Power of dietary fiber

Wellness has a very close partnership with chi (energy) and how it flows routinely. It’s how energy flows. That’s how dietary fiber each day helps build immmunity from toxins. According to an article published by AARP:
“Soluble fiber changes immune cells from being pro-inflammatory warrior cells to anti-inflammatory peacekeeper cells,” says Gregory Freund, M.D., of the University of Illinois. Here’s why: Soluble fiber boosts production of the protein interleukin-4, which stimulates the body’s infection-fighting T-cells.

When you think of dietary fiber, it’s about flow. If you’re thinking about eliminating excess fats, including cholesterol, fiber helps create bathroom visits. Meat and fish have no dietary fiber. Your side of vegetables contains fiber. Yes, fiber is integral in many carbohydrates. Fiber also lowers blood sugar levels. Fiber helps aid flow to promote wellness.

The best and most fiber is delivered through “whole” foods. The most commonly recognized source of fiber in the adult diet comes from non-digestible carbohydrates and lignin which occurs naturally as part of the food consumed, such as from whole grains (oat, wheat, barley, rice, etc.), beans, fruits and vegetables. Fiber is also contained in breast milk in the form of galact-oligosaccharides. Normal pasteurized milk has no fiber.

How much dietary fiber is necessary? The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests eating a variety of food fiber sources. Total dietary fiber intake should be 25 to 30 grams a day from food, not supplements. Currently, dietary fiber intakes among adults in the United States average about 15 grams a day. That’s about half the recommended amount. That’s because most people eat processed foods. Processing effectively reduces fiber to nothing. Most breakfast cereal only have about 3 grams of fiber per serving. White bread has virtually no fiber per slice.

When counting carbohydrates, grams of fiber are subtracted from total carbs. If a can of beans (about 3 servings) has 75 grams of total carbohydrates. Dietary fiber may be up to 25 grams. This delivers net-carbohydrates of 50 grams per can. Strange? Not really…because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest, it does not affect your blood sugar levels. You should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate.

Of course there are 2 fundamental dietary fiber types. They behave differently. There are two types – soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and includes plant pectin and gums. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It includes plant cellulose and hemicellulose. Soluble fiber can help improve digestion and lower blood sugar, while insoluble fiber can soften stool, making it easier to pass.

Suprisingly, there’s more fiber in parts of foods you don’t eat. Like peanut shells (yech). Waste not. Some fibers, such as those from Psyllium Husks, are considered almost as a natural laxative. Psyllium husk, a natural dietary fiber originating from plantago ovata, has been the source of both soluble and insoluble fiber in Metamucil for 80 years. Studies suggest that the psyllium in Metamucil works differently. The psyllium fiber in Metamucil forms a viscous gel that traps some bile acids (made from cholesterol) and gently removes them from your body. This gel also traps some carbohydrates and sugars, allowing them to be more slowly absorbed by the body. This gelling property of psyllium also helps you feel less hungry between meals and promotes digestive health.

There’s no evidence that daily use of fiber supplements — such as psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl, others) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) — is harmful. Fiber has a number of health benefits, including normalizing bowel function and preventing constipation. Psyllium Husks are also sold as supplements as ppwders or pills. Some early cholesterol drugs used psyllium husks that were sprinkled on foods. Yes, they can. But a rather acquired taste that offended many.

One study found that 5 grams of psyllium twice a day can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. A repeated test study showed that the amount of psyllium husks should be tailored to the individual.

As opposed to European medicine, USA doctors shy away from these supplements. They prescribe other bile-sequestrants. Psyllium Husks seem very beneficial but responsible dosing with a nutritionist recommendation may avoid some uncomfortable side-effects. Gas or stomach cramping may occur. Metamucil and some psyllium husk supplements may contain sugar, sodium, or phenylalanine. Check the medication label if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, phenylketonuria (PKU), or if you are on a low-salt diet. Also vomiting is common.

