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Why is Fiber Important?

Why is Fiber Important?
By Brenda Jaeck, Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor

We often hear that fiber is important – but do we know why? Fiber in the diet is important for so many reasons.

Metabolism of food - fiber is important to control the speed at which food is assimilated into our system. The higher the fiber content the slower the food is absorbed into the body. This helpful because if our food is absorbed at a slower rate then the food we eat stays with us longer – giving us nutrients and energyover a longer period of time. It also keeps us satisfied (i.e. full) longer. Slower metabolism of food also helps to control blood sugar levels thereby assisting in weight loss.

Elimination - fiber helps in the eliminated process. It creates a “scrub brush” to help drag undigested food and toxins out of the digestive system. Proper elimination can create more energy, clearer skin and more effective processing of food in general. Aliments that can be caused or exasperated by poor elimination include colon disorders (including colon cancer), acne and hernias and hemorrhoids.

So how do we get fiber in our diet? By eating foods in closet to their natural state; most notably fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes and nuts and seeds. Below are some examples of fiber content of food: (the chart lists the number of grams of fiber per serving)

    Broccoli 7
    Spinach 7
    Yams 6.8
    Apple 4
    Raspberries 4.6
    Kidney 9.7
    Chickpeas 6
    Nuts 3
    Whole Grains
    Brown Rice 3
    Oatmeal 4

There are, of course, natural supplements that you can take to increase you fiber connect, these include pyslium and flax. Both can be purchased in multiple forms but it is always better to obtain nutrients (including fiber) through the food you eat.

25- 30 grams of fiber are recommended daily. If you eat a healthy, whole-food diet in rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nut and seeds and beans you will have no problem obtaining this goal.

Brenda Jaeck is a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor, Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator. She can be contacted at 917 213 9305 or
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