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.

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