Fiber: The Abandoned Substance
“Where’s the water and fiber? The American diet lacks water and fibrous foods, so we become dehydrated and constipated–two unhealthy conditions that can leave you miserable.”
The American diet is full of processed and man-made food products. These foods rarely, if ever, contain fiber. To make matters worse, it’s relatively rare to see fresh and natural legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits on an American table. With this kind of diet there will be consequences!
What is constipation?
Constipation commonly means infrequent bowel movements, difficulty during defecation, and incomplete bowel evacuation. What are the causes of constipation?
- Lack of daily fiber in the diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much milk and other dairy products, like cheese
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Life changes or routine fluctuations such as pregnancy, aging, and travel
- Abuse of laxatives
- Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
- Specific diseases
- Problems with the colon and rectum
- Problems with intestinal function
Fiber is necessary for proper digestion and elimination. The key health benefit of fiber is its regulation of intestinal track function, and a high-fiber diet may prevent common intestinal ailments like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis. Fiber has also been linked to the prevention of colon and breast cancer. In addition, fiber can help lower blood sugar and manage diabetes and obesity. Because fiber makes you feel full, it will help you eat less, thus lose weight!
Types of Fiber:
Soluble and insoluble fiber are not actually digested as they travel through the digestive system. This means that instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream for use as energy, fiber excretes from the body. Soluble fiber is broken down in digestion and creates a jelly-like mass around digested food. This helps bowel regularity and lowers cholesterol. Insoluble fiber is not broken down during digestion and therefore works as an “intestinal scrubber”, helping prevent constipation. Recommended fiber consumption is 25 to 35 grams per day. Sources of fiber include legumes, nuts, seeds, grain, fruits, and vegetables.
Protect your colon–it is the place from which many diseases start. Increase your intake of fibrous foods and water! You will be happier, healthier, and leaner.
Top Fibrous Foods
Fruits & Vegetables are great one of the best sources of fiber! Make sure they are fresh and your vegetables are not overcooked. Occasional dried fruit is good too!
- Cowpeas: ½ cup = 8.3 grams of fiber
- Chick peas: ½ cup = 7 grams of fiber
- Kidney beans: ½ cup = 6.9 grams of fiber
- Lima beans: ½ cup = 6.8 grams of fiber
- Navy beans: ½ cup = 4.9 grams of fiber
- Triticale: ½ cup raw = 8.7 grams of fiber
- Bran (corn): 2 Tbsp. raw = 7.9 grams of fiber
- Amaranth seeds: ¼ cup raw = 7.5 grams of fiber
- Rye: ¼ cup raw = 6.2 grams of fiber
- Barley: ½ cup cooked = 4.4 grams of fiber
- Raiston: ¾ cup cooked = 6 grams of fiber
- Wheatena: ¾ cup cooked = 4 grams of fiber
- Quaker oatmeal: ½ cup dry = 4 grams of fiber
- Quinoa Inca Red: ¼ cup dry = 4 grams of fiber
- Lundberg Cream of Rice: ¼ cup dry = 3 grams of fiber
- Pine nuts (dried): 1 oz. = 4.1 grams of fiber
- Pumpkin seeds (dried): 1 oz. hulled = 3.9 grams of fiber
- Chestnuts (roasted): 1 oz. = 3.7 grams of fiber
- Pistachios (dried): 1 oz. = 3.1 grams of fiber
- Coconut (raw): 1 oz. grated = 2.5 grams of fiber
Do yourself a favor, when you are about to prepare or eat a meal, ask this question "where's the fiber"? Fiber should be in every meal and you won't find it in foods that are considered protein like fish, chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, milk, cheese, etc. (the exception would be a fruit-fortified yogurt), and you won't find much, if any in man-made and processed foods!
Eat (and green drink) 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day and you will be healthier and LOSE WEIGHT and drink water all day every day! Check out "diet villain" ALERT: POPS -- dehydration and how water is so critical to health and weight loss!