Let's talk some sh**! 97% of Americans are deficient in this nutrient. So, that's only 3% that are getting enough! We need approximately 31.5 grams per day and the average American gets just 10-15. Every year, roughly, 63 million Americans suffer constipation and 10 million with hemorrhoids, in part, due to the lack of this nutrient. Its deficiency also contributes to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hormonal problems, asthma, allergies, acne, and more (yes, there's more!!)
Have you guessed it?
FIBER! Fiber makes life way more enjoyable...or wait, no, that's bathroom visits! Well, actually life, too-- fiber is so important to our health and digestion and 80% of our immune is in our digestive system. Fiber is one of the most important nutrients to maintain balance and health in our bodies.
What does that mean for our health? Most of the illnesses seen by medical professionals today originate from a fiber-deficient diet.
What is fiber you ask? Great question!! Fiber is the indigestible substance which is resistant to digestive enzymes. So what does that mean? Indigestible? That doesn't sound good! Exactly the opposite! It's what our bodies need! As it passes through our digestive tract, being indigestible and all, it does a lot of work picking up all the bad stuff and getting rid of it!
Let's first start with the well-known benefit of fiber...bulking up our poop and making bathroom visits more regular! Bulkier, softer stools are easier to pass than hard or watery ones, which not only makes life more comfortable, but also helps maintain colorectal health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis (small, painful pouches on the colon).
Next, fiber can LOWER CHOLESTEROL. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Fiber lowers blood sugar levels. Increased fiber intake is associated with REDUCED BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS.
Your cancer risk may be reduced with increased intake of fiber. A 2011 meta-analysis from the British Journal of Medicine found an association between cereal fiber and whole grain intake and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. This protective effect may be due to fiber's tendency to add bulk to your digestive system, shortening the amount of time that wastes travel through the colon. Fiber, also, naturally reacts with bacteria in the lower colon and can sometimes ferment into a chemical called butyrate, which may cause CANCER CELLS to SELF-DESTRUCT. Fiber may also have a protective effect against mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers.
All those sound great, right?! How about this one: Eating more fiber can ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE!! People who eat a high fiber diet are less likely to die of any cause, a new study of nearly one million people has found. According to that same study, Those who ate the greatest amount of fiber daily were 16 percent less likely to die than those who consumed the least amount of fiber.
Still with me? How about food allergies and asthma? Yup, fiber can help with that, too! New research suggests that fiber could play a role in PREVENTING FOOD ALLERGIES, the existence of which has long puzzled scientists. Again, this theory comes down to the interaction between fiber and bacteria in the gut. Scientists theorize that people are not producing the right gut bacteria to tackle foods commonly associated with allergies, like peanuts and shellfish. Without the right bacteria, particles of these foods can enter the bloodstream via the gut. The same goes for asthma, particles enter the bloodstream causing an autoimmune response like asthmatic inflammation.
Ok. maybe you knew about all of those, but have heard that increased fiber intake can help BALANCE HORMONES? I know, crazy, right?! Fiber binds to excessive amounts of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and helps the body eliminate them. This helps reduce symptoms of PMS, menopause, acne, unwanted facial hair, mood disturbances, endometriosis, fibroids, risk of breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer.
Holy crap!! This fiber business is serious sh**!!!!!!
Now you know and want to change! How do you add in more fiber?
All plant food contains fiber!! Did you know that?! When asked, more than half of Americans thought steak contained fiber! Nope!! But, all those beautiful plants contain lots! Check out these rich sources of fiber:
Tips for adding more fiber to your diet:
Peace, Love, Plants,
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
Search our blogs