that helps you eat less. You feel more full and satisfied with a fiber rich diet.
Did you know that the majority of Americans don’t reach the recommended daily intake of fiber which is 25 grams? Most Americans only consume less than 10 grams. Increasing your daily intake should be a gradual process since it may cause more gas at first. This will pass the more consistently you consume it.
Food rich in fiber include: raspberries, avocados, chickpeas, black beans, flax and chia seeds, almonds, lentils, quinoa, okra, peas, and artichokes.
Above I had mentioned moving stool through the digestive tract. For those who are detoxing, this is especially important. When you detox, it means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin. Most binders to remove toxins from these body parts can cause constipation. The toxins will remain in the system if they are not eliminated. Fiber rich foods during a detox/cleanse will help, as will drinking water (divide your body weight in 2- aim to drink that amount in ounces per day).