We are moving right along with our 31 Tips: Living a Proactive Lifestyle and one common thread so far has been REAL FOOD. Unfortunately, we live in a society that tends to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the norm is not looking good for our future. We have more heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and auto-immune diseases than we have ever had in this country before. What’s the answer? Honestly, it is pretty simple when you follow the tips I have been sharing and choose REAL FOOD daily. Today, Tip #9 Eat More Fiber is going to look a lot like Tips 2, 3, 6 and 8 because when you eat real food it has a lot of great qualities.
Why Eat More Fiber?
Fiber has many health benefits, but the BIG reason to add more fiber to your diet is gut health. We actually don’t digest fiber, but that is also how it helps with digestion. Soluble fiber dissolves into a gel-like structure that helps slow down your digestion and allows you to feel full longer. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps move food through your digestive tract more quickly to help elimination. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
10 Reasons to Eat More Fiber
- Help Balance Blood sugar: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping to balance blood sugar.
- Healthy Heart: Research has shown that eating a high fiber diet lowers the risk of heart disease by 40%
- Decrease Risk of Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7 percent.
- Weight loss and management: Fiber has been shown to decrease weight loss in obese individuals and manage normal weight due to being more satisfied, less hungry and balancing blood sugar.
- Improve Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
- Reduce Risk of Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40 percent.
- Lowers cholesterol: Soluble fibers help to reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol. This causes a decrease in total blood cholesterol levels by reducing the level of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein- LDL).
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS.
- Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
- Boosts the immune system: A study conducted by University of Illinois showed that soluble fibers sources drive the personality of cells of the immune system. They enhance the production of anti-inflammatory protein called interleukin-4. This protein helps to reduce inflammation, thereby speeding up the process of recovery after an infection.
Top 10 Eat More Fiber Foods
- Chia Seeds
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
Should Everyone Eat More Fiber?
Truth be told not everyone can handle more fiber in their diet. If your gut is unhealthy from years of processed foods and high carbohydrate diets than your digestive system may need some tender loving care before you begin eating more fiber. Chronic digestive symptoms like diarrhea, flatulence, stomach pains, reflux, leaky gut syndrome, and food allergies may not have the proper gut flora. Fiber feeds healthy gut bacteria, but it will also feed unhealthy bacteria too. The last thing we want to do is start over feeding pathogenic bacteria and yeast/fungi. If you add more fiber to your diet and feel worse instead of better that is a sign that you need to get your microbiome in order. The only way to do that is to starve out the bad bugs and that can start with probiotic rich fermented vegetables and well cooked vegetable soups. Remember the point of living a proactive lifestyle is take care of our body and not ignore the signs and symptoms or cover them up with a band-aid. Sometimes we have to choose to go deep to the root of the issue and often that root is the gut. There are specific diets to help in this area. One that many people have found great success with is the GAPS program. Here is a great blog on the Gap’s Diet.
Putting It All Together
Remember that nourishing our body is the foundation of a healthy body. Each day YOU get to choose to feed your body that which will help it become more healthy.
If you are not sure how proactive you are currently living then I invite you to take the Wellness Quiz to find out your Wellness Score.
If you are interested in learning more about fiber click here for Day 11 in our Growing E-Course, we go into much more detail and supplemental sources. If you would like to take part in our Free Growing E-Course click here.
***Remember that you are your own best health adviser. Not sure about adding more fiber to your diet? Then please do your own research and see if it is right for you and your family. More and more research is showing that we are experiencing diseases due to the lack of healthy food to feed our bodies what they need. Living a proactive lifestyle is taking those steps in the direction to build up a healthy body.
I am enjoying this write 31 days challenge and I hope that you are finding these tips beneficial to living a more proactive lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more tips, click on the box. I will be adding tips daily.
Shawna Cale, Got-Oils? Administrator
I am a M.O.M: Mom on a Mission to help educate and empower other mom’s to build healthy homes and bodies, and have the energy to do the things they enjoy with their families.