Yes, I said FIBER!
I know – I know who likes to talk fiber.
Well many years ago now my father had angina. I had been using a wonderful resource for years to create a healthier lifestyle (The Healing Foods CookBoook from Prevention Magazine’s Editors ISBN-10: 0878579567) and had learned what I thought was a wealth of information. His heart condition though alerted me to many things I had not yet learned.
FIBER was at the center of the crisis.
The Healing Foods Cookbook is separated into 3 sections – healing foods, diseases and recipes. I ended up using two books so I could open to the first two sections simultaneously. And as I did I researched what would heal his angina and reduce his risks for further problems.
One thing came up fast – FIBER. Not over the counter fiber but natural fresh fruit, veggie and grains fiber.
30 grams of fiber per day reduces cancer risk by 50%.
But what else can it do?
After researching for this online quite a bit the best article I found was from Dr Sears – Fantastic Fiber
And I would have loved to bring the whole article over but that’s unrealistic. So I encourage you to click and read.
Here though are some highlights with sources noted.
Getting enough fiber in the diet can lower the risk of developing certain conditions:
- Heart disease. Evidence is now growing to support the notion that foods containing soluble fiber (such as oats, rye barley, and beans) can have a positive influence on cholesterol, triglycerides, and other particles in the blood that affect the development of heart disease. Some fruits and vegetables (such as citrus fruits and carrots) have been shown to have the same effect.
- Cancer. The passage of food through the body is speeded up when fiber is eaten. Some experts believe this may prevent harmful substances found in some foods from affecting the colon and may protect against colon cancer. (However, a recent study conducted by Harvard University concluded that eating high-fiber food did not appear to protect people from colon cancer.) Other types of cancer that are linked with overnutrition and may be prevented by a fiber-rich diet include breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer.
- Type 2 Diabetes. Adding fiber to the diet helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important in avoiding diabetes. In addition, some people with diabetes can achieve a significant reduction in their blood sugar levels and may find they can reduce their medication.
- Diverticular disease. Diverticular disease is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, develop in the wall of the colon. In a small percentage of people, these diverticula become inflamed or infected, a condition known as diverticulitis. Diverticular disease can cause pain, diarrhea, constipation, and other problems.
- Gallstones and kidney stones. Rapid digestion leads to a rapid release of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream. To cope with this, the body has to release large amounts of insulin into the bloodstream, and this can make a person more likely to develop gallstones and kidney stones (in addition to diabetes and high cholesterol).
Keeping Weight Under Control
Foods containing plenty of fiber have more bulk than low-fiber foods. If taken in the right form at the right time and at sufficient quantities, fiber can sometimes slow the onset of hunger.
Fiber Soaks Up Fat
Eat high-fiber foods with high-fat foods to decrease the absorption of fat. Increase your daily fiber and you’ll absorb fewer calories.
How much fiber do you need?
How much fiber do you need each day? The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:
||Age 50 and younger
||Age 51 and older
Triple Chocolate – Almond Shake
[Source: Complete Idiot’s Guide to High Fiber Cooking]
Chocolate lovers will flip over this luxurious shake made with creamy soy milk and ice cream. Cocoa powder adds the final punch of flavor and fiber.
1 1/2 cups chocolate almond or rocky road ice cream
1 cup chocolate soy milk
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TB local honey
1 TB toasted wheat germ
1/2 tsp almond extract
1. Place ice cream, soy milk, cocoa powder, honey, wheat germ and almond extract in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Want to add a boost to your smoothies? Add Smoothie Essentials Boosts to any smoothie. Most are 0% Taste and 0% Color thus making them blendable into any drink.
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids – very powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
Proteins – Important to muscle growth and maintenance but many red meats are thought to trigger inflammation.