What is fiber?
•Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is the bulky fiber that helps to prevent constipation, and is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
•Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps control blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol.
Fiber — along with adequate fluid intake — moves quickly and relatively easily through your digestive tract and helps it function properly. A high-fiber diet may also help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Dr. Mercola brings us important research showing that a high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause. He links this to the research that fiber helps to reduce your risk of a number of chronic diseases. This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
High-Fiber Diet Reduces All-Cause Mortality
Mounting research suggests that a high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, likely because it helps to reduce your risk of a number of chronic diseases. This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. As discussed in the featured video, research also shows it can help heart patients live longer.
Studies have also linked a high-fiber diet to beneficial reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation—all of which can influence your mortality risk.
Why Cereal Grains May Be Counterproductive
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends getting 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. A more general recommendation is to make sure you get 20-30 grams of fiber per day. I believe about 32 grams per day is ideal.
Unfortunately, most people get only half that, or less—despite the fact that most people eat diets high in grains. Part of the problem is that your best source of dietary fiber comes from vegetables and most people simply aren’t eating enough veggies…
The featured article cites a researcher who suggests that cereal grains may offer “the best risk reductions for colorectal and cardiovascular disease.” I disagree with recommendations to boost your consumption of cereal grains, because this completely ignores the issue of glyphosate contamination in many modern grains.
For example, about 15 years ago, farmers began dousing non-organic wheat with glyphosate just before harvest—a process known as desiccation—which increases yield and kills rye grass.
As a result, most of the non-organic wheat supply is now heavily contaminated with glyphosate, which has been linked to celiac disease and other gut dysfunction. Needless to say, this is the exact converse of what you’re trying to achieve by adding fiber to your diet… Cereal grains may have been a good source of fiber in the past, but not anymore.
Moreover, a high-grain diet tends to promote insulin and leptin resistance, and that, too, is counterproductive as it actually promotes many of the chronic diseases that healthy fiber can help reduce, most notably type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Besides, most whole grain products on the market are highly processed, which further deteriorates their value. Instead, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The following whole foods, for example, contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Psyllium seed husk, flax hemp, and chia seeds Berries Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes, and jicama Almonds Peas Green beans Cauliflower Beans
Healthy Fiber Provides Fodder for Beneficial Gut Microbes
The benefits of fiber can in part be explained by its beneficial impact on the microorganisms in your gut. Soluble fibers, such as psyllium, are probiotics that help nourish beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function.
Several studies have shown a 10-percent drop in risk for any cause of death with each 10-gram-per-day increase in fiber intake
Soluble fibers help nourish beneficial bacteria, which assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function
Gut microbes have been linked to a number of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer
Click here to read the complete news post of Dr. Mercola
photo credit Flickr/Helgi Halldórsson https://www.flickr.com/photos/8058853@N06/4817786416/