Daily Quote: “I believe that no single factor plays a more significant role in the origin of disease – or in its cure or prevention – than obtaining sufficient dietary FIBER.” – Ted Broer
One of the most important keys to good nutrition and tips to eating healthy is getting enough dietary fiber in your foods every day. Your digestive system, especially the colon and large intestine, become constipated when too little water and dietary fiber are consumed. The U.S. Public Health Service has stated that approximately 90% of all Americans have a clogged colon to some degree. It is sad but true that Americans are one of the most constipated people in the whole world. We should be eating at least 25-30 grams of fiber a day, but shockingly, many Americans have a hard time consuming 30 grams of fiber a week!
According to licensed nutritionist and exercise physiologist, Ted Broer, “I am also convinced that no other single health condition plays so great a role in the development of disease as does constipation. Constipation has been shown to have a role in the development of hemorrhoids, heart disease, artherosclerosis, cancer (too many types to mention), diabetes, gall bladder disease, kidney stones and ulcers – just to name a few.”
In addition to water and exercise, the key to solving this American constipation crisis is dietary FIBER. What is fiber? Simply put, fiber is the part of your food that cannot break down or be digested by your digestive system. Dietary fiber, or “roughage,” is found most abundantly in living plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Fiber comes in two forms – soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber easily dissolves in water, so it can be easily absorbed in the intestine and circulated in the blood stream. Soluble fiber, such as pectin found in most fruits, in the blood can attach itself to blood fats and create a complex that removes these fats from the blood system, which in turn lowers cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber also absorbs water, but it remains in the intestine and forms the majority of the bulk necessary to collect and push bodily wastes through the intestine and out of the body. Food waste and bodily processes more very slowly, if at all, through the colon without the assistance of insoluble fiber. In this unhealthy case, the slow-moving mass can putrefy or rot right in the body causing the body to start poisoning itself. As you can see, insoluble fiber is critical to healthy functioning of the bowels and the whole elimination process.
THREE MAIN CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION
What’s causing so much constipation (and all of the illness related to this) in America and the Western world? There are three main causes that need to be addressed and resolved.
First and foremost is our unhealthy diet. This consists of denatured, bleached, refined, processed foods and flours, as well as a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit. When our wheat flour is refined, they take out over 50 healthy nutrients, and then add 12 synthetic vitamins that are totally indigestible. Then they put it on the supermarket shelves and advertise it as “enriched” wheat flour or bread. The food manufacturers basically throw away the good nutrition and leave Americans with an unhealthy malnutrition processed “food.” No wonder almost everyone in America is constipated! And don’t forget, most Americans don’t even come close to eating the recommended 5-13 servings of vegetables and fruit per day. Therefore, the most important cause of constipation in America and the Western world is our very unhealthy, low fiber, highly refined, processed diet.
The second cause of constipation is not drinking enough water every day. Water is an essential element to the whole digestion, assimilation, and elimination process. Without enough water, food that is digested slows down or comes to a stop. Think of water being like the oil in your car’s engine. Without oil, the moving parts would wear each other down and the engine would quickly “freeze” up and break down completely. Likewise, without enough water, your body will become dehydrated and will start to “freeze” up and break down. It won’t be able to process food properly or eliminate the waste properly.
The third cause of constipation is a lack of exercise. When your body does not get enough physical activity, food in your intestines and colon starts to slow down. For this reason alone, everyone should go for a 30-60 minute walk every day.
How do you know if you’re “regular” enough? The basic guideline to use is this: everyone should have two or three bowel movements a day. This helps all waste matter move quickly through the large intestine and colon. This transit time should ideally be less than eighteen hours, and no more than twenty-four hours.
DO THESE 3 THINGS TO STAY “REGULAR”
1. Drink plenty of natural spring water every day. You should be drinking half your weight in ounces daily. In other words, if you’re 160 pounds, you need to drink 80 ounces of water throughout the day.
2. Go for a daily walk to get the regular exercise your body needs.
3. Make significant changes to your diet to insure that you are getting enough dietary fiber every day. Your body needs at least 25-30 grams of fiber a day. It would also greatly help your system if you eliminated constipation causing foods such as processed “enriched” wheat flour (white four) and other highly refined, denatured, bleached, processed flour.
GREAT SOURCES OF HEALTHY DIETARY FIBER FOR SUPER HEALTH
1. Fresh, organic vegetables, greens, fruits, and berries – These are all excellent sources of fiber. Aim at eating 75% of your vegetables and greens raw in the form of a healthy vegetable salad every day. Aim at eating 100% of your fruits & berries raw.
2. Beans and legumes. Learn how to soak and cook these yourself. You can also freeze portions for later use. These are probably the best source of fiber.
3. Brown rice. It has all the fiber and minerals that white rice lacks.
4. 100% whole wheat bread and flour, as well as 100% whole grain breads and flours such as rye, buckwheat, etc. Use these in all of your baking and cooking.
5. Whole grain cereals. These can be hot porridge-type cereals or cold cereal made from 100% whole grains.
6. Eat the skins of organic potatoes and of other organic fruits & vegetables.
7. Add oat bran, wheat bran, and wheatgerm to your meals and baked foods.
8. Snack on sun-dried fruit – Enjoy apricots, dates, prunes, raisins, etc., which are all concentrated sources of fiber and nutrients.
9. Instead of drinking fruit juice and vegetable juice, eat the fruit and vegetables themselves so that you get all that healthy dietary fiber.
10. Eat flaxseed and chia seeds. These are a very healthy source of mucilaginous fiber that help relieve constipation and speed up the transit time for elimination.
In conclusion, I would like to quote Thomas Edison and what he had to say about the future of health.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
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