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Give Your Body a Clean Sweep

     

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.

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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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June 26, 2010