Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep our hunger and blood sugar stable. Fiber has been an underrated element of our nutrition for almost three decades and has only recently been rediscovered for its essential function for health and longevity. Fiber does much more than just keeping your digestion regular. It helps lower cholesterol, keeps your blood sugar stable, makes it easier to lose weight, and even contributes to your longevity.
Fibers as medicine
Our busy lifestyles involving long working hours and little time for cooking at home. We are too easily tempted by fast food containing large amounts of carbohydrates made of processed ingredients like white flour and rice, sauces and cakes with preservatives and added sugars, colorants, and so on. There is a wide-spread misunderstanding on fibers as bearing no nutritional content nor function for human health. The result of a diet that fuels our cells with refined substances is yet strikingly clear. The latest research shows premature ageing, degeneration of the cell structure, inflammation, chronic diseases, disruption of hormonal natural balance, weight gain, the list goes on and ultimately can lead to cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and death. The “urban diet” does not leave much room for complex carbs like whole food grains and cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables which are rich in fibers.
Stepping forward in time and back to nature, with today scientific research and better knowledge we know the importance of fibers for a healthy gut.
Soluble fibers create less of a problem for digestion than insoluble ones. The latter, especially, can create bloating for people who are not used to fibers in their diet, yet you should not be discouraged from taking these fundamental elements into your system.
Bloating can be caused by few factors
First, observe your food combinations: are you eating sweets, sugary drinks, fruits high in sugar content together with a meal rich in fibers? Then you are creating your own “gut party”. Think of your gut digestion process like a line of priority according to the energy the element provides to the body. If you have broccoli, a milkshake with sugar and white bread in your stomach in a meal, your body will first go to digest the milkshake and the white bread to break down the carbohydrate and glucose for fueling the blood with energy. Unfortunately, this means that broccoli will have to wait in line longer within the digestive tract with the resulting bacteria feeding on it and fermenting, causing air and bloating as a result.
Here is what you have to do!
If you had broccoli and whole grains instead, with water or herbal tea rather than sugary drinks, then you would have in your gut a balanced situation with foods that take more or less the same time to digest, causing no bloating in a normal person.
Second, Rome was not built in a day! It can occur if you are still in detoxing transition from a classic diet to a richer, plant-based diet: there can be still remaining old food inside of your gut that can cause fermenting and bloating when we add more fibers. A good practice to be added for a smoother transition can be gentle enemas with lukewarm water on an empty stomach once a month in the morning, so that the residual sediments of old food are removed. Another help for reestablishing a balanced gut flora are probiotics, which help create, maintain and boost a beneficial gut flora. Bloating can be a sign of bad gut flora still present in the intestine and adding probiotics with fiber consumption will definitely improve the transition to a completely plant-based, fiber rich diet.
There are two major types of fibers: soluble and insoluble.
Foods rich in soluble fiber include oatmeal, seeds, beans, dates, and sweet potatoes.
The health benefits include cardiovascular and diabetes protection, weight loss and healthy bowel movements. Let us take juices as an example. Drinking fruit juices is certainly providing the needed vitamins and minerals to the body, yet the pulp containing all the fibers are missing. The fibers create a slower release of fructose contained in the fruit into the blood stream, thus keeping the insulin response regular.
Another example are soluble fibers contained in fruit and certain seeds such as flaxseeds and chia seeds. The gel-like fibrous material created in the gut is able to bind toxins which are then easily transported out of the body.
Insoluble fibers found in nuts, grains and skins of fruit (so chose organic and eat your peels whenever possible) as well as whole-wheat bread and brown rice. They are the indigestible carbs that don’t dissolve with water but that add bulk to our stools.
The health benefits include weight loss and digestive health.
If you are familiar with the gut, you know that the inner walls resemble a comb with countless tiny intestinal villi to optimise the absorption surface to its maximum. Fibers passing within the intestines mechanically manage to brush away unwanted stagnant material that has not been transported out yet, thus improving the absorption of nutrients and preventing stuck sediments of rotting food from becoming a danger for not just constipation but also infections, inflammation and ultimately damage to the intestinal wall.
The EATbyalex way
EATbyalex fresh deliveries are mindfully designed so that exquisite taste meets functional nutrition. Our goal is to balance your fiber intake by exposing your palate and gut to a wide variety of greens, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds throughout the week, thus enhancing your transition phase to a healthier flora. Thanks to the healthy fibers in our meals you will feel more satiated, your blood sugar levels will keep in a constant healthy range and you will feel more energised as a result. Give it a try for more than just one meal to discover the amazing transition from bloating and food addictions towards a healthy, balanced gut and naturally perfect digestion.
Make your whole food bread
Have you ever tried our Protein Seed Bread? It’s super easy to make, it keeps for at least 5 days and it’s delicious. It contains only seeds and oats, boosting your fiber intake in just one slice, and it will keep you full for much longer than a classic bread.