I recall reading a book many, many years ago at my grandma’s house about eating more fiber to lose weight. I think this was back in the 60’s! Since that time, I have read so many different accounts in magazines, research articles and books of the importance of fiber in the diet. And, you and I are probably not getting enough. In chiropractic school it was taught to us, and I have encouraged many of my chiropractic patients, to increase their consumption of this important nutrient. In fact, increasing dietary fiber intake to at least 25 grams per day from varied sources provides a significant protective effect against cardiovascular disease.
Researchers presumed that fiber intakes of 30- 35 grams per day would likely provide an even greater protective effect. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 82, No. 6, 1185-1194, December 2005.) In my Mesa AZ chiropractic clinic I encourage my chiropractic patients to drink plenty of fluids daily as the diet becomes properly balanced with fiber. This will help reduce the risk of abdominal discomfort and intestinal blockage.
So, what is fiber and what are some of the health benefits of fiber?
There are two basic kinds of fiber – soluble and insoluble – and you need to have both! Soluble fiber (dried beans, oats, barley and some fruits and vegetables) dissolves in water absorbing fluid in your digestive system. It also absorbs fats and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber (wheat bran, whole grain products and vegetables) acts as the body’s “scrubber” moving through your digestive system removing substances from your colon that can be described as “crap”. This kind of fiber also speeds up the time it takes to eliminate the wastes from your bowels. It also has other chiropractic health benefits, including reducing the risk of:
- Constipation problems
- Colon cancer
- Heart disease
The highest total of insoluble dietary fiber intakes were associated with reductions in the risks of overweight and elevated waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and homocysteine. Fiber from cereals was associated with a lower body mass index, blood pressure, and homocysteine concentration; fiber from vegetables with a lower blood pressure and homocysteine concentration; and fiber from fruit with a lower waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure. Fiber from dried fruit or nuts and seeds was associated with a lower body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and glucose concentrations.
Doctors of Chiropractic are experts in whole health care. Diet (fiber) is an important part of this. Contact Lee Family Chiropractic today to get started toward better health!