Plant fiber is an essential component to a healthy diet. It is the non-digestible portion of the cell walls of the plant that provides excellent benefits for humans and provides highly nourishing food for rudiments. Rudiments are double-bellied animals such as goats and cows who have the digestive enzyme capacity to break down the plants fibrous cell walls.
Fiber helps keep our intestines and bowels healthy by removing debris, reduces weight gain by taking longer to digest, creating fullnes and bulk to the diet, thereby lowering appetite and capacity. In addition, because fiber slows down absorption, it also aids in regulating blood sugar.
There are two types of fiber. There is the water soluble type that mixes with water and forms a gel like substance. The benefits are that this form lowers cholesterol and modifies blood sugar levels by slowing down absorption. It also produces antioxidants, anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic compounds during the fermentation process in the large intestines.
Insoluble Fiber does not dissolve in water and as such passes through the digestive system pretty close to the same form it was in when we put it in our mouths. This form reduces the risk of colo-rectal cancer, hemorrhoids and constipation by softening the stool.
Foods that are rich in fiber are fruits, vegetables, brown rice and nuts. How much fiber to have per day? While there is not Reccommended Daily Allowance for fiber, the ADA recommends approximately 25% of our diet should be made up of fiber. This can ensure we are getting plenty of plant base foods and all the benefit of its fiber.
How to Increase your Fiber?
> Instead of having a glass or orange juice – eat an orange. Replace any fruit juice with the actual fruit.
> Replace ALL white flour with whole grain flour or use sprouted grains instead.
> Ue only whole grain versions of pasta, cereal and bread
> Be sure to include 5-8 vegetables in your diet daily. Having a hearty vegetable soup is an easy way to do that.
> Choose brown rice over white
> Replace meat dishes with bean, lentil or legume dishes.
The best way to not even have to think about whether you are getting your fiber or not, is to follow a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains. Not only is it good for your health – its also delicious!