Give Your Body a Clean Sweep

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Fiber is essential
to good health. It is the bulk that helps move food and waste through
our digestive tract. It acts like a broom in sweeping our digestive
system clean, and it also acts like a sponge in absorbing toxins,
hormones, cholesterol and bile salts so that they will not be reabsorbed
by our body.

In addition
to keeping things moving through our digestive systems, fiber nurtures
healthy bacteria in our gut that balances pH, keeps harmful bacteria
in check, and detoxifies chemicals in the gut that can cause cancer
or other problems. Lack of fiber, seems to be the precursor to some
common complaints such as diverticular disease, bowel cancer, appendicitis,
and hemorrhoids. All of these diseases are virtually unheard of
in cultures that consume plenty of fiber.

High fiber
diets have wonderful health benefits. Fiber slows down the absorption
of sugars and helps make foods low on the glycemic index. I have
heard good results from diabetics who lowered blood sugar levels
by increasing the amount of fiber in the diet. Increasing the amount
of fiber in the diet also helps lower cholesterol.

The recommended
amount of fiber in the diet is 25–35 grams per day.

As a general
guideline, there are: 2–3 grams – per average serving
of fruit, vegetable, raw nut, or whole grain; 5–6 grams –
per serving of super vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage,
kale, etc., and some whole grains; and 9–10 grams – per
serving of dried beans (cooked, of course).

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26, 2010

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