Vomiting may be associated with NOT drinking at least 8-ounces of water after a dose. Inadequate water may result in husk thickening in throat.

I tend to support the American Heart Association’s approach of getting good fiber from whole foods. For those who are constipated, maybe Metamucil or a supplement may be helpful. Psyllium husk dosage varies. Start with a conservative approach. Take 1 teaspoon of finely ground psyllium husk once a day in the morning, mixed with at least 8 ounces of liquid and followed by an additional 8-ounce glass of water. You may feel full and even more bloated the first few days, but after a week your body should be used to the increased fiber.

According to the Mayo Clinic:
Benefits of a high-fiber diet may
Normalize bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.
Helps maintain bowel health.
Lowers cholesterol levels.
Helps control blood sugar levels.
Aids in achieving healthy weight.

Might be worth trying? Add dietary fiber as a routine to your daily nutrition needs.

Starch and resistant starch carbohydrates and you

Carbohydrates are classified into three subtypes: monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. They form key nutrients your body needs and your tongue craves. Excess dietary carbohydrates may lead to diabetes and weight gain. Sugar and starch are examples of many foods. The only foods without sugar or starch are meat and fish. All plants have carbohydrates. Both are pre-factors of energy fuel.

When people talk about carbohydrates, sugar comes to mind, normally sucrose, fructose, and glucose. They come from plants and a great source is sugar, derived from cane and many fruits.

Another carbohydrate is starch. Starches are long chains of the sugar glucose joined together. Starches (formerly known as complex carbohydrates) occur naturally in a large range of foods including nutrient-rich foods like root vegetables, legumes, cracked wheat, brown rice, pearl barley, quinoa and oats. As with sugar, there are many starches. There are essentially two types of starch -simple starch that are digested rapidly and resistant starch that metabolizes at a slower rate.

Resistant Starch is the subject of the latest health studies. Unlike other forms of starch, the small intestine does not digest resistant starch. Instead, it passes through and gets metabolized by the large intestine. Skipping the digestive process means that resistant starch gets turned into fuel. The fuel is then burned off quickly as energy, while some resistant starch remains to become prebiotics, food for the healthy bacteria that live in the gut.

According to Johns Hopkins Medical, Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that resist digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine. As the fibers ferment they act as a prebiotic and feed the good bacteria in the gut. There are several types of resistant starch. Food processing usually reduces the healthy effects resistant starches provide. Processing minimizes heart and body health benefits that resistant starch provides.

Foods that contain resistant starch include:
Plantains and green bananas (as a banana ripens the starch changes to a regular starch)
Beans, peas, and lentils (white beans and lentils are the highest in resistant starch)
Whole grains including oats and barley.
Cooked and cooled rice.
Seeds such as almonds, pistachios, and others that are not roasted.

There are two ways to add resistant starches to your diet — either get them from foods or take a supplement. Several commonly consumed foods are high in resistant starch. This includes raw potatoes, cooked and then cooled potatoes, green bananas, various legumes, cashews and raw oats, according to Healthline.

I don’t believe that eating resistant starch is a road to better health health. Using small portions of meats, fish, fruits complement nutritional holes and tastes as life fuels. These are the natural components for activity and endurance.

As the fuels of early civilization, grains could be dried for storage. Fruits were also dried by dehydration or preserves. Survivalists dried fish and dried meat to help make foods last longer for travel and activity. The jerky was popular for feeding soldiers centuries ago for nutrients, albeit sugars and salts at unhealthy levels.

With the absence of drinkable water, sea travelers knew to ferment grains to make whiskies and beer. They also fermented fruits into wine. These helped dilute the salty tastes of dried fish and meats.

Resistant starch foods deliver more than essentials for food if you have an active lifestyle. If you are inactive, then you can gain weight and develop sicknesses. Carbohydrate based diets are for movers and shakers but resistant starch is more enduring.

Barring pathogens from the air, preserving foods support healthy lifestyles in lock downs. Resistant starch foods may keep you healthy.

Here are resistant starch recipes to try.